Michael Mackay opens the scoring
CONSETT finally won at one of their longest-standing bogey grounds when they returned from the long trek to Marske United with three points for the very first time. It was a totally dominant performance by the Steelmen which wasn't really reflected by the 2-1 scoreline.
Manager Kenny Lindoe made one change from the side which had beaten Newton Aycliffe in the League Cup, with 19-year-old Luke Richardson making his debut at centre-back in place of the holidaying Ryan Bell.
The Steelmen started brightly, and Michael Mackay wasn't too far away with a free-kick from 20 yards after just three minutes. His low effort round the wall had keeper Scott Allison scrambling across his goal, but went just wide.
Four minutes later Mackay had another chance when good link-up play with strike partner Luke Sullivan saw him chip a yard wide of the far post. Only two more minutes had elapsed when the No 10 had a third chance, this time bringing a good diving save from Allison, going to his right.
Marske enjoyed their first opening when Richardson's mistake let in James Magowan, but the youngster's blushes were spared by keeper Chris Elliott, who saved at the expense of a corner.
Magowan then scuffed a shot harmlessly at the Consett custodian, and Karl Charlton shot high and wide as the home side enjoyed a good spell.
Michael Pearson finds the top corner for Consett's second
On 17 minutes Consett got their reward for their positive approach when, after some neat interplay with Sullivan, top scorer Mackay shot home from the edge of the area with an unerring finish.
Sullivan's cross then set up Calvin Smith, who tried to chip the keeper, but didn't get enough height on his shot. Smith then hit a rising drive over the bar, before attempting to reprise his audacious halfway goal against Alnwick, but not quite finding his range.
Three minutes before the interval Consett's pressure finally paid off when right-back Michael Pearson swept home a fine strike from 12 yards out from Mackay's pass from Craig Robson's short corner. It was the former Hartlepool defender's first goal for the Steelmen, and they fully deserved their 2-0 half-time lead.
Half time: Consett 0-2 Marske
Despite being practically camped in the Marske half for most of the second half, Consett couldn't add to their tally, but they certainly had plenty of chances to put the game to bed.
Having seen his full-back partner get on the scoresheet, Ian Davidson fancied his chances, and he let fly from the edge of the box after swapping passes with Sullivan, but watched his mishit effort dribble wide.
Luke Richardson crosses
Midfield Jack Stanger was next to have a go, but his well-struck 20-yarder was deflected for a corner by the back of Marske skipper Tommy Marron. Smith's through ball then put Mackay in on goal, and although his effort beat the keeper, the angle was too acute, and it hit the side netting.
Sullivan couldn't direct a header from a Pearson cross on target, the No 9 then had a shot on the turn blocked after combining well with Mackay, and Smith fired the follow-up a yard wide.
Midway through the half Marske made a double substitution in a bid to claw their way back into the game, but the chances continued to go the visitors' way. Mackay curled an effort just wide after playing a one-two with Stanger, and Sullivan shot straight at the keeper after a marauding run down the left by Davidson.
With Consett being so prolifigate in front of goal, there was always the danger that Marske would somehow find a goal to gain a foothold back into the game, and that's exactly what happened.
Elliott had already saved a stooping header from midfielder Chris McGill and seen centre-forward David Onions shoot narrowly wide of the far post when McGill's header looped over him with nine minutes left to give Marske hope.
Onions then forced a good save from Elliott after getting the better of David Scorer for just about the only time all afternoon, and the keeper was glad to see a Curtis Collantine right-wing cross hit the side netting after he misjudged it.
Luke Sullivan's path is blocked
Consett finished on top, however, and should have sealed the win with four minutes to go when Sullivan stole possession outside the box, and homed in on goal, only to give Mackay a horrible pass, when a simple ball along the ground would surely have ended up with the net rippling.
Mackay then returned the compliment with a better pass, but Sullivan skewed his shot wide, and the last chance of the game fell to the No 10 in injury time, only for his goalbound effort to be deflected wide.
After an unnecessarily nervy last few minutes, Consett eventually ran down the clock to secure what should have been a comprehensive win.
Full time: Consett 1-2 Marske