Consett finished their second home game in a row with 10 men tonight – but were this time able to hang on to beat Shildon 1-0 at a chilly Belle View Stadium.
The winning goal came in the 58th minute when Zak Atkinson headed in his 11th goal of the season, pictured below, from Jake Orrell’s free-kick to send the home fans in the 371 crowd into raptures.
Calvin Smith had a glorious chance to double the lead two minutes later after Charlie Exley’s ball down the line saw Atkinson tee him up, but he put his shot wide with the goal at his mercy.
There was worse to come for Smith as he was shown a straight red card in the 73rd minute after catching an opponent high while attempting a tackle.
But a superb rearguard action saw his teammates hold out for the rest of the game plus five added minutes, to record their fifth win in the last six games.
The result puts Consett 11 points ahead of Shildon, who are fourth from bottom of NPL Division One East, in a relegation play-off position.
Perhaps more intriguingly, it puts them just five points behind Dunston, who occupy the last promotion play-off place – and the Steelmen have a game in hand.
Back-to-back wins against Stocksbridge and Shildon set Tony Fawcett’s men up nicely for their next game, at home to runaway league leaders Worksop Town on Saturday. Kick-off at Belle View is 3pm.
- Full match report and more pictures to come.