Gateshead return to Gateshead International Stadium on Saturday looking to get back to winning ways against AFC Fylde (3pm kick off).
The Heed remained top of the Vanarama National League North after last Saturday’s draw at York City, though are now separated from Brackley Town on goal difference following their draw at Chester on Tuesday.
Cedwyn Scott’s 76th minute strike and Clayton Donaldson’s equaliser five minutes later saw both sides settle for a point at the LNER Community Stadium.
AFC Fylde’s defeat at home to Curzon Ashton last time out sees them sit fifth in the league table, and would fall 10 points behind The Heed should Mike Williamson’s side take three points.
A win for Jim Bentley’s side would close the gap on the league leaders and keep their automatic promotion hopes alive.
A home win on Saturday would see Gateshead remain top of the league table ahead of Tuesday’s derby against Blyth Spartans.
“It’s a big week coming up starting with the toughest game of the season on Saturday against Fylde,” said Mike Williamson.
“It’s been a good week of preparation for a really tough test, obviously we know the size of the task but the boys are looking forward to it.”
“We’ve got to make sure that we don’t give them a leg up,” Jim Bentley told AFC Fylde’s official YouTube channel after last weekend’s defeat to Curzon Ashton.
“We need to make sure when our opportunities come that we put them in the back of the net.
“Are they make or break [games against Gateshead & Brackley Town], we have ambitions of winning the league and if we don’t they pull a little bit clear.
“We’re certainly capable of winning the game and hopefully we’ll have a good week leading to it.”
Dan Ward and Elliot Forbes are both working towards a return to fitness, while Paul Blackett has picked up a knock during the week and faces a late fitness test.
Goalkeeper Filip Marschall is in line to make his Gateshead debut after joining on loan from Aston Villa for the remainder of the season earlier this week.
Last Time We Met
The Heed fell to a 2-0 defeat at Mill Farm the last time the two sides met in league competition in October, with David Perkins and Jordan Hulme netting for the hosts.
Segregation will be in place for Saturday’s fixture with both home and away supporters situated in the Tyne & Wear Stand.
Home supporters will be seated in the South end while away supporters will be seated in the North end of the Tyne & Wear Stand.
Tickets are available to purchase online or on the gate, with admission priced at:
Adult – £15
Concession – £10
Under-16 – £5
Gateshead fell to second place in the Vanarama National League North following a 3-0 defeat to AFC Fylde.
Second half goals from Nathan Shaw, Nick Haughton and Sam Osborne handed The Heed their second home defeat of the season at a blustery Gateshead International Stadium.
Mike Williamson handed goalkeeper Filip Marschall his debut but left the outfield 10 unchanged following last Saturday’s 1-1 draw at York City.
The game got off to a relatively tame start with neither side able to create any clear chances early on, with Greg Olley sending a 25-yard free kick over the bar while at the other end Luke Conlan sent wide from the same distance.
Shaw threatened for the visitors midway through the half when he took on a few men in black and white before firing wide from 25 yards as Fylde looked for an opener.
Macaulay Langstaff hit the back of the net with three minutes to go until the half-time break, but his strike was swiftly ruled out for offside after he had latched onto Marschall’s long ball forward.
Owen Bailey fired Carl Magnay’s knock-down just wide from the edge of the box in the last act of the opening 45, and Gateshead opened the second period in search of an opener with spells of possession around Fylde’s box.
Adam Campbell saw a half-chance from distance pass by with an hour on the clock when he cut in from the left and fired over the crossbar, but 10 minutes later it was the visitors who struck as Shaw prodded home a left-sided cross from close range.
Williamson’s side responded well and pushed men forward to find an equaliser with Bailey clearing the bar from 20 yards before Cedwyn Scott flicked Langstaff’s cross wide at the near post.
With eight minutes to go though, Fylde netted a second from as many shots on target as Haughton drove through the middle and slotted into the bottom left corner to double their lead.
Langstaff tested Chris Neal’s gloves shortly afterwards but the visitors scored a third on the counter via a slice of good fortune, with Osborne’s shot deflecting past Marschall to seal the result.
Gateshead XI: Marschall, Tinkler, Storey, Nicholson, Magnay, Bailey, Olley (c), Hunter (Charters, 46’), Campbell (Greenfield, 84’), Scott, Langstaff.
Substitutes: Williamson, Pani, Jacob.
AFC Fylde XI: Neal, Conlan, Philliskirk, Haughton, Joyce (Osborne, 65′), Shaw, Pike, Walker (Slew, 65′), Stott, Davis, Whitehead.
Substitutes: Jones, Obi, Perkins.
AFC Fylde Yellow Cards: Joyce (57’)