Consett 2-0 Deal Town - I think everyone here today saw that we’ve come and given our all, says proud Deal Town coach Steve King

Saturday 08th February 2020
Consett 2 – 0 Deal Town
Location Belle View Stadium, Delves Lane, Consett, County Durham DH8 7BF
Kickoff 08/02/2020 15:00

The Buildbase FA Vase Fifth Round
Saturday 8 February 2020
Stephen McCartney reports from Belle View Stadium

DEAL TOWN coach Steve King says he was feeling proud of his players’  efforts after their FA Vase run came to an end after losing to much-fancied side Consett, who reached the Quarter-Finals for the first time in their history.

Terry Mitchell’s side booked their place in to the Quarter-Finals, courtesy of two goals inside the final 14 minutes, through the impressive Luke Carr and centre-half Arjun Purewal, who have now scored 14 and six goals respectively this season.

Consett will be joined in the Quarter-Finals by Corinthian, who are the only Kent side left in the competition, after Michael Golding’s side beat Sporting Khalsa 3-0 at Gay Dawn Farm today.

This Fifth Round tie attracted a crowd of 866 to Belle View Stadium, which has a 3G playing surface and the windy made conditions difficult for both sides.

Consett lost their impressive 22-match unbeaten run when they suffered a 3-0 defeat at Newton Aycliffe last weekend, the only side in the Northern League to complete the double over them this season.

Consett went into this game sitting in fourth-place in the Ebac Northern League table with 49 points from 26 games.

Consett have beaten Winterton Rangers (5-2); Irlam (5-2); Wythenshawe Town (1-1 and 1-0) and Lutterworth Town (3-1) to reach this stage of the competition.

Deal Town went into their biggest game of the season sitting in tenth-place in the Sea Pioneer Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table with 26 points from 20 games.

Derek Hares’ side have beaten Westside (4-3); Oxhey Jets (4-1); Southall (2-0); Binfield (7-6 on penalties after the replay finished 3-3 after extra time after a 1-1 extra-time draw at The Charles Sports Ground).

“Obviously delighted to lose the game but I’m proud of the boys efforts,” said King.

“We’ve just walked off there and got applauded by all of the home fans.  I think everyone here today saw that we’ve come and given our all.

“We knew Consett are a good side, their second favourites in The FA Vase, scored 71 goals this season.

“I think for us to still be 0-0 in the 75th minute, that was our game plan. We knew that we had to score on the break or from a set-piece, a long-throw or something like that.

“If you offered me this morning to be 0-0 with 15 minutes left I would’ve taken it.

“We’re disappointed. We’ve given a second goal away chasing the game but once you’ve given the first one away you’ve got to have a go.

“I’m really, really proud of the boys. I’m disappointed but we’ve gone out to a good side. We just have to take it on the chin and move on.”

Deal Town created a glorious chance to take the lead with only four minutes and 19 seconds on the clock.

Centre-half Alfie Foster pinged a diagonal pass over to left-wing-back Steve O’Brien, who brought the ball down before whipping in a cross towards the near post. The ball was flicked on by big target-man Connor Coyne and Ben Chapman slid in at the far post to stab the ball just past the right-hand post from eight-yards.

“I thought we started the game really brightly to be fair. I thought we came out of the blocks well and we got on the front foot for the first 10 minutes,” said King, who shares his name with the current Dartford manager.

“That’s probably, arguably, our best chance of the game. It would have been nice for it to have gone in.

“We came here and we knew if we created four or five good goalscoring opportunities we would have been happy.  I think we probably created three or four across the game and they’ve got to go in.  If Chappo gets a foot or a toe on it and it goes in we’re in dreamland aren’t we.  It was a good chance.”

Consett, who played out from the back and often found pockets of space in front of Deal Town’s three centre-halves, were forced to shoot from outside the box as Deal’s defence was well-organised.

Consett central midfielder Dean Briggs played the ball out to left-back Darren Holden, who fed Jake Orrell who played the ball inside to Briggs, who tried to curl his shot into the top far corner from 25-yards, only for the ball to clear the crossbar.

“Their rotating and movement was outstanding for a team at this level.  You could see they play on the 3G pitch regularly,” said King.

“We knew they were going to play a midfield diamond, four players in there rotating round all of the time.

“I actually thought we did a good job in terms of stopping their players get on it but across 45 minutes you’re going to have chances.  I thought in the first half most of their chances were from long range and we would’ve taken that before the game.

“If someone put one in the top corner from 25-yards you just have got to take it so we were actually quite happy that we restricted them to shots from distance in the first half.”

Holden threw the ball to centre-half Purewal, who drove forward with the ball at his feet straight down the heart of the pitch before unleashing a shot which sailed harmlessly over the crossbar from long range.

Consett’s other centre-half, Nicholas Allen, also drove forward as he ran into the pocket of space in front of Deal’s defenders and his left-footed drive from 35-yards suffered similar fate.

Deal Town were comfortable, dealing with Consett’s main threats of Carr, who played in the number 10 role, and winger Ali Alshabeeb and the Kent side were to be denied the lead in the 24th minute.

Charlie Walsh smacked a right-footed volley towards the top near corner from 30-yards, which forced goalkeeper Kyle Hayes to dive to his right to push the ball behind for Deal’s first of four corners.

“It was another good chance. It was a good strike from Charlie and a good save from the goalkeeper.” said King.

“We needed one to go in. We wasn’t going to create a massive amount of chances and I thought I was really pleased with us first half.

“The last 10 minutes of the first half we got stretched a little bit and we probably needed half-time.  I thought for 30-35 minutes we done really well.”

O’Brien swung in the resulting corner from the left and Coyne steered his header past the far post from 12-yards.

Consett started to dominate proceedings after the half-hour mark, but visiting keeper James Tonkin wasn’t troubled.

Good wing play from Alshabeeb down the right, cutting in past doubling-up pair Foster and O’Brien, set up a chance for Carr, who cut the ball onto his left-boot before drilling his shot over the crossbar from 20-yards, aiming for the roof of the net.

“It went as per our game plan, it went as expected.  I thought we did a really good job to stop their threats. We knew Carr was a real good player and Lee Scott did a really good job on him and didn’t give him any space really,” said King.

“We set up with a back three and matched their diamond as well. It was a bit of an unconventional shape but we were happy with how it was.

“We just knew we had to get a goal at some point and that was always going to be a difficulty with the way we had to set up to stop them.”

Consett were a slick passing side, who utilise the artificial playing surface well and on a windy day in County Durham it was well advised to keep the ball on the deck and not in the air.

On the windy conditions, King said: “I don’t think it had much impact on our performance. Consett kept the ball on the floor so it didn’t really affect them.  I just thought both sides struggled with it when the ball was in the air but I don’t think the wind had a big impact on the game.”

Consett striker Dale Pearson dropped deep before sweeping the ball out to Holden, who played a pass into Orrell, whose first time short pass inside found Carr, who drilled his left-footed shot over the crossbar from 22-yards, but Deal Town deserved to go in at the break on level terms.

“I thought we needed to keep the ball a little bit better when we got it, which is easier said than done,” King said.

“It was basically can we still be in the game with 15 minutes left, which we were because you get in that last 15 and anything can happen.

“I said keep doing what we’re doing, stay in the game and try to take a chance when we can get it but we didn’t get many.”

King also revealed why Coyne was withdrawn at the interval.

“Joe Reeves came on at half-time. It was tactical. We felt without he ball we wanted to make sure we can keep pressing and keep high and Joe gives us that energy.

“Connor has been struggling with a bit of a back injury and he’s had a cold. We just think it suited Joe a little bit more.  We thought on the counter-attack with his pace he might get in and latch onto something.”

Consett manager Mitchell certainly raised his troops during the interval as they played on the front foot during the second half.

Carr clipped a ball over the top of Liam Hark to put Pearson through on goal but a poor touch inside the Deal Town box was a left-off after just 65 seconds, which set the tone for the rest of the game.

“I thought Carr stepped up a little bit but too be fair to our lads we’ve done a lot of defending. As the game goes on your legs start to tire a little bit and it does get harder when a team has the possession of the ball that they had.

“As the game goes on they’re going to get stronger and that’s what happened and that’s what we expected.  I thought we dealt with it reasonably well.”

Deal Town centre-half Kane Smith brought Pearson down on the corner of the penalty area and Orrell’s right-footed free-kick from a yard outside the box rolled into the hands of Tonkin, who rushed back yesterday from a skiing trip after missing the 2-2 home draw against Welling Town last weekend.

King said: “I thought the wind seemed to change direction at one point. We thought we were going into it in the first half and it seemed to start swirling.

“I thought Kane got caught underneath it, the boy Pearson is a good player isn’t he? He has got 29 goals and I thought Kane dealt with him well all game to be fair.

“You fancy Tonks from there, sometimes the free-kicks are a bit too close to get it up and down, you’ve got to go low and Tonks has good hands and it was a good save.”

Consett went close to taking a deserved lead with eight minutes and 45 seconds on the clock.

Alshabeeb and Carr linked up inside the Deal half and Carr played a diagonal pass over to the left for Pearson, who played Carr in on goal with a fine pass and his left-footed shot flashed across the advancing Tonkin and just past the far post from 15-yards.

King said: “We knew Carr was their dangerman, we done our homework but Lee Scott did a good job on him.  Carr’s a good player for a reason. He won the Vase and scored in the Final a couple of years ago. He’s a good player.  Across the game they’re going to get a chance. I thought it was quite a tight angle and Tonks got out to him well and forced him to shoot wide.”

Deal Town created an opening following their fourth corner of the game in the 57th minute.

Substitute striker Joe Reeves, who replaced Coyne at the break, whipped in the corner from the right and Smith came up from the back to steer his header over the crossbar from 12-yards.

Man-of-the-match Carr whipped in a quality free-kick with his left-foot towards the edge of a crowded area which was met by Pearson’s glancing header, which sailed straight into the hands of the visiting keeper for a comfortable catch.

Consett won the first of their six corners in the 64th minute.

Carr cut the ball back to Orrell, who rolled the ball back to right-back Jermaine Metz, who took a touch before unleashing a 25-yard drive, which bounced off a pressing O’Brien and dipped over the crossbar.

Consett’s dominance continued and they fashioned a three-man move just after the half-way mark.

The outstanding Carr whipped in a deep cross from within the right channel, Pearson, with his back to goal, rolled the ball back for Briggs to roll a first time shot into Tonkin’s gloves from 25-yards.

Deal Town offered very little in an attacking sense during the second half and it was just a matter of when Consett would score the goal.

A long kick from Hayes released Holden down the left channel and Tonkin came off his line to clear the danger, only for the ball to drop for Carr to hook the ball looping into the air which was caught by Tonkin as it dropped from a bitterly cold sky.

Consett broke Deal Town’s hearts by deservedly taking the lead with 30 minutes and 42 seconds on the clock, with two of their most impressive performers on the day involved.

Alshabeeb showed good skill as he kept the ball at his feet as he cut from the right over to the left, with no Deal player managing to get a touch of the ball. He floated in a lovely cross, which Carr hooked over Tonkin with his left-boot into the roof of the net from 12-yards.

King said: “If I’m being ultra-critical, could we have stopped the shot? We know that we had to stuck with Carr but he’s got in there.

“Look, from their point of view it’s a deserved goal. If I stood here as Consett’s manager I’ll be saying ‘the goal was coming’.  They were a threat, the goal was coming and we knew they were going to create chances and we tried to nick one on the counter.

“We changed it really quickly to go 4-4-2 to try to chase it but then that was going to open us up and we knew we could get picked off at the other end.”

However, Deal Town immediately went up the other end and almost grabbed an equaliser just 67 seconds later.

Paxman shrugged off the attentions of Holden before racing down the right before whipping in a cross for Walsh but his diving header from 12-yards was destined for the bottom right-hand corner, only for Hayes to use his legs to make the vital save.

“A great reaction from the boys, that sums our players up. It’s gone against us and they’ve pretty much gone up the other end, they haven’t let their heads drop but it’s another half-chance,” added King.

Paxman released substitute Ryan Lewis down the left before he cut into the box with Purewal in his wake but he lacked composure and instead of slotting his shot into the bottom far corner, his shot rolled towards the penalty spot and was cleared away by Consett.

“That was a decent chance. Ryan’s made a good run and he’s been put in.  We’ve created five chances and we’ve got to try and score from one of them. If we score from one then it could be our day,” said King.

Carr played a sublime through ball to put Orrell in on goal but Tonkin came off his line to make the block.

Consett sealed the deal by scoring their second goal of the game with 40 minutes and 5 seconds on the clock, following their fifth corner of the game.

Orrell swung the ball in from the left and Purewal capped off an impressive performance by glancing his header across the keeper and in off the far post from five-yards.

“The killer for us because we’re normally really organised defending set-pieces and we pride ourselves on it,” said King.

“We’ve left three people up the pitch because of there being four minutes left and they’ve left three-on-three and they’ve got a free man. Good delivery, good header.

“We wouldn’t have conceded that about five minutes earlier because at 0-0 we wouldn’t have conceded it because we’d set-up and defended properly.

“You come 353 miles there’s no point losing 1-0 and sitting in. We had to have a go at it at that point. We could’ve lost three or four-nil, it would’ve made no difference. Once you go 1-0 down you’ve just got to have a go haven’t you and that’s what we did.”

Consett almost grabbed a third goal when Alshabeeb’s through ball split centre-halves Josh Maughan (a substitute) and Smith but Carr’s left-footed drive flashed just past the foot of the right-hand post from a central position, 18-yards out.

Deal Town, however, kept plugging away and Lewis drove through the heart of the pitch before slipping the ball into Walsh, who tried to score from a 35-yard chip, which sailed over the Consett crossbar.

The final whistle saw Deal Town’s players walk over to thank their travelling supporters and the team also received an ovation from Consett’s fans before disappearing down the tunnel, knowing they couldn’t replicate Tommy Sampson’s class of 2000 that celebrated winning The FA Vase underneath the iconic Twin Towers of the old Wembley Stadium by beating Chippenham Town 1-0 thanks to THAT Rory Graham goal.

Reflecting on their last 16 exit, King said: “We are where we are in our league, we’re a decent side but we’re not one of the top sides. We haven’t got a budget of a top side. Every player who was with me today lives within 15 miles of the ground, we’re a proper local club and we’ve come and given it our all and we needed something to go for us.  On another day it might’ve done and we nicked a 1-0.

“We’ve managed to speak to quite a lot of our travelling fans. We’ve just said out on the pitch at the end we’ve probably had more fans here today that were watching a home game three years’ ago so that’s a stride where we’ve come.  I hope the fans’ are proud of our performance and proud of the effort that we’ve put in. Obviously, we’re disappointed that we couldn’t win the game for them.

“We were massive underdogs and I think we’ve done a decent job so thank you to the fans, they’ve been brilliant all the way through the rounds.  To have that many fans up here today was fantastic support, brilliant.”

Deal Town return to action with a trip to Kennington on Wednesday night in the Challenge Cup Quarter-Finals, knowing that they have now gone seven games without a win (penalty shoot-outs are classed as a draw).

Dan Scorer’s side are in second-place in the Sea Pioneer Southern Counties East Football League First Division table with 46 points from 22 games, a point behind new leaders Rusthall, after being held to a 1-1 draw at home by fourth-placed Holmesdale today.

“Dan Scorer has done a good job there. We know a lot of the boys, they’re quite local to us. They’re flying and they’ve already knocked Crowborough and Lordswood out and they’re going to be gunning for us on Wednesday night,” said King.

“We’ve got a few days to recover and the boys are desperate to do well. No disrespect to Kennington, they’re not going to be a Consett, so if we can get to the levels we’ve had to get to today then we’ve got a good chance and that will be a Semi-Final and that will be great for us after today if we can get a result.

“It’s going to be tough. We’ve got to lift the boys mentally and physically but we’ll be prepared properly and we’ll be giving it all.”

Corinthian go into the Quarter-Final draw on Monday along with Atherstone Town or Worcester City, Bitton, Consett, Hebburn Town, Leighton Town, Plymouth Parkway and Wroxham.  Quarter-Final ties take place on Saturday 29 February.

“Corinthian have got a chance of going all of the way.  They’re under-rated and they just don’t lose games of football, even when they’re not very good, they seem to get across the line and I’m not surprised they’ve won today,” added King.

“If I was in the draw on Monday I think a lot of sides will probably want to avoid them. It will be nice that another SCEFL side can go on again.

“You’ve probably seen the strength of our league that a side that are tenth like we are can put a show in like that.  That’s probably down to the strength of our league that we play in every week.”

Consett: Kyle Hayes, Jermaine Metz, Darren Holden, Calvin Smith, Arjun Purewal, Nicholas Allen, Jake Orrell, Dean Briggs (Max Russell 69), Dale Pearson, Luke Carr, Ali Alshabeeb.
Subs: Simon Jakab, Daniel Hawkins, Thomas McAloon, Michael McKay, Ethan Bridge, Daniel Marriott

Goals: Luke Carr 76, Arjun Purewall 86

Deal Town: James Tonkin, Jack Paxman, Steve O’Brien, Liam Hark, Alfie Foster (Ryan Lewis 79), Kane Smith,  Ben Chapman, Lee Scott (Josh Maughan 71), Connor Coyne (Joe Reeves 46), Charlie Walsh, Billy Munday.
Subs: Macauley Murray, Ben Cardwell, Luke Bigginton, Jack Penny

Attendance: 866
Referee: Mr Paul Brown
Assistants: Mr Dane McCarrick & Mr Ashley Royston
Fourth Official: Mr Derric Wade