Gateshead travel to Alfreton Town on Saturday looking to strengthen their hold on top spot in the Vanarama National League North.
The Heed’s win over Blyth Spartans on Tuesday night saw pole position re-claimed, having been knocked off the top by Brackley Town last weekend.
Mike Williamson’s side have won seven from their last 10 games on the road, most recently playing out a 1-1 draw at York City on January 29.
Alfreton currently sit 12th in the league table and have won once from their last five games – a 3-2 home victory over Spennymoor Town.
Billy Heath’s side have been hit by inconsistency at The Impact Arena so far this season with four wins, four draws and four defeats.
A win for the hosts could take them up to 11th should results elsewhere go their way, though they could fall as far as 15th with a defeat.
“Especially at home, they’re a really difficult side to play against,” said assistant manager, Ian Watson.
“They had a good result against Spennymoor a few weeks ago so it’s going to be a really difficult place for us to go.”
“It’s going to have to require us to show another side of ourselves, a side that maybe we don’t get to show at home.”
“Hopefully that point gives us a building block and a kick start for Saturday,” Alfreton manager Billy Heath said following Tuesday’s 0-0 draw against Kettering Town.
“We have to make sure we work our hardest, make it as difficult as possible and impose our game on them on Saturday.”
Jack Hunter and Paul Blackett remain unavailable for selection for the weekend, while Dan Ward and Elliot Forbes are approaching a return to training.
Last Time We Met
Gateshead secured a dramatic 2-1 win over Alfreton Town at Gateshead International Stadium in November.
Dayle Southwell put the visitors in front in the first half despite The Heed’s dominance, and it took until the 75th minute for Cedwyn Scott to level things up before Greg Olley’s 93rd minute winner sealed all three points.
Tickets are available on the gate and online for Saturday’s game, with admission priced at:
Adults – £15
16-21 and Over 65’s – £10
Under 16’s – Free (with paying adult)
12-15 (without paying adult) – £3
Under 12’s must be accompanied by an adult
Gateshead cruised to a 4-0 win at Alfreton Town to maintain their position at the top of the Vanarama National League North.
Cedwyn Scott’s double inside two minutes in the first half put The Heed in firm control, though they could have had more at the end of the opening 45.
Greg Olley and Macaulay Langstaff’s second half strikes ensured Gateshead took maximum points from this week’s fixtures and remained top of the league table.
Mike Williamson named an unchanged starting 11 following Tuesday’s 3-0 win over Blyth Spartans, and included academy duo Kyle Errington and Lewis Leech on the bench at Alfreton.
The conditions set the tone for a battle at The Impact Arena early on, with both sides scrapping for control on a soaked surface.
Gateshead established themselves however and Macaulay Langstaff threatened to break in behind on multiple occasions, though Adam Campbell had the first effort when he fired wide from 25 yards.
Twenty-one minutes in and the breakthrough arrived as Campbell darted down the left and sent a low cross into the box which Scott gladly tapped home.
Two minutes later and Scott had his second, cutting in from the left and sending a low drive which George Willis could only help into the bottom corner.
Gateshead were firmly in control and could have made it three moments later as Greg Olley sent a low shot narrowly wide of the near post, before Owen Bailey charged through the centre and forced Willis to tip over his crossbar.
The hosts thought they had pulled one back four minutes after the restart when Dayle Southwell headed home from a free-kick, but his strike was quickly disallowed for offside.
Scott had the chance to complete his hat trick moments later when he was sent clean through, but his lofted effort floated just clear of the crossbar with Willis scrambling backwards.
Alfreton grew into affairs for parts of the second 45 with spells of possession around Gateshead’s box, but the visitors remained the most dangerous going forward as Willis pulled off two fine saves to deny Langstaff and Campbell.
With 15 minutes to go the third finally came as Olley drifted into the left-hand side of the box before sliding low past Willis to make sure of the result.
Langstaff added gloss to the scoreline two minutes later after Willis had denied Campbell from point blank as he rounded the ‘keeper and slotted into the far corner for his 16th of the season.
The fourth deflated the hosts efforts and The Heed cruised home to a resounding away win.
Gateshead XI: Marschall, Tinkler (Errington, 90+2’), Storey, Nicholson, Jacob, Bailey, Olley (c), Greenfield (Charters, 81’), Campbell, Scott, Langstaff (Leech, 90’).
Substitutes: Pani, Magnay.
Goals: Scott (21’, 23’), Olley (75’), Langstaff (77’)
Yellow Cards: Tinkler (48’), Charters (90+3’)
Alfreton Town XI: Willis, Lund, Wilde, Branson, Askew (Reeves, 60’), Sutton, Smith (c), Southwell, Hobson, Rhead, Johnson (Butterfield, 63’).
Substitutes: Smith-Eccles, Evans, Wiley.
Alfreton Town Yellow Cards: Butterfield (71’), Reeves (82’)