Gateshead under-18’s face local rivals Blyth Spartans under-18’s in the FA Youth Cup second qualifying round on Wednesday (7pm kick off).
Ben Clark’s side overcame Spennymoor Town in the last round after Connor Pani’s second half equaliser took the game to penalties, where goalkeeper Sam Wilson made the decisive save to send The Heed through.
Blyth Spartans are yet to concede in the competition having won 6-0 against Darlington and 2-0 against Billingham Town, with former Gateshead defender Michael Nelson taking charge of the youngsters.
Tickets are priced at £3 adults and £2 concessions at Croft Park. Travelling supporters should be aware that a cash turnstile is in operation only.
Gateshead under-18’s exited the FA Youth Cup 4-3 on penalties following a goalless draw in normal time at Blyth Spartans.
The game got off to a gridlocked opening with both sides looking to establish a foothold on proceedings under the lights at Croft Park.
Blyth saw more of the ball in the opening 45 minutes but were mostly limited to half chances by a stern Gateshead back-line, who looked to spring Lennox Magalhaes free on the counter on a number of occasions.
Goalkeeper Sam Wilson was called into action with 18 minutes on the clock to keep The Heed on level terms, rushing off his line to pull off a key save from Owen Mitchell.
Gateshead were limited in terms of chances during the first half, with their first real effort coming Magalhaes’ way when he fired wide of the near post from distance after chasing down a lofted ball.
Connor Pani was next to hit one from distance and this time forced a save from Elliot in the Blyth Spartans goal, moments before the hosts saw the best chance of the night pass by.
A slack back-pass allowed Norvell in one-on-one with Wilson but thankfully for The Heed it did not prove costly as the forward fired over as he looked to find the far corner.
Gateshead passed up a chance of their own seven minutes after the restart when Pani was set up in the centre of the box after some patient build-up out wide, only to send his first-time effort wide of the near post.
Cameron Tiplady threatened to break the deadlock twice in the second half but Blyth ‘keeper Elliot was there to thwart him on both occasions, first one-on-one before later diverting an effort wide at his near post.
With 10 minutes to go, it was Wilson’s turn at the other end to come up with a big save as he closed off the angles when a lofted ball dropped to an unmarked Joisce from 12 yards out.
Blyth tried but failed to find a way through Gateshead’s defence, and a determined Wilson, with the game going to a penalty shoot-out at Croft Park.
There was not to be a repeat of The Heed’s penalty success at Spennymoor however, with the hosts going through to the third round qualifying via a 4-3 win from the spot.
Gateshead U18’S XI: S. Wilson, R. Wilson, Metcalfe (Day, 70’), Bradley, Plunkett, Bowers, Tiplady (Adok, 85’), Pani, Magalhaes (Brady, 70’), Willoughby, Lowden.
Substitutes: Walton, Maughan, Hudspith, Statton.
Blyth Spartans U18’s XI: Elliot, Dopson, Carr, Walker, Cave, Watson, Norpell, Morpeth (Livermore, 39’), Mitchell (Errington, 84’), Heppell (Joisce, 74’), Nesbitt.
Substitutes: Shilling, Spencer, Chapman.