Consett were knocked out of the FA Trophy at the first hurdle today as a severely depleted side suffered a 6-2 defeat by Bootle on Merseyside.
Manager Tony Fawcett was missing seven players, and was forced to give 20-year-old Reserves goalkeeper Cieran Ure his first-team debut at the Berry Street Garage Stadium.
And although they were in the game for an hour, it was a well-beaten side who trudged off at the end.
It might have all been so different if a Consett ‘goal’ in the seventh minute had been allowed to stand, as Scott Fenwick, pictured below, volleyed home from Ben Ramsey’s excellent left-wing cross, only to be ruled offside.
Bootl took the lead on 36 minutes after a close-range finish by debutant Bailey Thompson, who was set up by Andy Scarisbrick after a mistake in the visiting backline.
A tight game with nothing to choose between the sides remained 1-0 at half-time, with little to suggest the avalanche of goals which would follow in the second half.
On 49 minutes Ramsey’s cross-shot clipped the underside of the bar and bounced to safety, and two minutes later Bootle keeper Sam Ashton made a vital save from Wil Shaw, getting a strong hand to his well-struck effort.
Consett levelled in the 55th minute when Jack Gibbons floated in a lovely free-kick from the right and Dan Capewell powered home a header for his first competitive goal of the season, pictured below.
But disaster struck just three minutes later when Gibbons fouled Mason Fawns in the box, and Owen Robinson stepped up to restore Bootle’s lead from the penalty spot.
Fenwick almost replied immediately with a header by Fenwick from Zak Atkinson’s cross, but it was off target, so it was a big blow as some poor defending on 63 minutes allowed Bootle sub Sam Burns an easy finish to make it 3-1.
On 72 minutes Bootle scored again, with right-back Ethen Vaughan stealing in at the back post to convert a deep cross.
Dan Capewell gave Consett slim hopes of an unlikely comeback, firing home from a few yards in the 85th minute, pictured top, after Ramsey and Jake Orrell both had efforts saved.
The hobbling Capewell, who’d been pushed up front, had another chance to set up a grandstand finish, headed just wide from another free-kick, but it was Bootle who scored again in the first minute of added time.
Consett backed off Andy Scarisbrick and allowed him to smash a screamer into the top corner in the first minute of added time.
To add insult to injury, the home side scored again in the 94th minute, with Andy Scarisbrick taking advantage of a mistake by Ure to make it 6-2 with the last kick of the game.
- Full match report, stats, picture gallery, goals video and manager interview to follow.