Gateshead Ladies manager Simon Johnson believes his side’s Durham County Cup defeat at Chester-le-Street Town will stand his side in good stead for their return to league action.
The Heed exited the competition with an 8-0 defeat against a side three divisions higher than themselves in the pyramid, and Johnson firmly believes it will prove to be a positive experience for his players.
“It was a good experience on the whole, regardless of the result,” he said.
“Ultimately that’s where we want to be in a few years’ time in terms of the level, so it was good insight for the players to see what it takes.
“They caused us problems, no doubt about it, and we changed our shape which had a better impact on the game.
“It was pleasing for me as a manager to see the chances we created – I would say we created at least four good chances on that day.
“Ultimately we’ve played a team three leagues above who were more clinical, but we’re still creating chances against a top side and could have had a couple of goals.
“It’s the end of our cup journey unfortunately, but now we’re focused on the league.
“It sets us in good stead to go back into our league and hopefully with a few league games on home territory we can get results that we want and that performances probably deserve.
“We’re taking every game one step at a time, starting against Darlington.”
Gateshead Ladies now have a run of four home fixtures in Durham FA Women’s League One, starting on Sunday as Darlington FC Women travel to Tyneside.
Johnson knows his side need to be on top of their game to begin climbing from fifth in the league table, adding: “It’s another game of football and one that we want to win.
“We’ve got to be at our best regardless of who we’re playing. There are teams who have caused us problems when we’ve not been quite at it.
“For me it’s about making sure that we’re consistent, professional and doing everything that we can to get a result.”