Gateshead under-18’s visit Spennymoor Town under-18’s in the FA Youth Cup first round qualifying on Thursday (7pm kick off).
The tie will take place at The Brewery Field and will be the academy side’s first foray into this season’s competition.
Ben Clark’s side earned a 1-0 win away to Stockton Town in the first round qualifying last season before exiting the competition with a 5-3 home defeat to Eccleshill United in the following round.
Tickets for the game are priced at £3 for adults and £1 for under-18’s and are available to buy on the gate.
Gateshead under-18’s progressed to the FA Youth Cup second round qualifying with a dramatic penalty shootout win at Spennymoor Town.
Connor Pani cancelled out George Wilkinson’s opener and both sides were unable to find a second, with Sam Wilson making himself the hero in the penalty shootout following the referee’s intervention to force a penalty to be re-taken after Gateshead had initially missed.
The Heed’s youngsters were handed the chance to impress at The Brewery Field with one familiar face in the line up for first-team fans in the form of Pani.
The game got off to a frenetic start under the lights in Spennymoor as Lennon Lowden cut inside before firing wide within two minutes, while at the other end Gateshead had to clear their lines as Sam Haynes slid in at the near post.
Lennox Magalhaes saw his one-on-one saved by Harry Alderson with under 10 minutes on the clock, and Gateshead were left wondering how they hadn’t taken the lead shortly afterwards when Jordan Plunkett’s header was beaten away by Alderson at close range.
Lowden and Magalhaes both saw efforts pass by as the half reached its midway stage, but The Moors threatened at the other end and nearly found themselves in front when Sam Peat struck the post from 20 yards.
The home side took the lead on the 32-minute mark however as George Wilkinson met a cross at the back post and looped a header over Sam Wilson, with Pani narrowly missing his clearance on the line.
Wilson was called upon to keep Spennymoor’s lead at just one moments before the half-time break and did well to beat Peat’s initial shot away before holding at the second attempt.
The Heed started the second half with the response they needed when Connor Pani rose in the box to head home from 15 yards and hand his side a route back into the tie.
The midfielder nearly put Gateshead in front moments later from a 20-yard free kick, but as in the first half it was Spennymoor goalkeeper Anderson who kept him at bay with an acrobatic save.
Magalhaes showed quick feet to turn two Moors men and race towards goal with The Heed looking to gain control, but Anderson was there to hold his shot and thwart the danger.
Gateshead then had Adam Metcalfe to thank for a flying last-ditch block as Spennymoor looked to go two-on-one as the game approached a penalty shootout.
The visitors were resolute and withstood late Spennymoor pressure, while at the other end Pani forced Alderson to save with an audacious 35-yarder, but neither side could find a second as time ran out.
Penalties, as ever, proved dramatic under the lights at The Brewery Field.
As a tense shootout neared its climax, it seemed as if Spennymoor were set to go one penalty from winning it when Cameron Tiplady’s effort was saved – only for the referee to pull it back for a re-take with the ‘keeper judged to have come off his line.
Tiplady didn’t make the same mistake twice and slotted home at the second attempt, before Wilson made himself the hero as he guessed correctly to beat away Haynes’ effort and send Gateshead through.
Gateshead U18’s XI: S. Wilson, R. Wilson, Metcalfe, Bradley, Plunkett, Bowers, Lowden, Pani, Magalhaes, Willoughby, Statton (Tiplady, 80’).
Substitutes: Day, Walton, Lock, Maughan, Hudspith, Brady.
Goals: Pani (55’)
Spennymoor Town Goals: Wilkinson (32’)