COMPETITION: Vanarama Conference
VENUE: International Stadium
16-17 and students £8(matchday)/£7(advanced)
Under 16 £3 for both matchday and advanced
Newcastle United season ticket holders can gain entry to Gateshead’s
Conference home games in the 2014/15 season for just £10.
This represents a saving of £5 on match-day adult admission prices.
***Newcastle fans must bring their season ticket/card with them to the
International Stadium to take advantage of this offer***
KICK OFF TIME: 3pm
NEAREST METRO: Gateshead Stadium
MATCH CRAIC: There is certainly a buzz about Gateshead FC after a fantastic season last time out. Of course you will be aware that the Tynesiders narrowly missed out on promotion to the Football League with a heartbreaking Play Off Final defeat against Cambridge United at Wembley.
However to focus on that would be woefully ignoring the amazing job done by Heed manager Gary Mills. The former Nottingham Forest man took over in September 2013 after a poor start to a season that had promised so much. Mills turned things around and led the Heed Army to third place in the Conference and with it came a place in the play offs. After beating Grimsby Town in the semi finals their day with destiny at Wembley ended with a free kick by former Tynesider Ryan Donaldson condemning Gateshead to another season in the Conference.
A busy summer saw a number of new signings who should be familiar with Newcastle Reserves followers. Former Magpies academy products Lewis Guy and Carl Finnigan were amongst the new arrivals although there was the high profile departure of another former United youngster as Marcus Maddison left for League One side Peterborough United.
They do seem to have found a new goalscorer though. Former Forest Green Rovers striker Danny Wright joined the club in August and is a man in form at the moment, scoring in five of the last six games.
The season so far has been a little underwhelming for the Heed but they are still ideally placed to challenge for the play off spots once again, sitting just a point outside of the top five. Too many drawn games have seen them left just outside of the play offs and although they are unbeaten in six games they have drawn four of them. Amazing what difference a couple of wins could make and who would bet against them getting a win over Braintree Town on Saturday.
Not that their visitors will be an easy opposition to face as they sit just three points and three places behind the Heed in tenth position in the Conference. They travel to the International Stadium on the back of a decent draw against league leaders Barnet and prior to that they also took a point from second placed FC Halifax Town although they are without a win in four games.
Managed by former West Ham United winger Alan Devonshire they will provide a stern test for Mills and his Heed side. In terms of dangermen striker Kenny Davis is in form with five goals this term. In terms of links to Newcastle United, well there aren’t any. They have a keeper called Hamann, but he doesn’t seem to be a relation of United’s former German International/serial bottler.
OTHER GAMES TO LOOK OUT FOR:
NORTH TYNESIDE – Team Northumbria v Hebburn Town (NLD2)
NORTHUMBERLAND – Ashington v Dunston UTS (NLD1), Bedlington Terriers v Liversedge (FA Vase)
SOUTH TYNESIDE – Jarrow Roofing v Newcastle Benfield (NLD1)
COUNTY DURHAM – Esh Winning v Seaham Red Star (FA Vase), West Auckland Town v Penrith (NLD1)
A full list of local fixtures from the Conference to the Durham Alliance and everywhere inbetween can be found here
MARK CARRUTHERS, FOR THE LOVE OF FOOTBALL
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