West Auckland Town 1-1 Consett AFC
West Auckland Town missed a second-half penalty as they had to settle for a point in a closely contested affair against 10-man Consett AFC.
The visitors took the lead on 29 minutes courtesy of Luke Carr’s 25-yard free-kick via a deflection before West levelled proceedings six minutes later as Mackenzie Heaney’s set piece was glanced in by Ross Colquhoun.
Chris Moore’s side were reduced to 10 men on 52 minutes when Nicholas Cassidy was sent off for bringing down former teammate David Dowson though in remarkable circumstances, Heaney saw his penalty saved following a crucial stop from Kyle Hayes to rescue his side a hard-fought point.
The result sees West stay in 10th place on 38 points from 26 matches in the Northern League Division One table.
Gary Forrest made three changes to the side which lost to Chertsey Town in the FA Vase Quarter-Final with Colquhoun, Heaney and Dodds replacing Denver Morris, Alex Francis and Adam Mitchell.
Within the opening four minutes, Consett posed the first threat as Nicholas Allen floated the ball in towards Michael Mackay though the forward could only drag his shot just wide of Shane Bland’s left-hand post.
West were presented with a glorious opportunity nine minutes later as a miscommunication in Consett’s defence allowed Dowson to be gifted with a golden chance and the former Consett player saw his lobbed effort crash off the woodwork with the rebound cleared off the line by Arjun Purewal.
Moments after Mackay hit the crossbar, Consett went ahead inside the half-hour mark as Carr’s free-kick from the edge of the area wrong-footed Bland courtesy of a deflection.
It didn’t take long for Forrest’s side to respond as Heaney’s in-swinging free-kick from the right was headed home at the back post by Colquhoun to breath a huge sigh of relief around the Wanted Stadium.
There were further chances for either side as we approached the interval with a superb double save from Bland to stop the Steelmen from retaking the lead, denying Mackay and Daniel Craggs at close range.
Meanwhile, West also went close through Dowson though the former Consett striker was unable to beat Kyle Hayes as an entertaining first-half was brought to a halt.
After the restart, West were awarded a penalty when Dowson was fouled inside the 18-yard box by Cassidy and to make matters worse for the visitors, the defender was shown a straight red card by referee Mark Ryan.
From the resulting spot-kick, Heaney stepped up and to his disbelief was denied via a good save from Hayes who guessed the right way to parry it to safety.
Despite playing with 10-men for the remainder of the game, Consett dealt with everything West threw at them and even had chances of their own late on though both sides could not be separated as Forrest’s side remain without a league win in five matches.
Next up for West is a tough test away to league leaders Dunston UTS, who are unbeaten in six matches in Division One, on Saturday afternoon (15:00).
West Auckland – Bland, Cobain, Price, Colquhoun, Hunter, Portas, Snaith (Francis, 83), Dodds (c), Purewal (Wearmouth, 45), Dowson, Heaney (Mitchell, 84)
Subs not used – Morris, Connor,
Goal – Colquhoun (36)
Consett – Hayes, Smith, Allen (Moore, 62), Cassidy, Purewal, Mole, Craggs, Slocombe, Mackay (Holden, 54), Carr, Cornish (Green, 53)
Subs not used – Coombe
Goal – Carr (29)
Referee – Mark Ryan
Attendance – 181
Report by Harry Crowe
Picture by Andy Mitchell.