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GATESHEAD 2 HARRIERS 0
9:41pm Tuesday 5th March 2013 in News
HARRIERS lost a little ground in the Blue Square Bet Premier title race as they were beaten 2-0 at Gateshead on Tuesday night.
It was something of a peculiar night even before the game. The action took place at Bootham Crescent, home of League 2 side York City which is one of Gateshead’s four adopted homes as they battle to overcome the problems with their own International Stadium playing surface.
A ground so used to being rocked by 3,000 odd for City/Harriers affairs hosted barely 200 for this encounter – even after that there appeared some doubt surrounding the kick-off as a blanket of thick fog descended over the surface with little improvement once play did get underway.
Once the action got going Gateshead certainly adapted the better; after weathering a minor storm of Harriers’ pressure that saw winger Marvin Johnson blaze wide on the angle from barely 12 yards, Anth Smith’s men turned up the pressure.
The lively Josh Gillies was an influence for the Heed army and it was he who whipped in a 14th minute corner that Carl Magnay got up well to meet, thumping a header at Danny Lewis that the Harriers goalkeeper did well to turn over.
Soon after former Darlington man Jamie Chandler arrowed a shot over to cap a neat team move – Gateshead almost made to pay in the final moments of the half as striker Anthony Malbon headed a good chance off target, one of the visitors’ only first-half chances.
Harriers introduced new signing Michael Gash for his debut after the interval and within a couple of minutes of the restart Adam Bartlett, the Gateshead goalkeeper, had to watch wide a Callum Gittings shot as he drove from distance.
But the Heed were soon back in the ascendency and on 55 minutes Demetriou had to be alert to block Chandler’s shot on the line, while eight minutes further on Bartlett held from Lee Vaughan.
The opening goal did come with 19 left to play and it was Gateshead who snatched it, a strong counter-attack catching out Harriers as Chandler picked the ball up on the edge of the area before curling it beyond the dive of Lewis into the net.
Steve Burr uncharacteristically made early use of his third and final change in introducing Pilkington just after the goal and it was the former York City man who charged forward inside the last ten before shooting at Bartlett who stood behind it well.
One of Gateshead’s own subs, Liam Hatch, almost put the game beyond doubt in the final minutes but his effort dipped just over, the former Luton man eventually making amends in injury time as he poked into an empty net.
Gateshead: Bartlett, Magnay, Boyle, Chandler, Curtis, Clark, Gillies, Turnbull, Brown (Hatch 83), Marwood (McGorrigan 90), Donaldson (Everson 80). Subs not used: Cummins, Nixon.
Harriers: Lewis, Vaughan, Demetriou, Storer, Vincent, Malbon, Johnson (Pilkington 71), Gittings (Jackman 60), Dunkley, Pearson (Gash 45), Gowling. Subs not used: Rowe, Vaughan.
Referee: Declan Ford