Peter Jameson goes in where the boots are flying
THREE league defeats on the bounce became four for Consett as they were given a pasting by Darlington 1883 at Bishop Auckland's Heritage Park. With eight players missing - including an entire back four - manager Kenny Lindoe named the same starting XI which had been beaten at West Auckland in midweek.
And the Steelmen couldn't have made a worse start, conceding a goal after just 15 seconds. The ball was played up to centre-forward Amar Purewal, who had proved such a handful at Belle Vue two weeks earlier, it was allowed to bounce, and he despatched a low shot into the corner.
Consett responded with Harrison Davies shot from a Lewis Teasdale lay-off, but it lacked power, and former Consett keeper Jack Norton's diving save was as much for the multitude of cameras present as anything else.
On 10 minutes, a crossfield ball by Luke Sullivan found Ian Davidson on the left, and he got to the byline, where he cut it back to Michael Mackay. Instead of shooting first time, the No 10 delayed his strike, which allowed Darlington debutant Joe Tait to get in a block.
David Dowson nips in to score Darlo's second
On 17 minutes Sullivan was Consett saviour at the other end, when, after a deep corner eluded everyone in the middle, Tait thumped a shot goalwards from beyond the back post, but 'Sully' kicked it off the line.
The home side were looking dangerous every time they went forward, but it wasn't all Darlington. On 26 minutes Consett had a great chance when Mackay pinched the ball off a defender just outside the area and set up his strike partner Teasdale, but Lewey blazed the chance over the bar.
It was to prove a costly miss, because on 32 minutes the Quakers doubled their advantage. Chris Emms played a fine through pass for David Dowson, and he beat the exposed Peter Jameson to it to poke the ball home from the edge of the box.
Two minutes later the game was effectively over as a contest when former Durham City striker Dowson scored again from close range. Again Consett had chances to clear before some clever footwork by Adam Nichols in the box set up the No 9 to slam the ball home.
Consett almost got a goal back before half-time when David Scorer rose highest to Davies's right-wing corner, but his header was deflected behind for a flag kick. It was a shell-shocked Consett who trooped off at half-time, and with their options on the bench limited to four 18-year-old substitutes and a goalkeeper yet to make his debut, there seemed little they could do to change the course of the game.
Half time: Darlo 3-0 Consett
Dowson hammers in the third
Five minutes after the restart it was 4-0 when Consett lost the ball and Darlington attacked with a man over. Nichols' cross found Emms, who finished with a sublime chip.
Luckily for Consett, Darlo visibly eased off at that point, and the next half an hour was notably mainly for the rash of substitutions by either side.
Ian Davidson did test Norton with a free-kick round the wall, but it was a comfortable enough save for the keeper, and it was Darlington who looked more likely to score, with the ever-dangerous Nichols flashing a shot just wide.
Substitute Stephen Callen did force Norton to make a decent save with a cross-shot which almost crept into the top corner, but the final goal of the game, when it came eight minutes from time, again ended up in Consett's net.
Nichols was the provider, putting an inch-perfect 40-yard crossfield pass into the path of sub Shaun Reay, who waltzed round Jameson and finished into the empty net.
Lewis Teasdale blazes a good chance over
With a five-goal advantage, the Quakers took their foot right off the pedal, and allowed Consett a couple of late chances.
Calvin Smith hit a 25-yarder which Norton was forced to turn away for a corner, and sub Matty Slocombe's hit an effort wide from 12 yards, but the Steelmen didn't even do enough to earn a consolation goal, and in truth they couldn't really complain at the nature of the defeat, which was Darlington's biggest win of the season.
All in all a day to forget for the Steelmen then, although the crowd of 1,287 was the biggest to watch Consett since we played Mansfield Town in the FA Cup in 1996.
Full time: Darlo 5-0 Consett