CONSETT bounced back from their dismal defeat at Jarrow Roofing to take the prized scalp of title contenders Spennymoor - the fourth point they have taken off the back-to-back champions this season. Manager Kenny Lindoe made two changes to the side beaten at Boldon, Peter Jameson replacing Barry Poskett in goal, and Richie Slaughter coming in for Matty Slocombe in central midfield. There was a familiar face on the bench, in the shape of veteran defender John Ewart, who recently re-signed to give the young squad some experience. Moors had a host of riches at their disposal, and could afford to leave their top scorer Sonny Andrews on the bench, along with Adam Johnston and Craig Ruddy.
Moors showed first, and could have been a goal up in the first minute. Leon Ryan thumped a powerful header goalwards from a right-wing corner, and Michael Pearson cleared it off the line with the help of the crossbar. Eight minutes later the big centre-half had another chance when Jameson came for a corner and missed it, but he steered his header wide.
Consett gradually played their way into the game, and when an Anthony Lund free-kick was only half-cleared, Slaughter's 25-yarder whizzed past the post. Michael Mackay and Lewis Teasdale then combined well to give the Steelmen's top scorer a chance, but Ryan got in a vital block. On 26 minutes Consett had reason to be grateful to Jameson when he stood up well to save from Gavin Cogdon in a one-on-one after Steven Richardson's through ball sprang the offside trap.
Spenny keeper Robert Dean was called into action for the first time on the half-hour when Mackay and Gavin Ross linked well to give Teasdale a chance, and the visiting No 1 touched his shot round the post. The game was going from end to end, and Consett had a huge let-off on 34 minutes, when a ball in from the right found Richardson six yards out. Luckily for the Steelmen's defence, who had switched off, he lashed his first-time effort over the bar. The visitors finished the half strongly, with Keith Graydon shootingnarrowly wide from 25 yards after surging forward from midfield, then Cogdon ballooning another chance over the bar.
Half time: Consett 0-0 Spennymoor
It was 0-0 at half-time, but the champions almost had their noses in front four minutes into the second half, when a Graydon free-kick appeared to deceive Jameson, and came back off the post.
Mackay, who was allowing the Spennymoor centre-backs no time to settle on the ball, had a shot blocked by a defender, and then had a good appeal for a foul turned down after he appeared to be impeded by the goalkeeper as he came out of his box to head clear.
Chances were at a premium, and it increasingly looked like the first goal of the game would prove to be the winner. When it came on 78 minutes it was Consett who got it. An excellent Lund cross in from the left caused all sorts of problems for the Moors' defence, and Michael Laws cleared over his own crossbar. From the resulting corner, Burrell drove into the box and tried a shot, which hit one of his own players. Lund was first to the loose ball, and swept it home, to the delight of the home support. The goal was nothing less than Consett deserved, as they had defended resolutely, and been controlled in possession without creating a lot of clear-cut chances.
With the clock ticking down, there was a scare for Consett as Ryan Bell hacked a cross from Anthony Peacock over his own bar, with Ruddy lurking. He had been thrown on midway through the half as part of a double substitution with Andrews, and after the Consett goal Moors went for broke by introducing Johnston as well. But it was the home side who came closest to adding to the score. Bell's quick throw-in on the left found Mackay, who cut inside and hit a rising effort which only cleared the crossbar by a couple of feet.
Spennymoor threw everything at Consett in the closing stages in an effort to salvage a point. Richardson was stretching to reach a cross, and could only poke an effort wide, Laws had a shot deflected wide by his own player, only for the referee to award a corner, and Johnston had two volleys, hitting one straight at Jameson, and another over the bar. Yes, Consett were hanging on for the last 10 minutes, but it was a resilient performance which showed just what they are capable of when every player puts in a shift.
Full time: Consett 1-0 Spennymoor