An under 18s football team that nearly folded due to the financial pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic, is celebrating the end a successful season.

Consett under 18s side won the final of the Durham FA U18s, Division 2 Cup – at the Washington Football Hub – and are thanking housebuilder, Amethyst Homes, for a sponsorship deal that secured the sides very existence.

Playing league winners Felling Magpies, Consett conceded early in the game. Yet despite missing a penalty and going down to 10 men in the second half, the side battled hard, scoring a late equaliser and eventually going on to win the tie 5-4 on penalties. After keeping his side in the game with an incredible top corner save just minutes before Consett made it 1-1, man of the match and goalkeeper, Luke Spoor, saved the only missed penalty in the shootout – before stepping forward himself, to convert the winning penalty.

Ian Lockey, coach of the team said: “I am immensely proud of the players, who have worked so hard this season. Winning the cup is just the icing on the cake. We faced having to wind the team up at the start of the season. We had no money, needed new kits and equipment and – due to the pressures placed on many during the pandemic – we were also having to support some of the lads with the subs they pay to cover the facilities we use, out of our own pockets.

“The sponsorship from Amethyst Homes was a god send. It enabled us to cover a lot of our bigger costs, kit out the team and help us to continue to provide youth football for this fantastic group of young lads.”

Consett AFC, which this season achieved promotion to The Northern Premier League Division One East – the 4th tier of English Non-League Football – has 42 junior sides of which the under 18s is one. It offers football and training opportunities for people aged from just five right through to 20 – and men’s football. Most are run by volunteers who give their time and energy to improving young people both a s footballers and individuals.

Paula Spoor, Sales Manager with Amethyst Homes, which is building new properties at Regent’s Park in Consett, added: “It was an exciting game and the Consett players never let their heads drop. Congratulations to the players and coaching staff on a successful season.

“We are always looking at ways in which we can support the communities in which we are building and are delighted to have been able to play a small part in helping Ian and Consett Football Club to continue to offer this excellent provision for young people in the town.”

Established in 2013, Amethyst Homes has built its business around its customers, with a strong emphasis on providing quality, sustainable homes in communities in which people choose to live and work. To date it has delivered over 350 properties in the North East.

The development at Regents Park is currently in its fifth phase and has already seen over 250 new homes completed. Amethyst is also building on two other developments – delivering 55 homes at The Meadows in Stillington, close to Stockton-on-Tees and 59 homes at Sleekburn View, in South-East Northumberland.

Both Regents Park and The Meadows won Premier Guarantee, Quality Recognition Awards in 2021, for the high standard of properties being delivered.

For more information and the range of properties available, please visit: www.amethysthomes.co.uk

*Photo caption: Left to right are: Dean Peacock, Coach; Ian Lockey, Manager; Jack Whillis, vice-captain; Jake Foster, captain; Thomas Bolam, vice-captain, Luke Spoor, penalty save hero and vice-captain; Paula Spoor, Amethyst Homes’ Sales Manager and Mark Wilkinson, assistant-manager and goalkeeper coach.