Belle Vue Park – FA Vase Second Qualifying Round.
One year ago, Hebburn Town were fighting their way along the Road to Wembley on two fronts with upcoming games in both the FA Cup and FA Vase. It’s a mark of how far the club has come during the past year that in the present day, they are disappointed to now be out of both of this season’s FA competitions having conceded a late goal against Consett on Saturday afternoon.
It was game that neither side deserved to lose – though neither side appeared to have performed well enough on a terrible pitch to have secured victory.
Despite the hosts going close with a number of Consett long range efforts during a first-half that saw Hebburn struggle to get forward, goalkeeper Dan Regan was only called into action after 35 minutes when he tipped a looping header from Luke Sullivan over the bar.
The second-half was less of a midfield battle as Hebburn eventually started to work the ball forward, with Jonny Davis having two great chances to open the scorer following a surge forward from centre midfield. Unfortunately for the youngster, both opportunities were lost when the ball failed to sit up on the bobbly pitch, running away on both occasions.
Midway through the half, left-back Carl Paterson won a tackle on the halfway line and after exchanging passes with Mark Rasmussen, he went on a mazy dribble to the edge of the box where he fired past the home ‘keeper Chris Elliott, only to see his shot cannon back off the post.
With the game heading into extra time, ex-South Shields defender David Scorer popped up to fire in a spectacular winner. Ian Davidson delivered a cross from the right and Scorer flung himself backwards to connect with a fortuitous volley that looped over Regan and found the top corner to sent Consett through.
Dan Kirkup had a chance to equalise as the seconds ticked down, yet when he connected too well to a Stephen Forster cross and his thundering header cleared both Elliott and the cross bar by an inch.
Consett advance to the First Round Proper of the Vase against Northallerton Town and Hebburn avoid a Tuesday night replay where the Hornets instead host the big boys of the Northern League – Darlington, who were playing in the Football League only as recently as 2010 – in a Durham Challenge Cup tie before hosting South Shields in the South Tyneside Derby next Saturday.
Manager Paul Bennett was definite about his priorities after the match, stressing that FA Vase progression isn’t as important as his team collecting three points when they travel back to Consett in two weeks for a league encounter. There will be no more dreams of Wembley in Hebburn for another year, but the survival dream in the Northern League Division 1 continues.
|1. Dan Regan|
|5. Paul Wardle|
|5. Dan Kirkup|
|6. Jeff Forsyth|
|8. Scott Robson|
|9. Tony Stephenson|
|10. Aaron Croft|
|11. James Luccock|
|6. Chris Jewels|
|7. Stephen Forster|
|8. Paul Gardiner|