Consett AFC v Stockton Town FC
Anchors frustrated again in another goal fest with the Steelmen
Well who would have thought it, Stockton visited league leaders Consett and shared 7 goals, its truly amazing that this fixture has produced 33 goals on the last 5 occasions they've met.
Michael Dunwell kept the same starting team for this game with Jimmy Ward coming onto the bench in place of Joe Carter as a very healthy crowd gathered on Non League Day, including a large Stockton contingent.
The strong blustery wind was always going to be a factor and it was testament to the talent on show how well they coped on a difficult day.
Stockton had the better of the opening two minutes and Pete Bulmers neat turn and left foot shot dipped just too late as it passed over the bar.
Consett though asserted their authority after that and showed why they're top of the League with lots of pace and quality establishing a two goal lead in a period of a few minutes and the Anchors looking second best at times.
First Risbrough cleared Mackays effort off the line after good work by Juul.
The resulting short corner wasn’t addressed quickly enough by the Anchors defence and was turned in at near post by Purewal to give Consett the lead in the 6th minute.
Max Craggs then flexed his free kick muscles from 25 yards but Consett keeper Hayes grabbed it safely at the second attempt.
Then Ross Wilkinson left unattended at the far post on 11 minutes headed home Danny Craggs free kick from 6 yards out and at that point it looked like it was going to be a long day for Stockton.
However theres a lot of character in the side and they worked their way back into the game gradually. A key player for Consett Juul was replaced by Lawrence after a challenge that seemed to be reckless by him but saw him come off the worst and had to helped from the pitch. Without him Consett weren’t moving the ball as quickly and it was the Anchors who looked more likely to score as full back Garbutt was having lots of possession down the right but couldnt find the final ball and the the conditions weren’t helping with that.
Pete Bulmer had a good shot tipped over by Hayes and the Steelemens stopper was called into action again when he saved from Mikey Roberts with his legs.
Stockton finally got themselves back in the game on 39 minutes when Tom Coulthard finished well with his left foot after a lovely chipped pass from Mulligan who received the ball from Craggs after a short corner move that looked like it had gone wrong initially.
The Anchors almost levelled it on the stroke of half time when Garbutt cut the ball back from the byeline and Woodhouse couldn't connect with the cross, Pete Bulmer tried to convert but as the ball bounced up he could only help it over bar from close range.
The Second half, similarly to the first, got off to a poor start for the Anchors and shortly after Sweet dragged a shot wide when well placed they found themselves 3-1 down just 4 minutes in. Sub Lawrence was left unmarked in midfield and he drifted into the box to make the extra man and fed Mackay in space who finished easily.
Stockton again clawed their way back into the game and became the dominant side for a period during the middle of the half, culminating in a good sweeping move left to right from Risbrough to Mulligan to Garbutt who's perfect cross was met by Max Craggs at the far post to head home for his first goal of the season on 60 minutes.
The game was pretty open now and as Stockton pressed Risbrough caused all sorts of problems for Consett down the left, the introduction of Chris Stockton for Coleman helped with that and after good link up play and sheer pace he produced three great balls which flew across the Steelmens box but disappointingly there wasn't a yellow shirt around to get on the end of them.
The Steelmen had their opportunities too, Michael Arthur getting dragged out of his box to deal with a break and blocking a shot from Mackay, fortunately the ref decided not with his hands. Full back Holden got on the end of another fast move but his shot flashed across the goal with Arthur making a vital touch.
Despite their possession and good approach play the Anchors couldn't find the equaliser they probably deserved and it was Consett who got the vital next goal when the Anchors defence again outnumbered conceded a fourth as Sweet headed home Mackays cross.
Shabs Mohamed replaced Nathan Mulligan and he reacted quickest to a scramble on the edge of the box to roll it to Woodhouse who's crisp shot brought another good save from Hayes and the Anchors showing their never beaten attitude grabbed another goal as Fred Woodhouse left in space advanced and shot from 30 yards which Hayes couldn't deal with and the goal set up a furious final few minutes but Stockton couldn't find a way through Consetts back line and the now seemingly obligatory 4-3 scoreline between these sides was posted.
Another entertaining 'value for money' match played in a great spirit. Huge credit to both teams for the standard on show in very trying conditions but a disappointing return for the Anchors of zero points after scoring 6 goals in the 2 recent games against the League leaders. The Anchors now face a ten day hiatus without a game before the small task of taking on National League North top 4 side Spennymoor Town in the Durham Cup.