The Hoops will be taking on one of the oldest clubs in northern non-league football when they meet Consett in the FA Vase fifth round on Saturday.
The County Durham club were originally established under the name of Consett Celtic in 1899 before being re-named Consett AFC in 1922. Nicknamed “The Steelmen”, Consett played in various leagues before in 1970 they joined the Northern League, which has the distinction of being the second oldest soccer league in the world still in existence behind the English Football League.
Consett have played at four different grounds during their long history. Their current home is Belle View Stadium, which features a 3G pitch and whose official opening in 2013 was marked by a friendly match against Newcastle United in front of 3,054 spectators, which United won 2-1.
Consett have twice won the Northern League Division Two title, in 1989 and 2006, and since 2007 have three times finished runners-up in Division One. They are enjoying another good season in Division One and are currently in fourth place, although they did suffer a surprise 3-0 defeat at Newton Aycliffe on Saturday, which was “The Steelmen’s” first league defeat for over four months.
The Hoops held their end –of-season “presentation evening” on Friday but, like so much else at the moment, it took place in unusual circumstances. Because