Press: West Auckland 1-2 Consett
Sunday Sun's report
IN THE Hurst household this morning, all is well. In the homes of Peter Dixon and Paul Foster, it is at least a shade better than it was on Thursday.
Consett chairman John Hurst may have missed his side’s first goal yesterday, his arrival in a West Auckland winter wonderland delayed by decent bait and shoddy service celebrating his missus’ birthday.
However, he was there to see a victory which maintains their position at the top of the table.
For West, there was less to toast but some consolation. On Wednesday, after nine wins and a draw in the league, they were smashed by Shildon.
“Some of them didn’t look like they gave a ha’porth,” grumbled one old-timer, and the matchday programme carried a lengthy and heartfelt apology from assistant boss Foster.
Stand up and be counted, was the call, and he got his wish. Alas, it wasn’t quite enough.
“I’m happy with their attitude. We asked for a response and they did apply themselves,” said manager Dixon.
“We probably did enough to get a draw. I think we had more clear-cut chances, but not enough to win. It’s disappointing, but an improvement.”
It didn’t appear as such early on.
After a late and lengthy inspection of a green oasis amid the south west Durham snow prompted one wag to joke “If that’s in doubt, Bishops’ll never play again”, West seemed still to be suffering post-Shildon and after 12 minutes they trailed to Jamie Poole’s opener.
They did rally, only for Consett keeper Barry Poskett to deny Mattie Moffat and Tom Berj, but the visitors enjoyed the rest of the first half’s openings – Ryan Bell denied a penalty when adjudged to have dived over a challenge by Ian Maddison, Mark Bell saving from Gavin Barton and Poole, and Barton’s header cleared off the line by Stuart Banks.
The second half found Auckland in better fettle with Dan Hindmarch’s shot parried behind by Poskett and Banks firing at the Consett keeper from a tight angle.
And after surviving a penalty scare when a linesman missed Neil Pattinson’s handball block on Mark Eccles’ header, the hosts equalised. Banks ran on to Matty Tymon’s pass to poke past Poskett.
Moments later Moffat sent himself clear, but the other liner – evening things out – flagged the uninvolved Tymon offside.
With six minutes left, it all went south for West, as Daniel Craggs ran on to Eccles’ through ball to stab beyond Bell.
“I’m very happy. It’s an excellent result because it was always going to be a hard game,” said Hurst.
“At 1-0 I thought we were cruising, but needed a second goal. It didn’t happen, they got into it and you could see their goal coming. But fair play to the lads, their heads didn’t go down.”