Consett were made to pay for missed chances as they suffered a 1-0 home defeat by second-placed Belper Town at a soggy Belle View Stadium today.
Tony Fawcett’s side started brightly and could have been three goals up inside 20 minutes. Belper keeper Daniel Moore saved twice in as many minutes with his feet from Ben Ramsey.
Then top scorer Wil Shaw hit the post from close range with the goal at his mercy after great work down the right by Jack Gibbons.
Belper had a couple of half chances without really troubling their hosts’ goal, but Consett finished the half in the ascendancy, with Gibbons flicking an effort just over the bar from Ramsey’s cross.
It remained 0-0 at the break, but Moore thwarted Ramsey again on 52 minutes, clawing away his header, then made an even better save from Jake Orrell after the midfielder turned his man inside out.
Belper’s best spell of the game saw their top scorer Kevin Bastos denied twice by Consett’s on-loan Sunderland U23s keeper Kelechi Chibueze with the help of the woodwork.
But the striker grabbed his 18th goal of the season and what turned out to be winner in a goalmouth scramble in the 73rd minute, finishing from point-blank range to make him the league’s top scorer.
Moore, who shaded centre-back Danny South as man of the match, made another save from Dan Capewell’s close-range header, pictured top, as Consett pushed the big centre-back up in search of an equaliser.
Then substitute Kieren Aplin, making his first NPL appearance since last April, hit the bar after latching onto Capewell’s flick-on and cleverly beating his defender, but Belper held on for their fourth win and third clean sheet in a row.
The win strengthened their position at the head of the pack chasing leaders Stockton Town, but a win for Newton Aycliffe, who Consett face in their next home game, saw Consett slip a place to seventh, three points from the play-offs.
- Full match report & stats, video highlight and manager interview to follow.,