Ladies manager Simon Johnson hailed a battling performance from his side in their 5-3 opening day win at Consett Ladies on Sunday.
The Heed, reduced to 10 players following Carly Salmon’s sending off for handball and briefly nine following a sin bin, fought through late drama to earn their first win of the Durham FA Women’s League One season.
Olivia Black netted a hat trick to open her account for the season and strikes from Katie Lemmon and Jade Anderson – the latter of whom played the final 35 minutes in goal – added gloss to the scoreline.
“It was a very good performance,” said Johnson.
“It’s good to see that what we work on in training is starting to show on a Sunday and there were parts I was really pleased with in terms of how we want to play.
“Pre-season has been turbulent so the first couple of games are still about getting the players used to what I expect and seeing them perform.
“We’re buzzing to get three points, especially after going down to nine players at one stage and Jade [Anderson] having to play in goal.
“It was tough but the girls battled through and to go on and score two goals with nine players was excellent – it was a good test of character and resolve.”
Gateshead Ladies will travel to Boldon Ladies in the second game of the season on Thursday night (6:30pm kick off), and Johnson is hoping to see a repeat performance to carry on their momentum.
“We’ll have to make a change and hopefully try to bring a goalkeeper in,” he added.
“The 90 minutes took a lot out of the girls so we’ll count bodies and hope everyone has recovered and is ready to go at it again with a similar performance.”