The Anchors lost their 100% league record today and were a little fortunate to remain unbeaten as a last minute equaliser earned them a point that looked unlikely during a second half where Consett carved out several decent chances. Another example of their never say die attitude and fighting spirit however.
Nathan Mulligan was ill so Robinson was restored to the starting line up in the only change to the team that played on Wednesday.
Ross Coombes is a Consett lad but he showed no neighbourly love towards them today and made the first of several good saves by getting down to push away Luke Carr’s effort from 25 yards in the second minute as the game set off at a cracking pace.
The Anchors enjoyed a good spell next as they carved out a few opportunities, Kev Hayes cut inside and his shot was on target but deflected for a corner, that was cleared and Risbrough picked up the loose ball and sent in a good long raking cross ball which was just too long as Nicholson tried to get sufficient contact on his diving header and it ran wide
It was Risbrough in the action again shortly after when he was set free down the left and his shot was saved by Kyle Hayes with his feet. Stockton kept up the pressure and Hayes was involved again when he fired in a cross, Wilkinson inadvertently flicking the ball narrowly past the post with his keeper stranded.
But Consett were also threatening, passing the ball about well and breaking quickly. Coombes was in the action again saving at the feet of Pearson who got another opportunity on 21 minutes and made no mistake with that one. Consett stole the ball in midfield and broke quickly Carr set PEARSON away down the left channel and he fired a low left foot shot into the far corner past giving Coombes no chance 0-1.
Stockton were rocked by this and had an uncertain period and it all got a little messy. Consett were controlling the ball and the Anchors had to battle hard to stem the flow.
It was the irrepressible Jamie OWENS who dragged the Anchors back into the game, picking the ball up in what looked a safe position for Consett he tricked his way across the edge of the 18 yard line and worked a shooting position and he fired it home across Hayes to level it up.
Consett came close to retaking the lead when they forced a couple of corners right on half time and Calvin Smiths looping header was touched by Max Craggs onto the top of the bar and away. HT 1-1
The first action in the second half was from the Anchors as they came out of the blocks quickly and Jordan Robinsons volley crashed back off the bar after a corner was flicked on by Coulthard. Stockton failed to take advantage of their early possession and Consett were soon back in the game, the ever dangerous Pearson getting in again down the left channel but he stumbled as he shot and Coombes collected easily. Just two minutes later Luke Carr gave a warning as he ran unopposed and shot just wide.
It was that man Luke CARR who was running the show for Consett now picking up a ball from the tricky Alshabeeb to fire home a left foot shot from he edge of the box to put the Steelmen into a deserved lead on 70 minutes.
The Anchors were pressing hard but with everyone behind the ball Consett were not for being broken down and were dangerous on the break with Pearson running into the spaces, his effort in the 82nd minute was well saved again by Coombes but the ball fell back to him and he squared for Alshabeeb who seemingly had an easy task with an open goal, but he skied it over the bar under pressure from Nicholson’s last gasp challenge, a huge let off and when Holden pulled his shot wide when in a good position things looked bleak for the Anchors. But this Stockton team are made of stern stuff and they continued to probe with almost everyone now in the Steelmens half, Dan McWilliams picked up a ball and went by two men and crossed deep to the far post where Mikey ROBERTS came flying in and got up above everyone to crash a header into the top corner to snatch a point for the Anchors in the last minute.
They even had a chance to win it in injury time as after his own corner was cleared back to him Max Craggs curled in a great teasing ball and Ross Wilkinson just nicked it off Nicholson as he came in at the far post. FT 2-2
Fabulous game of football to watch for everyone with lots of quality on show, the Anchors worked very hard again but this was their 4th consecutive tough game and they didn’t seem to have the extra little spark to get them back in the game in the last twenty minutes until Roberts appeared at the far post. Consett pretty much controlled the second half with the impressive Carr pulling the strings for them as they counter attacked and created several openings for Pearson especially. But the character of the Stockton side came through and they found a way to get a positive result. Tom Portas got the sponsors man of the match but Ross Coombe in goal made several vital stops and played a massive part in the result. Long trip to Ryton in the cup on Wednesday and then another hard game as we visit high flying Guisborough next Saturday.
Stockton Town: Coombe, King, McWilliams, Portas, Nicholson(C), Coulthard, Hayes (Bulmer 75′), Robinson, Craggs, Owens (M Roberts 81′), Risbrough (Jackson 85′).
Subs: Woodhouse, Ward.
Goals: Owens 39′ Roberts 90′
Consett: Hayes, Metz, Holden, Stafford, Purewal(c), Wilkinson, Smith, Slocombe, Pearson, Carr, Alshabeeb.
Subs : Jakab, Hawkins, Orrell, Ardelean, Allen.
Words – Lee Nicholson
Photos – Harry Cook/Ray Sharpe
Highlights – James Cartwright