Consett showed their fighting spirit today by coming from behind three times to draw 4-4 in a pulsating clash with Northern League leaders Hebburn Town at Belle View Stadium.
The Steelmen fell behind after just four minutes, when ex-Newcastle player Michael Richardson broke down the left. Consett keeper Kyle Hayes saved his initial shot, but Ben Dibb-Fuller reached the loose ball first to give the visitors the lead.
Consett responded well, and on seven minutes they were level. Luke Carr picked up the ball in midfield and went on a mazy run where he beat three opponents before firing home to make it 1-1.
Five minutes before half-time Consett took the lead as Calvin Smith crossed from the right, Arjun Purewal controlled the ball in the box, and teed up Dale Pearson to fire home his 17th goal in his last 12 games.
Two minutes into the second half Hebburn equalised. Good work by right-back Dan Groves set up Michael Richardson to score from a few yards out.
Three minutes later the league leaders were back in front. Richardson delivered a left-wing corner into the box, and Graeme Armstrong netted from close range to make it 3-2 to Hebburn.
Incredibly, in the 53rd minute Consett made it 3-3, with right-back Jermaine Metz cutting in from the flank and beating the keeper with a near-post effort which seemed to go through his legs.
The game was now anybody’s, and Hebburn must have thought they had won it when Dibb-Fuller’s crossfield ball was rifled into the net on the half-volley by Jack Robson to make it 4-3 to the visitors in the 73rd minute.
It was a stunning goal, good enough to win any game, but Consett weren’t finished yet. On 76 minutes the game swung their way when Hebburn were reduced to 10 men after skipper Louis Storey was shown a second yellow card and then red for crudely halting the lively Carr – not for the first time.
Consett came close to levelling in the 80th minute when Carr played a free-kick short to Jake Orrell, whose well-struck effort was superbly tipped over by Hebburn keeper Andrew Jennison, at full stretch.
The Steelmen threw everything at the league leaders, and eventually their pressure paid off, when substitute Wouter Verstraaten‘s shot from just inside the box, pictured, was deflected past Jennison in the 90th minute, for his first goal for the club.
It made the final score 4-4 – probably a fair result – in a game which was a superb advert for everything the Northern League has to offer, in front of a bumper crowd of 610.
- Full match report and more pictures to follow.