Gateshead play their first away game of 2023 with 550-mile round trip to Barnet.
The Heed are currently three games unbeaten, with an Isuzu FA Trophy demolition over Gloucester before picking up four points against York City.
Gateshead haven’t lost in their last three meetings with Barnet, picking up a draw and two wins in the National League.
Barnet are currently top of the form table and haven’t lost a league game since November 1, which was only their third home defeat.
The Bees scored in the last kick of the game to defeat Boreham Wood at home on Boxing Day, before snatching a late point in the reverse fixture.
“We’re in a really good place,” said assistant manager Ian Watson.
“We know Barnet are top of the form table and are a really good side – they’ve got some good players.
“Idris [Kanu] is on fire at the moment and we’re hoping to stop him – as a collective they’re a tough side to place against so we’re looking forward to testing ourselves.”
“Gateshead have got some good patterns,” commented Barnet boss Dean Brennan.
“They’ve got a centre forward who’s flying for them and create a lot of chances – the game we played up there was outstanding and they made us change our style.
“They’re a good side – I think they’re better than where they are currently and I have a lot of respect for them.”
There are no new injuries to report following Monday’s 2-2 draw against York City.
Saturday’s fixture is available to watch via the National League’s streaming service, National League TV.
Fans can subscribe at www.nationalleaguetv.com, with match day passes priced at £9.50.
Viewers will have the ability to switch between any National League match streamed on any given day.
Away supporters will be seated in Stand ’66 at The Hive, with admission priced at:
Under 17: £5
Concessions are supporters aged 65 years and over & under the age of 21. Failure to provide ID proof of concession at the turnstile may result in entry being refused.
Supporters can purchase tickets online here, or can contact the Barnet FC ticket office by phone on 0208 381 3800.
The Barnet FC ticket office is also open from 1:30pm for in-person purchases. Supporters are advised that the ticket office is a cashless site and payments can be made by card only.
An 88th minute equaliser prevented Gateshead from taking all three points from Barnet in the opening away fixture of 2023.
Danny Elliott opened the scoring with his fifth goal in six games to put The Heed in front, only for Nicke Kabamba’s equaliser two minutes from time to snatch a point for the hosts.
Mike Williamson named an unchanged starting 11 at The Hive, with Will Harris’ re-introduction to the bench the only change to the match day squad.
Elliott threatened for Gateshead as early as three minutes in on the counter – a theme that continued throughout the opening 45 – when he battled to win a ball forward and sent a shot wide after creating space for himself.
The forward called Laurie Walker into action for the first time six minutes later when he cut onto his left and fired low towards the near post, but the Barnet stopper proved equal to it.
Barnet created an opportunity of their own from distance on 25 minutes when Harry Pritchard forced James Montgomery to parry wide from 25 yards, before Idris Kanu headed over the bar from the resulting corner.
The remaining pressure in the half was in Gateshead’s favour however, with Elliott once again battling to win possession on the counter and this time sending a right-footed effort across goal which Walker did well to tip out for a corner.
Adam Campbell created an opportunity for himself one minute before the break when he won possession 25 yards from goal, though once again Walker was on hand to palm away his effort at the far post.
Barnet looked more threatening after the interval, though Gateshead defended well, with a scramble in the box blocked and cleared while at the other end Dan Ward mishit a shot after Campbell had pulled the ball back into the box.
The breakthrough came when Campbell and Elliott combined on 68 minutes, with the former’s cross falling for an unmarked Elliott in the penalty area to convert with a diving header for his fourth National League goal in Gateshead colours.
Montgomery was on hand to preserve his side’s lead moments later when Kabamba sent a header looping towards goal, with the stopper diving backwards to tip over his own crossbar.
The hosts began to commit more men forward in search of an equaliser and perhaps should have levelled when Kabamba struck the side netting after being played inside the penalty area.
The forward found the net two minutes from time to prevent Gateshead from taking what would have been a hard-earned three points, volleying home a loose ball following a cross towards the back post.
His late strike saw Gateshead leave The Hive with a point and extend their unbeaten run to four games in all competitions, though it was so close to being a third win.
Gateshead: Montgomery, Tinkler, Richardson, Storey, Pye, Bailey, Conteh, Olley (c), Ward (Knight, 75’), Campbell, Elliott (Harris, 86’)
Substitutes: Elliot, Forbes, Jarvis.
Yellow Cards: Tinkler (63’)
Barnet: Walker, Collinge, Beard (Moyo, 46’), De Havilland, Gorman (Hall, 78’), Okimo, Powell (Armstrong, 67’), Pritchard, Wynter, Kanu, Kabamba.
Substitutes: Callan, Diarra.
Attendance: 1,417 (61 Gateshead)