A LATE winner from Lewis Teasdale gave Consett a hard-earned win at Billingham Synthonia and a vital three points in their fight against relegation. It was the second time he has been a match winner on Teesside this season - he also scored the all-important goal in the 1-0 win at Billingham Town. Manager Kenny Lindoe made two changes to the side controversially beaten by Ashington four days earlier, Barry Poskett replacing Peter Jameson in goal, and Richie Slaughter coming in for Matty Slocombe, who dropped to the bench.
Consett had suffered two four-goal defeats to Synners already this season 5-1 in the league at Belle Vue and 4-0 at Central Avenue in the FA Vase. And it was with a sense of deja vu that they got off to the worst possible start in this game, falling behind after just nine minutes when Danny Earl's simple pass beat the offside trap and put Shane Henry through to finish past Poskett with ease. Synthonia threatened again in the 21st minute, when Chay Liddle beat his man on the edge of the box and played Henry in again through the left-hand channel, but this time his near-post shot was gathered by Poskett.
Two minutes later Consett had their first real sight of goal when a foul on Gavin Ross gave them a free-kick out on the right touchline. Dale Burrell's delivery was cleared only as far as Teasdale, but he blazed his shot over. The Steelmen continued to press and won a corner when David Abel was forced to head behind. The flag-kick from the left was aimed to the back post for David Scorer, but Danny Wray got there just before him to concede another corner.
More chances came and went for Consett: in the 36th minute a cross from the left came to Gavin Ross, whose shot from close range was saved by home keeper Ryan Hodgson, and then a long-range effort from Anthony Lund went over the bar. The interval arrived with Consett trailing 1-0, and although they had made more chances, in truth it had been a poor first half from both teams.
Half time: Synners 1-0 Consett
The visitors made an enforced change at half-time, bringing on Jack Stanger for skipper Carl Piecha, who had picked up a knock. The teenager slotted into midfield, with Ryan Bell moving to centre-half and Lund to left-back. Consett were on the front foot from the start, and Stanger was quickly involved when his cross was cleared by Abel, but only as far as Michael Mackay, whose effort from the left of goal required Hodgson to make a good save.
Billingham came forward in the 50th minute and a Liddle free-kick from the right was headed back across goal by Henry for Abel, who saw his header on goal blocked and cleared. Then a David Hillerby long ball saw Earl run in on goal, but he was forced wide under pressure. However, he still managed to get in a good cross, which Jamie Blyth headed wide with the goal gaping. Synners were enjoying their best spell of the game, and on the hour mark Earl had a shot blocked, and then a Hillerby free-kick on goal flew over. Left-back Dan McWilliams was next to try his luck, but again his shot went over.
Midway through the half Consett upped their game, creating a succession of chances, which eventually led to the equaliser. Hodgson was called into action again to make a good save from Burrell, and a minute later a long throw by Slaughter was flicked on by Ross to Teasdale, who couldn't keep his half-volley down. Hodgson again came to Synners' rescue when he tipped the ball over from a looping header by Scorer. The resulting corner fell to Michael Pearson, whose shot was half-blocked by McWilliams, with Hodgson completing the job by tipping over again.
Consett's pressure was becoming relentless, and they got their reward in the 75th minute when Mackay played in Ross down the right. His rolling shot was just out of Hodgson's reach and into the bottom right corner. The goal stung Billingham into a response, and Bell had to clear Matty Crossen's whipped-in ball off the line with Poskett struggling. Stanger, looking to add to the debut goal he got against Ashington, wasn't too far away with a stinging drive from 25 yards which flew just wide, and, with time running out, a draw looked the most likely outcome.
The Steelmen weren't content with a point though, and continued to attack. Teasdale was denied a penalty after he appeared to be flattened as he controlled Bell's pass on his chest, and Mackay brought yet another save from Hodgson with a low shot. Just when it looked like they would have to settle for a point, Consett grabbed the winner. Slaughter's cross from the right picked out Teasdale in space, and he headed the ball back across Hodgson into the top right corner for the winner.
Full time: Synners 1-2 Consett