Originally scheduled to go ahead in January but postponed due to the bad weather, the revised fixture comes around late on in the season and at a point in time where both side’s have made significant headway in recent weeks to move away from the bottom end of the National League table, reflected in the two teams currently leading the division’s overall form guide.
Wanderers made it 5 wins from their last 6 games this past Saturday afternoon, producing another memorable comeback, this time from two goals down, to defeat Altrincham beneath blue skies and sunshine at Meadowbank.
An excellent strike from Regan Linney and a composed finish from Maxi Oyedele stunned the home crowd as The Robins put themselves two goals to the good inside the opening 8 minutes, but Jimmy Muitt’s header managed to quickly half the defecit with less than a quarter of an hour played, the winger getting across the face of goal to nod home Seb Bowerman’s cross from the left. The visitors did spurn good chances to open up their lead in the early part of the second half, but Marc White’s side managed to stay in the game, and goals from half-time substitute Harry Ottaway and Jason Prior overturned the scoreline to ensure Wanderers claimed all three points and maintained a six point gap between themselves and the relegation zone. Prior’s aerial knock-down set up Ottaway to guide the ball home for the equalising goal, whilst Jimmy Muitt’s excellent touch and turn of pace down the right proceeded finding Prior with a inch-perfect cross, the forward making no mistake from several yards out with a header to take his recent tally to 6 goals from his last 7 matches.
Whilst certain other results elsewhere on Tuesday evening involving teams at the bottom end of the table could ensure Wanderers safety irrespective of their own result, Marc White will no doubt be looking for his side to continue their recent excellent form and secure their National League status on their own terms ahead of their final games of the camapign away at Wealdstone this Saturday and at home to Scunthorpe the following weekend.
Tickets for tonight’s game are available at the below link, priced at Adults £18, Consesions £12, Young Adult (17 – 21) £8 and Youth (15/16) £5.
The game will be available to watch live on National League TV, and you can stay in the loop with action updates through the night via our Twitter feed, @DorkingWDRS.
Marc White has confirmed that Niall McManus (achillies) and Matt Briggs (knee) will remain sidelined this week as they continue recovery, the manager also acknowledging that George Francomb and Joe Cook are both doubts after picking up knocks on Saturday’s
Opposition Focus: The Heed
Having been fighting in and around the relegation zone for much of the season, Gateshead have hauled themselves away from danger impressively in recent weeks, going on an 8 game unbeaten league run before suffering defeat at home to Bromley this past Saturday 0-3. Having not lost since early March prior to the weekend loss, the unbeaten streak included winning five games on the spin, keeping four clean sheets along the way, defeating Dagenham & Redbridge (3-0), Yeovil Town (4-0) and Scunthorpe United (2-0) at home, whilst also winning 0-1 away at Altrincham and defeating play-off chasing Eastleigh 2-5 at The Silverlake Stadium.
Striker Adam Campbell is the top scorer for Mike Williamson’s side so far this term with 9 goals netted so far, fellow forward Marcus Dinanga also chipping in with plenty of goals in the recent run after joining the club from Altrincham back in early February, finding the net 7 times already. Attacking midfielder Stephen Wearne joined The Heed on a free transfer after leaving Grimsby Town in March, and bagged his first goal in the 2-0 win against Scunthorpe. Other recent additions to the squad have included central midfielder’s Callum Whelan and Ed Francis moving on loan until the end of the season from fellow National League clubs Solihull Moors and Notts County respectively. A big loss for The Heed in recent weeks has been Kenton Richardson, the former Hartlepool United and Sunderland defender earning an England C call up for the game against Wales C last month with his consistent performances this season, but unfortunately suffering injury 20 minutes into that game and likely to now miss the remainder of the campaign.
Gateshead’s recent upturn in league form has also coincided with the club reaching this year’s FA Trophy final. After defeating National League North side Gloucester City emphatically in the third round with a 5-1 win, The Heed went on to defeat Oldham Athletic (3-1) and Banbury United (0-1) before winning consecutive penalty shoot-outs on home soil to reach Wembley. Farsley Celtic were seen off at the quarter-final stage, the match finishing 0-0 before Gateshead won the shoot-out 4-2, and in the semi-final’s a six goal thriller was contested with Barnet in normal time before The Heed again kept their nerve on penalties to win 4-1. FC Halifax Town now await in the final, taking place on May 21st.
Earlier This Season…
James McShane’s brace in the space of three minutes midway through the first half was enough to defeat Gateshead 2-1 at Meadowbank back in August, earning Wanderers a first home victory of the season. Opening the scoring with a poacher’s finish, ‘Macca’ doubled the score in spectacular fashion, taking down a long ball from Jordan Cheadle before volleying up and over keeper Dan Langley from 25 yards out. Adam Campbell pulled a goal back for the visitors with twenty minute remaining, but Wanderers held out to take maximum points and consign Gateshead to a first defeat of the campaign.