Belle View, Northern League Division 1, 13/10/20
Entrance – £5 and £2
Attendance – 150
Diet Coke and Dairy Milk– On the house
Pint – Too short notice to manage one pre-game
Consett Association Football Club
Founded – 1899
Nickname – The Steelmen
Honours – Northern League Division Two – 1988–89, 2005–06. Durham Challenge Cup – 1947–48, 1949–50, 1958–59, 1960–61, 1968–69, 2006–07, 2017–18
Random Fact – The club were originally formed as Consett Celtic but dropped the Celtic in 1922
County Durham again, I need to look into a holiday home as its fastly becoming my second home. Three of four so far have been down there and I have had a call off too. I didnt plan to be there tonight, I was actually supposed to be at Morpeth v Warrington which was called off due to corona. Then I opted for Hebburn Town v Stockton Town as they are on my list and it was a top of the table clash. The rain put that match to the sword. But with a hotel booked and a son desperate for fitba I decided to carry on travelling despite knowing the game was off. The thought was “I really hope Durham v Easington Colliery or Sunderland Ryhope v West Auckland are on”. Then some unknown to me conversations on Twitter were afoot and after dialogue with Consett we were invited there to take up returned tickets(they had met corona capacity). Being only thirty mins away I couldn’t help think the fitba gods were on my side on this one. Which turned out to be entirely correct.
A very good decision to take up the offer. Yes the weather was absolutley miserable but if we had went to Whitley Bay or Sunderland Ryhope(only other games on) it would have been the same. However, in terms of fitba on show, very good stuff to watch from the Steelmen. I am more than glad this was a possibility today. But more importantly we got to visit what is a bloody excellent club with excellent people.
The game started as it was to continue for the full ninety minutes. Consett being by far the better team and pretty much parting the Bishop Auckland defence with pass after pass between centre half and full back. With the pace in the team to get in behind getting balls into the box every time looked simple . A few chances came and went and it was only a matter of time before the home side scored, which they did on ten minutes when after some trickery on the right from Metz, Dale Pearson was on hand to tap in. One should have been two when Jake Orrel was in space but pulled his shot wide. He would surely be dissapointed. More chances came and inevitably the second also came when Orrel did not fluff his lines this time after having the ball laid on a plate with Lawson doing all the hard work in the build up. Shortly after the second Consett blotted their copy book. This came when a suicidal underhit back pass across the box was not dealt with. Bishop Aucklands best player (in my eyes) Pilatos was in the right place and finished from eighteen yards into an empty net giving the visitors a lifeline. A crazy goal to give away in all honesty.
After being treated so well already by the club, when I went for the half time drinks I was greeted by the lady and two gentlemen in the kiosk with more Northern League friendliness . The Dons hat started the conversation “have you travelled all that way”. After explaining the whole scenario, the blog and my new found love of the Northern League we got our goodies for free and a Consett face mask chucked in to the mix, which will go in my “random items acquired at the Fitba tin”. A great gesture again and hammers home the values of these clubs and the people involved in them. The way we were treated all night goes a long way. You would never get that feeling at Old Trafford or Anfield or any other business is king clubs.
As we got to Belle View late on I didnt really take in the set up untill half time. I thought there were striking similarities to local to me boys, Formartine United, North Lodge. With the off centre stand which is identical and the clubhouse set up its aesthetically similar. Even their badges have similarities too. A tidy modern ground for the Steelmen, who won’t have many postponements with their 4g pitch.
Consett came out for the second half and proceeded to dominate as they did in the first half and the two goal lead was restored in bizarre circumstances. Bishop Auckland were lucky not to put the ball in their own net not once but twice in the opening minutes, with both only a fag papers width away. Then it happened, they did put it in their own net. To make it 3-1 to the Steelmen. Three became four when substitute Cornish scored with his first touch after a few seconds of coming on. His strike was set up by my MOM Ali Alshabeeb who is a handful and a defenders nightmare. Top player. That man Cornish finished things off after a piece of his own trickery where he danced between two defenders to bend one into the keepers bottom left hand corner. A very good night’s work from a very decent team.
Bishop Auckland had a bad night but going by their league position they have had a few already. Not much brought to this game by them apart from a shout which was completely new to me. Player receives ball and is told to “enjoy the ball”. I may be wrong but the guy was in space, so did it mean “time”. I have never heard that before in all my days and going by the reaction of all around us, neither had anybody. Anyway this could be a long season for the Two Blues.
It’s not just the team that are decent. The club need to be commended (along with @footyindurham) for stepping up to help us two fitba mad Scottish eejits on the quest for a game. I can’t even begin to say how much it means to me. The Consett scarf will hang in my fitba room with pride. I will also always hold the club in the highest regard. Another part of my fantastic Northern League odyssey. Just to be welcomed in the way we were is worth the soaking in such crappy conditions.
Consett AFC. I salute you
Me 185, Wee Man 54