Gateshead make the 478-mile round trip to face Banbury United in the Isuzu FA Trophy fifth round on Saturday, February 11.
The Heed have enjoyed an upturn in form since the festive period, and currently sit ninth in the National League form table having picked up 15 points from the last 10 games.
Mike Williamson’s side earned back-to-back wins for the first time this season at Solihull last weekend, with a 2-0 victory at the ARMCO Arena following up a 2-1 win at Wealdstone the week prior.
A 3-1 win at Oldham saw his men through to the fifth round of the FA Trophy, and Gateshead will compete in the last 16 of the competition this weekend for the first time since a semi-final run in 2018.
Banbury, meanwhile, are intent on making history having already equalled their best-ever run in the competition.
The Puritans have only reached the last 16 once previously, losing 1-0 to Dartford in a replay back in 1974.
Andy Whing’s newly-promoted side also sit ninth in the National League North’s form table across the last 10 games, picking up 16 points with five wins to their name.
Banbury secured a spot in the last 16 of the competition with a 3-2 win over Coalville Town in the last round, though they were defeated 3-0 at home by Kettering Town last weekend.
Giorgio Rasulo – who has Football League experienced under his belt with Oldham, Oxford United and MK Dons – is the club’s current league top scorer with nine goals to his name so far.
The tie will be decided by a penalty shootout should the score remain level after 90 minutes.
“We’ll put what we deem our strongest team to go and win the game,” said player-manager, Mike Williamson,
“We need a bit of luck with injuries, hopefully we don’t pick up any more issues.
“We’ve come off the load a little bit this week with the understanding that it’s going to go through the roof.”
“I don’t think people realise how big this game is to be honest,” said Banbury manager, Andy Whing.
“It’s one we are really looking forward to. We know it’s going to be tough. We’re up against a full-time team and they had a good result (a 2-0 win) at Solihull Moors last weekend.
“But it’s one of those big days that you are really excited for and you hope the whole town comes out in force.”
Lewis Knight returned to training this week after missing last week’s win at Solihull Moors, though Quevin Castro remains absent through injury.
Marcus Dinanga is cup-tied having previously appeared in the FA Trophy with Altrincham.
Concession (65+): £11
Under 18: £5
Accompanied Under 11: £2
This match will be segregated, and supporters must ensure they purchase tickets under the away ticketing section.
Gateshead supporters have been allocated the Sutton End of the ground and should enter via the turnstiles to the far left of the main car park.
To be eligible for an U11 or U18 ticket you must have been under 11 or under 18 years old on September 1, 2022. Those purchasing a student ticket will need to show proof of your student status.
If any supporters require a carer ticket for a disabled spectator or someone requiring care, please email Banbury at [email protected].
Gateshead earned a third consecutive away win to secure progression to the Isuzu FA Trophy quarter finals at Banbury.
Will Harris’ second goal in as many games put the visitors in the driving seat early on, with a resolute second half display seeing The Heed through to the final eight.
A Gateshead side with four changes – including player-manager Mike Williamson’s return in defence – took control in the opening exchanges, pinning Banbury into their own half.
Adam Campbell and Aaron Martin combined to force Jay Williams into an off-the-line clearance seven minutes in, with Harris lurking just behind the Banbury defender.
Harris only had to wait five minutes for his goal though, slotting past Jack Harding from close range after being played through by Dan Ward for his fourth goal of the season.
Gateshead had opportunities to double the lead throughout the remainder of the half, with Campbell and Kamil Conteh both sending efforts just wide from 20 yards out, but the hosts survived to go into the break still in the tie.
Banbury’s half time changes proved effective as the home side gained more control in the second period, though James Montgomery was rarely tested in goal.
Conteh was on hand to make a crucial block when Cody Johnson sent a shot towards goal from outside of the box, while at the other end Williamson fired wide of the post from a corner.
Gateshead had two big chances to go two ahead in the final 15 minutes, with Harris first seeing his shot from inside the box saved by Harding before Lewis Knight’s ball into the six-yard box was put over the crossbar by Conteh.
Knight sent a shot of his own into the side netting minutes later – which resulted in his withdrawal through injury – but the main talking point by the end of the game came in the form of two red cards.
Conteh latched onto a ball down the left flank and was cynically chopped down by Williams, sparking a mass confrontation between both sets of players which saw Carl Magnay and Williams both shown straight red cards for their involvement.
The full time whistle blew immediately upon the restart, seeing Gateshead through to the FA Trophy quarter finals for the first time since 2018.
Gateshead: Montgomery, Tinkler, Storey, Williamson, Magnay, Conteh, Olley, Ward, Campbell, Martin (Knight, 62’ (Richardson, 84’)), Harris.
Substitutes: Marschall, Clark, Pye.
Goals: Harris (12’)
Yellow Cards: Storey (60’), Harris (90+5’), Conteh (90+6’)
Red Card: Magnay (90+6’)
Banbury United: Harding, Brown, Langmead, Williams, Landers (Hickman, 86’), Rasulo, Acquaye, Johnson (Reilly, 86’), Radcliffe (Hewitt, 46’), Golding, Babos.
Substitutes: Hawtin, Talbot.
Yellow Cards: Golding (9’)
Red Card: Williams (90+6’)