CONSETT progressed to the 2nd Round of the League Cup with a win which, even with 15 minutes to go, few would have predicted. Centre-forward Michael Mackay scored a hat-trick and his new strike partner Luke Sullivan helped himself to four goals as the visitors simply ran out of steam. Manager Kenny Lindoe made two changes to the side which edged past Hebburn Town in the FA Vase three days earlier, Ryan Bell and Matty Slocombe coming in for Scott Martindale and Steven Aiston, who were both injured.
It took just six minutes for Mackay to open the scoring, and there was an element of good fortune about the build-up, if not the goal. Bell played a one-two with Sullivan and lost control of the ball, but it ran kindly for Mackay, who finished adroitly. Two minutes later the No 10 nearly doubled Consett's advantage, but this time Aycliffe keeper David Moffatt dived low to his right to deny him after Sullivan had caused confusion in the defence.
On 10 minutes the visitors had the ball in the net when Daniel Lockwood found space and brought a good save from Chris Elliott in the Consett goal. Although Matthew Coad reacted quickest to slot home the loose ball, the linesman's flag ruled him offside. On 26 minutes the Blues were level, however, as the home side conceded yet another self-inflicted goal. A misplaced pass/clearance by young midfielder Jack Stanger fell perfectly for Danny Earl and he accepted the gift from six yards out.
Consett regained the lead on 31 minutes when Sullivan was manhandled to the ground as Aycliffe defended an Ian Davidson free-kick. The linesman spotted the offence, and Mackay stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way from the penalty spot. Calvin Smith stabbed another chance wide after good build-up play by Sullivan, but three minutes before half-time the visitors were level again with a spot-kick of their own. Three Aycliffe attackers got in behind the Consett defence as they waited for an offside flag which never came, and although Elliott saved Daniel Lambert's initial shot well, he needlessly brought him down as he shepherded him away from goal with the loose ball. Nathan Wilson put away the penalty, to make the half-time score 2-2.
Half time: Consett 2-2 Aycliffe
The first 20 minutes of the second half gave no indication of what was to come, as both teams toiled to create much in the way of chances. Sullivan hit a dipping free-kick over the bar from 30 yards, and put another chance wide at one end, while Earl saw one shot well-saved by Elliott and another on the turn bounce a couple of yards wide after a long throw caused chaos in the home penalty area.
Aycliffe made a double substitution on 65 minutes in an attempt to change the game, but before their two new men had even touched the ball Consett were ahead. David Scorer's presence in the box from a free-kick caused problems, and the ball dropped for Sullivan, who made himself a yard of space and drilled the ball into the bottom corner.
Eleven minutes later it was 4-2, with Sullivan again on target. This time Davidson's free-kick picked him out in the six-yard box, and he stabbed it home from a couple of yards out. On 80 minutes the latest wearer of the No 9 shirt completed a 15-minute hat-trick with one of the calmest finishes you'll see. A long ball out from the back saw Mackay surge down the right, wait for support, and pick out Smith at the back post with a deep cross. The midfielder headed down for Sullivan, who side footed home from eight yards.
With two minutes to go Mackay matched his strike partner by completing his hat-trick with probably the best goal of the night. A tremendous left-to-right pass from Smith put the former Hartlepool striker in, and he lobbed the advancing goalkeeper from 20 yards to make it 6-2. There was still time for Sullivan to grab his fourth of the night, bundling the ball home from point-blank range after Aycliffe keeper David Moffatt fumbled substitute Stephen Callen's deflected left-wing cross.
When the final whistle went the sparse crowd could scarcely believe the final scoreline. It was the first time since November 2007 that two Consett players had scored hat-tricks in the same game, when Mattie Moffat got 4 goals and Steven Johnson 3 in an 8-1 league rout of Bishop Auckland.
Full time: Consett 7-2 Aycliffe