Consett AFC 4-3 West Auckland Town
West Auckland slipped to a 4-3 defeat against Consett courtesy of Michael Sweet scoring all four goals at the Belle View stadium.
First-half goals from Adam Mitchell and Alex Francis put West in a commendable position before Sweet punished defensive errors and helped complete a second-half fightback for the Steelmen.
Nathan Fisher added a consolation late on though the result sees West drop into 8th with 18 points from 12 matches.
With the sun beaming down onto the plastic pitch before kick-off, it promised to be an enthralling contest.
Gary Forrest’s side started off the opening exchanges controlling the possession and almost took the lead inside eight minutes when Francis curled his effort just past the far post in what was an early scare for the hosts.
Consett had to wait for their first chance until the 19th minute when Luke Carr saw his shot blocked from Danny Parker who made a vital interception to keep the scores intact.
West took the lead five minutes later following a 20-yard strike from Mitchell which wrong-footed Kyle Hayes into the bottom corner.
And shortly after, Mitchell almost made it 2-0 though his right-footed effort sailed just wide.
On 32 minutes, Consett equalised following a poor clearance from Shane Bland and Danny Cragg’s cross found Sweet at the back post who made no mistake to fire in from close range.
West regained the lead six minutes before half-time through Francis as the hosts allowed the skipper to advance forward and hit an identical strike to that of Mitchell’s from the edge of the area for his first goal of the season.
After the interval, the Steelmen began to mount their comeback as they were awarded a penalty in the 55th minute when Denver Morris was judged to have fouled Craggs.
Sweet stepped up and confidently dispatched the penalty to bring the scores level.
Two minutes later, West had a great opportunity to go back infront as Amar Purewal’s header crashed against the bar in what was turning out to be an end-to-end contest.
On 75 minutes, Consett took the lead for the first time with Carr’s precise cross from the byline finding Sweet in the middle, who couldn’t miss from a few yards out to complete his hat-trick.
Heading into the final few minutes and it was still all to play for until Consett added a fourth with Sweet once again on the scoresheet, putting the ball through Bland’s legs from 10-yards out to get his 13th league goal of the season.
In the 86th minute, Fisher pulled one back for West dinking the ball over Hayes to set up a nervy finish however the Steelmen held on for all three points.
West look to get back to winning ways in a fortnight when they make the trip to Woodhorn Lane to take on Ashington FC on Saturday 20 October, 3pm.
Consett – Hayes, Green, Wilkinson, Purewal, Holden, Smith, Juul, Craggs (Cassidy, 83), Carr (Lavery, 87), Mackay (Dowson, 71), Sweet
Subs not used – Gray, Male
West Auckland – Bland, Morris, Hegarty, Snaith, Parker, Price, Francis (Wearmouth, 84), Dodds (McKeown, 75), Fisher (c), Purewal, Mitchell
Subs not used – Colquhoun, Cobain, Wood
Goals – Consett – Sweet (32, 55 pen, 75, 83),
West – Mitchell (24), Francis (39), Fisher (86)
Referee – Martin Conroe
Attendance – 410
Report by Harry Crowe
Picture by Andy Mitchell