Gateshead 3

Higgins og 20’, Peniket 78’, Anderson og 81’

United 0

United came away from the Gateshead International Stadium with work to do after being beaten 3-0, and contributing to their own defeat by scoring two own-goals.

Player-manager Kevin Nicholson lined United up in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Sam Chaney continued at left-back in the absence of Liam Davis. Yan Klukowski and Damon Lathrope sat in front of the back four with Gosling, Young, and Reid behind Jon-Paul Pittman.

Gateshead started with a 3-5-2 formation and it was down the flanks where they found the most time and space. Callum Williams and Scott Barrow were the most dangerous players on the pitch in the first half.

Both teams started well. The first half was played at quite a speed. Neither side was allowed much time on the ball. United were guilty of giving the ball away too cheaply. They didn’t break into a rhythm and Gateshead capitalized when passes and movement fell short.

United were a little fortunate not to go behind earlier than they did. In the 9th minute Gateshead overwhelmed United in defence. Barrow and then Burrow had shots on goal while United desperately tried to keep the ball out. Goalkeeper Ryan Clarke to United’s rescue.

United went behind in the 20th minute. Gateshead combined down the right and United were found wanting. A low ball across the box was inadvertently diverted over his own goal line by Ryan Higgins. There was plenty that United could have down to stop Gateshead before that point. Higgins was shadowed by a Gateshead attacker and between him and Clarke, they were unlucky that the ball didn’t go safe.

Jamie Reid will have to have his hand assessed after he received a suspected break to a bone in his right hand. We’ll see about that over the weekend. New signing Andy Haworth replaced him in the 37th minute. He looked composed and dangerous at points but a lack of match sharpness curtailed his influence in the later stages of the match.

United weren’t without some bright moments, and they ended the first half better than Gateshead.

Jake Gosling got free on the left and his pass found Pittman who tried to flick the ball into the net with a backheel. Unfortunately, the ball was blocked and the chance to test Montgomery was gone.

Compared to the first half, the second half started slowly.

Gateshead changed from a 3-5-2 formation that was serving them well, to a 4-3-3 formation. That may have had something to do with losing left wing-back Scott Barrow, and his replacement, Fraser Kerr being substituted at half-time.

United weren’t lacking in effort, but familiarity and chemistry was short in supply.

Jake Gosling did find some space and time on the edge of Gateshead’s box. He went pretty close with a left footed effort that was trying to find the bottom corner.

The introduction of Keating and Gray in the 64th minute added some pep to United’s attack.

Gray went close to directing a ball onto the box on target. Keating found the target with a shot that Montgomery turned away for a corner after a run down the left channel.

However, Gateshead’s second goal was a killer and United’s players were convinced that Peniket was offside when he benefitted from a scuffed shot from Preston. Preston turned away from his man and got his shot all wrong. The ball did, however, drop nicely for Peniket to score an easy second. The video will be an interesting watch.

Gateshead’s third was another unfortunate own goal. Jordan Burrow robbed Sean McGinty as both players were trying to win the ball that was heading towards the corner flag. He turned away from McGinty and his low ball into the box was diverted past Clarke by a lunge from Myles Anderson.

United have the perfect opportunity to turn things around on Tuesday night when Boreham Wood come to Plainmoor.

We would like to thank the 82 fans that came to support the team for their fantastic support.

United: 1 Ryan Clarke; 4 Damon Lathrope [10 Ruairi Keating 64’]; 5 Sean McGinty; 7 Sam Chaney; 8 Luke Young; 9 Jon Paul-Pittman [17 James Gray 64’]; 11 Jake Gosling; 14 Myles Anderson; 18 Yan Klukowski; 19 Jamie Reid [22 Andy Haworth 37’]; 23 Ryan Higgins Subs Not Used: 16 Rory Fallon; 20 Neal Osborn

Gateshead FC: 1 Montgomery; 2 Vassell; 3 Barrow [4 Kerr 24’] ; 5 Byrne; 6 Fyfield; 9 Johnson; 10 Burrow; 12 Tinkler; 13 McLaughlin; 16 Penn; 24 Williams Subs: 4 Kerr [11 Preston  46’] Subs Not Used: 17 Green; 21 Hanford

Referee: Peter Wright

Attendance: 765 (82 Away)