Gateshead Ladies manager Simon Johnson felt his side’s quality shone through in their 2-0 win at Stockton Town Ladies.
Katie Lemmon’s brace sees The Heed sit nine points behind league leaders Hartlepool Pools Youth Ladies with three games in hand, and three points behind Darlington FC Women with five games in hand.
“It was a tough game,” said Johnson.
“The opposition caused us a few problems, their energy matched ours in the first 20 minutes so it was quite even.
“It was a game of two sides trying to figure each other out, but once we got to grips and adapted to what we had to do we showed our quality.
“Looking at our last game [against Darlington Spraire] there was perhaps a bit of complacency, but sometimes you just have off days.
“We went back to basics, controlling what we can do, and the first 20 minutes we were a little bit cautious because of the Darlington game but once we regained our confidence and composure we started to implement our game on the opposition.”
Lemmon’s brace – her fifth and sixth league goals of the season – saw Gateshead Ladies bounce back from their 4-2 cup defeat against Darlington Spraire, and Johnson feels the forward grasped her opportunity to impress.
“Katie missed the last game and because there were a few injuries it meant we were down to 12 players, so it was her first 90 minutes in a long time.
“It shows the squad depth we have and for me it’s about looking at the squad across the board and how can they step up for the last nine games.
“Katie took two chances, could have had a third, and deserved a hat trick at least, but her hard work and determination puts her on that platform to build upon.
“Katie Barker came on and played an hour slotting in at left back and was really composed, she’s another one who has had to wait to get her opportunity and she took that.
“We have quality across the board and that will be evident in where we finish come the end of the season.”
Gateshead Ladies face Darlington Spraire for the second time in two weeks this Sunday, this time away from home, and Johnson feels focusing on his side’s strengths will suit them best.
“We’ve played them recently so there’s that little bit of familiarity,” he added.
“For us it’s about our strengths – when we played them a couple of weeks back it was that quality in the final third that was missing.
“We know what to expect from them and hopefully we can then implement our game plan and kick on.
“They had a good result on Sunday, beating the league leaders 5-1, so we know they’re dangerous.
“It goes to show how competitive the league is, and if you’re not at the races teams can step up and get a result.”