Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Heartbreak for Town as late Slocombe goal ends Vase dreams


An injury time goal from Consett substitute Matty Slocombe brought Town's FA Vase dreams to a heartbreaking end at Belle Vue on Tuesday night.

After a second half performance as good as anything they have produced all season, Town were caught out by a sucker-punch in the fifth minute of stoppage time at the end of a pulsating cup tie.

"Yes, we are disappointed to lose so late, but we can take the positives," said manager Mark Fanning.

"Last year we were 4-0 down inside half an hour in the League Cup here, so we were determined to keep ourselves in the game this time, and we did that.

"At half time we realised we had nothing to fear so we went for it a bit more. It could have gone either way in the end but we gave as good as we got," he said.

After heavy rain overnight and most of the morning, the match was in doubt until a 4pm pitch inspection deemed it playable, but the surface remained heavy.

The Town starting XI showed four changes from the original tie three days earlier. James Briggs returned in goal, while Steve Banks was preferred to Stuart Dunn at left back, Marcus Laing replaced Steve Butterworth in midfield, and Wayne Gredziak was back in place of James Bowman.

Town almost got the perfect start when Craig Winter met a Gav Parkin corner at the near post, but Consett goalkeeper Chris Elliott produced a marvellous save down to his left and Gredziak's follow up was blocked.

But that was a rare foray forward from Town in a first half largely dominated by the hosts. Mickey Mackay, Steven Aiston and Anthony Lund all tried their luck from distance, while Ian Smurthwaite did well to spectacularly clear an effort from Aiston off his own goalline.

The goal Consett had been threatening, however, finally arrived in the 24th minute, just as it had done on Saturday. Callum Smith created the opportunity with a ball in from the right and Aiston applied the coup de grace from 6 yards.

Town responded well to going behind and they were close to an equaliser twice in the final ten minutes of the half. Adam Emson was sent clear down the right by a lovely ball from Gredziak, but he dragged his shot wide of the far post, while Carl Chillingsworth then saw a powerful drive from 25 yards deflected behind for a corner.

After a reserved first half display, Town really came to life after the restart. Gredziak fizzed an effort just wide of the right-hand upright within a minute of the resumption, while the former Durham City man then seemed to be caught in two minds after a lovely ball from Emson six minutes later. With just Elliott to beat, Gredziak elected to square the ball to Chillingsworth when a shot may have been the better option, and the chance was gone.

It was not all out-way traffic, however, as only a smart save from Biggs denied the lively Lund soon after.

But Town were deservedly level just past the hour-mark. A free kick from Parkin was not cleared by the Consett defence and Smurthwaite hit a stunning volley from 25 yards that gave Elliott no chance - reminiscent of his strike at Brandon last season.

Parity, however, lasted barely two minutes. A cross from Lund struck Banks on the arm from point-blank range and, after some initial hesitation, referee Paul Brown pointed to the spot. It did seem a very harsh decision.

But after the Town protests had died down, former Hartlepool striker Mackay stepped up and confidently dispatched the kick past Briggs.

That led to a thrilling final twenty minutes as the game really opened up. Grant Hickman, who had been the Town goalscoring hero on Saturday, thought he had repeated the trick with a stunning strike from 10 yards, but Elliott produced an even better save to tip it over the top.

Town then thought they should have had a penalty of their own fifteen minutes from time when Chillingsworth appeared to be pushed in the back by Carl Piecha, but Brown was unimpressed.

"I didn't think it was a penalty if I'm honest," said a candid Chillingsworth afterwards. "The officials got that one right to be fair."

Fanning's side really stepped up the pressure after that and Hickman headed narrowly wide before Emson, usually so deadly in such positions, fired inches wide of the far post after a lovely ball from Gredziak.

But Town looked to have rescued themselves in the final minute of normal time when Winter rose to head home another Parkin corner and send the travelling fans into ecstasy.

Despite so little time remaining, neither side was content to just hang on for extra time. Chillingsworth was denied by the outstanding Elliott again as Town sensed a dramatic winner, but it was the hosts who won it in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

Substitute Ryan King was initially denied by Briggs but the loose ball fell to fellow-replacement Slocombe who smashed it back past the beleaguered Town goalkeeper and into the net to leave Fanning frustrated.

"We didn't get what we deserved, but that's football," he said. "I'm not sure where the five minutes of stoppages has come from but we didn't really want another period of extra time after Saturday, which was why we pushed on to try and win it.

"It's more important we pick up three points on Saturday anyway as the league has always been our priority."

Town will look to do just that when Chester-le-Street are the visitors on 'Kids 4 Free' day. All under 12's will be admitted free with a full paying adult.

CONSETT - Elliott, Pearson, Davison, Cuthbertson, Scorer, Piecha, Smith, Robson, Aiston, Mackay, Lund. Subs - King, Jameson, Thompson, Slocombe, Martindale.

TOWN - Briggs, Shoulder, Banks, Hickman, Winter, Parkin, Smurthwaite, Laing, Emson, Chillingsworth, Gredziak. Subs - Craggs, Butterworth, Bowman, Colman, Dunn.



  1. Where was Col?.....

  2. i am absolutley fuming that i was on the bench last night coming 50 miles to sit on the bench on such a cold night was not nice however personally i feel i changed the game when i came on and will be kicking off with some people if i am on bench again on saturday where we get back to our bread and butter of getting promoted onwards and upwards much love ste butts x

  3. Thought Chilly was excellent last night. Is it true craggsey bottled it with a bruised leg? tut tut

  4. Col was working but he wasn't going to be in the squad.

  5. Butts, you are on the bench because you need a kick up the bum, you may have scored a few which would be fine for a forward, however, a midfielder as to do more than that and you have not. Take the medicine, consider yourself and come back fighting. You are only a snow flake in a snow storm and once you understand than you will be a better man for it.

  6. Weldone Butts mate you will play saturday, it worked for Gredz voicing himself off on here.

  7. Always behind chasing the game, lots of talk of you comming up with lots of money but, you will have to ship out most of that team, they may get you up but will not keep you up, takes more than a couple of games against us to start saying we are a first div outfit. Emmo's playing in the little league, big fish in your little duck pond down there. Hope you get up 6 points for us already next season.

  8. My advice would be to worry more about your own team than us. You only managed to beat us after 310 minutes, plus the 5 minutes of mystery stoppages, and we are, according to you, not good enough to stay in Divison One should be be promoted. Without your goalkeeper and ex-pro striker, plus a very, very soft penalty, we would have won 6-1.
    You talk of 6 points next season but I fear we may pass each other on the way - us going up and you coming down. We have certainly played better sides in Division Two this season so I doubt you'd even come straight back up.
    Anyway, good luck with your relegation battle and hopefully we will meet again one day soon. 2016 perhaps??

  9. 310 mins ? Is that yorkshire time! You sound like fergie. Or is it Cheeko Time. You lot carn't stop yourselves going on about the Officials your so badly done to. Better to have love and lost than to have not loved at all, your not up yet! We are looking down on you.

  10. Yeah from the dizzy heights of 19th place. Don't get a nose bleed or owt eh.

    I meant 210 minutes obviously, my fingers are too fat and the keys are too close together. Either way there is no disgusing the fact you were fortunate to beat us the other night, but that's life. Good luck against Shildon or South Shields in the next round.

    But you're right, we are not up yet and we will take each game as it comes. But if we can run such a good side as yourselves so close we must have half a chance eh??

  11. You have a great chance to get up, I would call it dead cert or even a banker, good reports but you need a new hat you look a bit like the bad gay guy who was booted off Dancing on Ice. Forget his name somebody will know it.

  12. Whats happened to the Retro Defender, Mr D Shoulder?

  13. He played the other night you baboon! Well he was on the team sheet.

  14. Just re-read back my post from the other morning. One too many drinks i'm afraid the night before. And as we're all aware you don't tend to express yourself in the best way when alcohol is involved. I respect the gaffer's decision to have me on the bench (this time) and I am aware of the bigger picture. Time to get my head down and graft because I know I can be capable of being that snowflake that glistens and shines under the moon of the night. PS I am aware that a midfielder has to do more than contribute goals (but it helps)! Love Ste Butts x

  15. Adam Emson has far too much time on his hands...note to everybody - Anonymous = Emmo (stitchin ell)

  16. Pig Racing night £7.00 outrageous, then you will have several blind cards in your face and a meaningless raffle prize to take a chance on. Get the team to pack some bags at one of the food store in town, put a bit back in rather than always rely on the fans and locals.

    1. Too bloody right, have them giving the elderly bed baths, my lawn needs trimming, scorton bridge needs repairing. These part time footballers don't know they re born!!! I heard Chilli is now driving an 04 reg faux hall corsa. Flash bastard!

  17. Yeah and he moves like one

  18. Can you say that word Flash B......?

  19. slocombe tortured yous