Gateshead 6 Dorking Wanderers 0
Vanarama National League
November 11th 2023
Whilst Marc White was able to welcome back Luke Moore and Jason Prior from suspension following last week’s defeat against Dagenham, Barry Fuller did miss out on the trip up to the North East after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season last weekend. Moore came into a starting line which also included James McShane making his first start since the end of September, Fuller and Ryan Seager, who completed a move to Havant & Waterlooville last Tuesday, the players to make way as Dan Gallagher dropped into the back three. Tony Craig was named on the bench after being ruled out with a knee injury since mid-September, and Academy midfielder Jack Saunders was called up to the competitive first team squad for the first time.
Muitt had worked the first opportunity of the game after cutting in sharply from the right with a mazy run and seeing his attempt at goal deflect wide, Josh Taylor managed to get on the end of the resulting corner but was only able to lift the ball over the bar.
It had been an even-handed, steady contest approaching the midway point of the half, Wanderers sharing more of the possession, but the home side managed to open the scoring after skipper Greg Olley advanced down the right and played the ball in for Billy Chadwick, who stabbed the ball home from several yards out.
From there The Heed continued to threaten virtually every time they went forward through the remainder of the contest; relentless in their pressing all over the park and becoming increasingly slick in moving the ball around, particularly in exploiting spaces vacated too often by the Wanderers rear-guard.
Kyran Lofthouse had slammed the ball into the side-netting before the hosts doubled their lead near the half-hour, Joe Grayson releasing Stephen Wearne with a well timed central through-ball which Wearne calmly stroked beyond Male when facing up the goalkeeper one-on-one.
Just five minuets later, Chadwick notched his second and The Tynesiders third of the afternoon, picking the ball up in space in the left channel before shifting inside and jamming the ball between Male and his near post.
Muitt cut back for McShane to side-foot a first time effort marginally wide of the post, as close as Wanderers would go for the remainder of the game as Gateshead remained very much on top in an attacking sense, Male and Gallagher both making consecutive key blocks at the end of the half to prevent a more emphatic scoreline at the interval.
Marc White had introduced Tony Craig towards the end of the first half for Joe Cook, and freshened up his attacking options after the break with Alfie Rutherford and Jason Prior coming on for James McShane and Harry Ottaway in a straight swap.
Any hopes of a quick impact and turning of the tide were quickly diminished though as Gateshead added a fourth just five minutes into the restart. Rob Elliot’s side countered rapidly down the left through Olley and the move culminated in the attacker shifting inside and bending the ball clinically into the far corner.
There was no let up in the pressure as Louis Storey nodded wide from a Wearne cross before the forward latched onto another central through ball and hit the foot of the post. The fifth goal of the afternoon did arrive with twenty minutes remaining; Lofthouse skipping past a couple of Wanderers players before passing in-field for Chadwick, who completed his hat-trick with a composed finish.
Male produced an outstanding stop to deny Lofthouse inside the area at point blank range, the rebound was then gathered by subsitute Luke Hannant, who managed to rattle the foot of the post again for The Heed with a low strike.
A couple of minutes from the end of regulation time, Wanderers heaviest defeat in their time in the National League was confirmed after Olley played a corner ball to the edge of the box for Regan Booty, the former Maidstone United man able to gather in a pocket of space before unleashing a strike which found the bottom corner via a slight deflection.
With just one win from their last seven matches, the latest defeat leaves Marc White’s men three points from the relegation zone as they now reside in 18th spot. Reflection of the overall league standings still shows a tight picture at this stage of the season though with three points also separating Wanderers from their current position and 9th placed Rochdale.
Back on home soil next weekend, Boreham Wood are the visitors to Meadowbank in a 3pm kick off on Saturday November 18th.
Gateshead (3-5-2): 1 Archie Mair, 5 Kenton Richardson, 6 Louis Storey, 18 Joe Grayson (19 Luke Hannant 61′); 28 Kyran Lofthouse, 3 Regan Booty, 8 Ed Francis, 21 Connor McBride (4 Callum Whelan 65′), 11 Stephen Wearne; 10 Greg Olley (c), 23 Billy Chadwick (7 Tom Allan 72′)
Unused Subs: 15 Jordan Hunter, 16 Aidan Rutledge
Goals: Chadwick 19′, 32′, 70′, Wearne 27′, Olley 50′, Booty 89′
Yellow Card: Olley 47′
Dorking Wanderers (3-5-2): 1 Harrison Male, 37 George Francomb, 20 Dan Gallagher, 15 Joe Cook (5 Tony Craig 40′); 7 Jimmy Muitt, 4 Dan Pybus, 17 Josh Taylor, 18 Luke Moore, 6 Niall McManus; 11 James McShane (c) (10 Alfie Rutherford 46′), 24 Harry Ottaway (9 Jason Prior 46′)
Unused Subs: 12 Callum Kennedy, 32 Jack Saunders
Yellow Cards: McManus 29′, Moore, Taylor
Referee: Andrew Miller
Attendance: 1209 (128 Wanderers Supporters)
Man Of The Match: Billy Chadwick (Official Home Selection)