Tag: sunderland nissan

On this day in our history: 6 April 2007 – Consett’s 38-year wait for a county cup win comes to an end

It was a very Good Friday indeed for Consett as they lifted the Durham Challenge Cup on this day in 2007 for the first time in 38 years with a 3-2 win over Chester-le-Street Town.

Despite the inconvenience of the venue – the Nissan Sports & Social Club, off the A19 at Washington – and the kick off time (10.45am) on a Bank Holiday, a good-sized crowd were in attendance. Club sponsors Hargreaves put on two coaches to take supporters to the final, with free travel for under-16s, which meant a sizeable Consett contingent in the crowd to cheer on the Steelmen.

Of the 20 players that make up Consett’s current first-team squad, Steven Istead, Ian Robson and Steven Johnson were all cup-tied. So when Michael Brown pulled out due to work commitments the 16 named by manager Kenny Lindoe effectively picked themselves. Chester’s side included Andrew Cuthbertson, who would later join his former Brandon boss Lindoe at Belle Vue Park.

Consett kicked off attacking the Social Club end, resplendent in their new all-red kit with white trim, produced specially for the final. The game had barely settled into any kind of pattern when Consett found themselves a goal down, to an unfortunate own goal. Carl Piecha overhit a backpass to keeper Craig Turns who, despite his valiant attempts to control it, couldn’t prevent the ball trickling agonisingly over the line to hand Chester the lead before they’d even mounted an attack.

Thankfully the lead lasted only 13 minutes as Consett were grateful to a piece of quick thinking by Kraig Wilkinson. Consett were awarded a free-kick some 25 yards out for a foul on Gary Ormston. With the Chester keeper at one side of his goal trying organise the wall, Wilkinson took the free-kick quickly, curling it left-footed into the far corner to level the scores.

Consett’s Kraig Wilkinson turns away from his marker. Pic: John Paul Hardy

Chester almost regained the lead within a minute when a long throw was headed clear only as far as Anthony March, who headed it back towards goal, but Turns was on hand to make the save.

Nerves were still very much in evidence, with the play generally scrappy and genuine chances rare. David Pounder caused a scare on the half-our mark when he ran on to a loose ball and slipped it past Cestrians’ keeper Aitken, but Rob Houghton got back to clear the ball off the line.

This effort by David Pounder was cleared off the line. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

Consett were starting to get on top now, and in the 37th minute Neil Wilkinson headed John Ewart’s right-wing corner just wide. Wilkinson’s defensive partner Piecha went even closer on the stroke of half time, seeing his towering header from another Ewart corner tipped over the bar by Aitken.

Half-time was reached with the scores level and very little between the teams, but with the Steelmen having fashioned the better chances. The second half was far more one-sided, with Consett always looking the more dangerous. The two Wilkinsons combined 11 minutes into the second half, when Neil’s long throw was flicked on to Kraig, but he flashed his shot well wide.

Consett pile on the pressure at a corner. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

The Steelmen were unable to turn possession into goals, and almost paid the price 20 minutes from time when Chester mounted a swift counter-attack which culminated in March’s cross-cum-shot clipping the far post and running away to safety, to the relief of all present from Derwentside.

Consett finally made the breakthrough and scored the crucial second in the 73rd minute. Kraig Wilkinson went on a run into the Chester penalty area and cut inside Houghton, who brought him down with a clear trip.

Penalty! Kraig Wilkinson is brought down by a defender. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

The opposition were understandably annoyed with the decision, but there seemed little doubt to neutrals that it was a foul. David Pounder stepped up to send Aitken the wrong way with the penalty and Consett were 2-1 up.

David Pounder despatches the penalty to put Consett ahead. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

Four minutes later Mark Patterson came close to extending the Steelmen’s lead, but Aitken pushed his drilled shot from outside the area round the post.

The Chester keeper could do nothing about Consett’s third five minutes from time though. Pounder dispossessed Colin Wake inside his own area and reacted superbly to send a crashing volley flying past Aitken. There was a moment of confusion as the ball somehow flew straight through the net, leading many in the main stand to think the shot had actually gone wide. There was a delay of several seconds before the celebrations could begin.

David Pounder fires Consett’s third goal. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

The Cestrians, to their credit, refused to throw in the towel and came back at Consett. With 90 minutes up Jonny Wightman went on a jinking run into the area, but was denied by a saving tackle from David Johnson. From the resulting corner though Armstrong powered a header towards goal and Gary Shields turned it home from close range. The ball only crossed the line by inches before being cleared, but the assistant referee was well placed to award the goal.

Chester had left their fightback too late though, and the final whistle was blown soon afterwards to signal Consett’s first Cup success since their Sunderland Shipowners Cup triumph in 1998, and their first county cup since 1969. Skipper David Johnson went up to collect the trophy to the delight of the traveling hordes from Consett.

Consett captain David Johnson collects the cup from Durham FA President Frank Pattison. Pic: John Paul Hardy.

A delighted Kenny Lindoe, winning a Durham Challenge Cup Final at the third attempt, said afterwards: “I thought Chester out-battled us in the first half, whether we were nervous or not I don’t know. But in the second half there was only one team in it, and it was a definite penalty!”

Chester-le-Street: 1 Ian Aitken, 2 Chris Hunter, 3 Colin Wake, 4 Rob Draper (sub David Fairless 82), 5 Andy Armstrong, 6 Rob Houghton, 7 Jonathan Wightman, 8 Andy Cuthbertson (sub Mark Anderson 67), 9 Gary Shields, 10 Anthony March, 11 Sam MacIntosh (sub Michael Cook 87)

Consett: 1 Craig Turns, 2 Gary Ormston, 3 David Johnson, 4 Jonjo Dickman, 5 Carl Piecha, 6 Neil Wilkinson, 7 Mark Patterson, 8 Steven Brown (sub Craig Robson 74), 9 Kraig Wilkinson, 10 David Pounder, 11 John Ewart.

  • Many thanks to John Paul Hardy for the pictures used with this article, many of which are previously unpublished.

On this day in our history: 1 April 2009, Consett’s title hopes suffer a blow

A disastrous home defeat, coupled with midweek wins for Dunston, Benfield and Spennymoor, dealt a fatal blow to Consett’s hopes of a first-ever Northern League championship on this day back in 2009.

For while the stuttering Steelmen remained top of the table, it meant their lead was cut to five points, with the chasing pack all having plenty of games in hand.

To be honest, Consett never looked like winning against one of the 1st Division’s awayday specialists, for whom this was a ninth league win of the season on the road. Ironically, only Consett have more, with 10.

Kenny Lindoe made one change to the side which had recorded a fourth 1-0 win on the trot against Chester-le-Street in their previous game, with fit-again Adam Emson returning up front in place of the injured Steven Johnson. But he went for a different formation from the off, starting with a back four, five in midfield and Emson as the lone frontrunner.

Striker Steven Johnson was missing through injury.

Consett had one former Nissan player, Chris Scott, in midfield, and another, Ian Davison, on the bench, but there was no sign of their third, ex-Newcastle striker Paul Robinson. The visitors included ex-Consett forward Andy Appleby among their subs, but there was no place for Carl Heiniger, who moved to Sunderland in the deal which had brought Robbo to Belle Vue Park. There were two future Steelmen in the Nissan ranks, centre-back Paul Collins and left-back Anthony Lund.

It was a lovely night for football, but there was little played in a scrappy opening, as both sides struggled for fluency on a bumpy pitch which had dried out rapidly in the last couple of weeks.

Scott put a header straight at Billy Hanson in the Nissan goal while David Pounder hit a half-volley well over, and Carl Piecha put in a good challenge at the other end as Anthony Chapman and Joshue Gillies threatened to carve a way through the home defence.

Michael Coulthard hacked clear a first-time shot from Gillies after the back-four failed to deal with a long punt forward, and Hanson then presented Consett with a half-chance, clearing a back-pass straight to Scott, but, with the keeper off his line, he couldn’t get his long-range effort on target.

Consett midfielder Chris Scott

A strong spell of pressure midway through the half earned Nissan five corners in succession, and from one of them Jack Norton had to be alert to turn Paul Collins’ header round his near post.

On the half-hour Consett had their best chance to break the deadlock when Andrew Cuthbertson picked up a loose ball and fed it to Scott, whose 20-yard drive was tipped onto the bar and over by Hanson.

Pounder, who seemed to have a roving role, came within inches of opening the scoring just before the break. Consett were awarded a free-kick just inside their own half after an aerial challenge by Rowe on Scorer, for which he was fortunate not to be booked. Mark Gaffney’s ball into the Nissan box was knocked down by Emson, and Pounder’s dipping snapshot dipped inches past the left-hand post.

Seven minutes into the second half Gary Ormston should perhaps have done better when he placed his header from eight yards out from Gaffney’s cross too close to the keeper, and at a comfortable height for him to parry away.

Gary Ormston had a great chance to break the deadlock.

Having defended well, Nissan began to come more into the game as an attacking force, and almost made Consett pay when they had the ball in the net on 57 minutes, but the whistle had already gone for offside.

Emson was largely fighting a lone battle up front, with little support from his midfield, and the warning signs were there when Nissan right-back Kallum Griffiths saw a dipping shot from 25 yards just clear the crossbar.

The visitors made a double substitution on 64 minutes, with Appleby and Andrew Stephenson coming on for Gillies and Anthony Lund, and within five minutes the Consett old boy had a chance when his former club’s defence failed to clear a free-kick, but couldn’t keep his shot down.

Consett brought on Richard Logan for the tiring Emson on 71 minutes, but a minute later the visitors were ahead. Anthony Chapman picked up the ball on the right and ran at Coulthard. The defender backed off into the box, giving the winger the chance to hit a bobbling strike past Norton into the bottom left corner.

Lindoe responded by bringing on Jonjo Dickman for Craig Robson, and reverting to three at the back, with Piecha going into midfield, and pushing on with Ormston.

Jonjo Dickman came on as Consett shuffled their pack.

Dickman had a scissor-kick which he couldn’t keep down, then Piecha had a shot charged down and Cuthbertson fired the rebound narrowly wide as Consett pressed for an equaliser.

But when a goal came it was at the other end, and it was down to a catastrophic mistake by young centre-half Scorer, who has impressed greatly in his recent run in the side. He was last man when a moment’s inattention a minute from the end saw him allow a ball to run under his foot on the edge of the centre circle, and he could only watch in horror as Nissan’s burly striker Neil Tarrant lifted his finish over the onrushing keeper.

That was effectively game over for Consett, though Logan still had time to squander a couple of opportunities to reduce the arrears, and the night eneded on a frustrating note when Pounder and Nissan midfield spoiler Rowe were booked for an off-the-ball squabble.

With an inactive weekend due to Whitley Bay’s FA Vase involvement, Consett faced seeing their lead at the top whittled away even further by the time they next take to the field against Seaham Red Star in seven days’ time.

Consett: 1 Jack Norton, 2 Mark Gaffney, 3 Michael Coulthard, 4 Carl Piecha, 5 David Scorer, 6 David Pounder, 7 Chris Scott, 8 Andrew Cuthbertson, 9 Adam Emson (sub Richard Logan 71), 10 Craig Robson (sub Jonjo Dickman 75), 11 Gary Ormston. Subs not used: Paul Curry, Ian Davison.

Nissan: 1 Billy Hanson, 2 Kallum Griffiths, 3 Anthony Lund (sub Andrew Stephenson 64), 4 Brian Rowe, 5 Richard Flynn, 6 Paul Collins, 7 Anthony Chapman, 8 Brian Fairhurst, 9 Neil Tarrant, 10 Richard Hodgson, 11 Joshua Gillies (sub Andy Appleby 64). Subs not used: Paul Stephenson, Andrew O’Shea, Lee Owens

As we know, Consett went on to finish second, with Newcastle Benfield snatching the title from their grasp with a goal seven minutes from the end of their final game, after we had already completed our fixtures.

This was to prove our last-ever meeting with Sunderland Nissan, who finished 5th in the league, but folded in the summer after the carmaker pulled the financial plug on the club.