Consett’s winning run against Northern League opponents came to an end today when they lost 2-0 at home to West Auckland Town in their latest pre-season friendly.
The visitors, who will be one of the favourites for promotion this season, scored a goal in each half in a full-blooded Belle View encounter in front of 204 spectators.
Skipper Matty Slocombe in particular seemed to relish the midfield battle, exchanging some crunching challenges.
The Steelmen named just four of the starting XI from the game v Whitley Bay on Thursday night. One of them was Adam Mitchell, who was facing his old club, while the visitors’ line-up included Scott Heslop, who swapped Consett for West in the summer.
Consett found themselves behind after just four minutes, when West left-back Andre Bennett played in Cieran Jackson, who fired across keeper Mark Foden into the far corner.
It was half an hour before Consett had a chance of note, when Cyril Giraud turned his marker inside out and saw his shot blocked, and Karl Byrne fired the rebound wide after cleverly teeing himself up.
Danny Craggs had a chance to level with one of his trademark free-kicks in the 34th minute, but his effort from 22 yards was just too high.
A minute before half-time Leon Scott’s first-time shot from a right-wing cross hit the post, and West, who’d had the better of the play, went into the break 1-0 to the good.
Eight minutes into the second half they doubled their lead in slightly fortuitous circumstances. Corey Nicholson’s ball in from the right found Charlie Hindson, and Foden saved his initial effort well, but the ball bounced back off the forward and fell kindly for him to make it 2-0 with a tap-in.
On 64 minutes Consett could count themselves unlucky not to reduce the arrears when Byrne collected a crossfield ball, cut inside and curled a shot past West keeper Jordan Harkess, but saw it clip the base of the post and spin out, pictured top.
On 84 minutes the home side were again denied by the woodwork, when Adam Mitchell’s free-kick hit the post, struck the diving Harkess on the back, and was inching towards the goal when the keeper recovered in time to stop it crossing the line.
After a disappointing first half the Steelmen were much improved after the break, and could perhaps count themselves unlucky not to have got a draw against a very strong West team who kick off their league season next week.
- Full match report and more pictures HERE.