Heed Leave It Late To Defeat Lions

Gateshead scored the latest of late winners in a tight contest on Saturday afternoon, read more in our match report sponsored by BuildADrive.com.

Macaulay Langstaff’s goal deep in injury time was a cruel suckerpunch in an even game at the Gateshead International Stadium with four players making their Lions debut.

Reece Kendall, Liam Tongue and Bailey Thompson all started the game with Andy Kellett making a return from injury to feature on the bench. Prince Ekpolo and Matty Gillam were also in the starting eleven after a period out through injury.

The first chance fell to Gillam, Kendall’s long throw picked out the number 10 who flicked it goalwards but it went just over former Lion James Montgomery’s bar in what was the start of a bright opening from the visitors.

Matlock loanee Kendall was causing all sorts of problems at the back for The Heed with his long throws but they were just managing to deal with the pressure.

The best chances of the evening for Marcus Bignot and Russ O’Neill’s side all came in quick succession, a ball forward found the head of captain Hamza Bencherif but his effort cannoned off of the crossbar, Thompson fired the loose ball goalwards but his effort was blocked on the line before Ekpolo followed in with a powerful shot which Montgomery did well to palm away from danger.

The first moment of danger for The Lions’ defence came after 19 minutes when Paul Blackett got in behind but Kendall spotted the danger and cleared the cross from underneath his own crossbar.

Former Lion Jordan Preston forced Brad Wade into a good save after he brought a long ball down well but the assistant referee’s flag was up and play was pulled back for offside.

With 9 minutes left of the half Kallum Griffiths had the Heed’s only chance of the half with a header but it dropped with of the goal.

The second half got off to a much slower start than the first with the opening chance coming after 57 minutes through Josh Parsons, his volley, after Ekpolo’s cross took a heavy deflection, was straight at and easily saved by Montgomery.

Greg Olley got in on the end of a deflected pass but his effort on the volley was well saved by Wade with the danger then cleared by the defence.

Kendall made a goal saving block as Blackett fired from eight yards out with the goal at his mercy but the loanee stopped the ball with his legs.

Gateshead were getting more on top as the game wore on and it was Griffiths who nearly opened the scoring, he drilled a shot which Wade could only watch drift wide.

The Lions’ last chance fell to substitute Kaine Felix, he jinxed his way past a Gateshead defender before shooting wide of Montgomery’s goal from a tight angle.

It proved crucial, Griffiths who had been at the centre of the hosts play all evening put a low cross into the box which found its way through to Langstaff, he couldn’t miss and buried the ball into the net to make it three successive 1-0 away defeats for The Lions.

Next up is a visit from Alfreton Town to Nethermoor on Saturday with kick-off at 3pm.

Photo courtesy of Charlie Waugh

Team:

  1. Brad Wade, 2. George Cantrill, 3. Reece Kendall, 4. Josh Parsons, 5. Hamza Bencherif (C), 6. Liam Tongue (86′ Mbeka), 7. John Lufudu, 8. Prince Ekpolo, 9. Bailey Thompson, 10. Matty Gillam (67′ Felix) and 11. Nathan Newall (67′ Kellett).

Subs:

12. Andy Kellett (67′ Newall), 14. Andrai Jones, 15. Lebrun Mbeka (86′ Tongue), 16. Adam Haw and 17. Kaine Felix (67′ Gillam).