Gateshead host Vanarama National League side Altrincham in the Emirates FA Cup first round proper at Gateshead International Stadium on Saturday.
The Heed are competing at this stage of the tournament for the second time in as many years, with the last appearing in the first round a 2-1 defeat at home to League Two outfit Oldham Athletic in 2019.
Mike Williamson’s side come into the weekend on the back of only their second defeat of the season at AFC Fylde last time out, but return to familiar ground with a flawless home record behind them.
Gateshead have won six games from six in all competitions on Tyneside so far, scoring nine goals in the two Emirates FA Cup fixtures played at home against Bradford (Park Avenue) and Marske United.
Altrincham overcame Vanarama National League North side Southport at Haig Avenue in the fourth qualifying round to reach this stage of the tournament, but have fallen on hard times in league competition recently.
A host of injury and COVID-19 absentees have seen The Robins forced to field sides including emergency loanees, and Alty have lost three consecutive league games as a result.
Phil Parkinson’s side currently sit 10th in the National League and have consolidated themselves as a competitive fifth-tier outfit since promotion via the play-offs in 2020.
“It’ll be a different encounter for us to the last time we played Altrincham a couple of seasons ago,” said player-manager Mike Williamson.
“When we last played them here we played a low block and wanted to be compact and tactical with our pressing.
“The way they play football has adapted and evolved since getting promoted and they’ve established themselves as a strong National League side now.”
There are no fresh injury concerns to report ahead of Saturday’s game, with Matty Jacob and Owen Bailey both available for selection after being substituted off at AFC Fylde last week.
Tickets are available to purchase online or on the gate at Gateshead International Stadium with admission priced at:
£15 – Adult
£10 – Concession
£5 – Under-16
Free – Carer
Segregation will be in place for Saturday’s fixture with away supporters now situated to the North of the Tyne & Wear stand.
Two late goals saw Gateshead taken to an Emirates FA Cup first round replay against Altrincham.
Adam Campbell and Greg Olley put The Heed two goals ahead only for last-gasp strikes from Marcus Dinanga and Jake Moult to haul the visitors back into it and force a replay.
Mike Williamson named an unchanged side following last weekend’s defeat at AFC Fylde in the hopes of adding a seventh win at home in all competitions.
The Heed enjoyed spells of possession early on as they looked to put their stamp on proceedings, with Adam Campbell seeing shots blocked in the Altrincham box early on as his side pressed.
The first real glimpse of goal either side had went the hosts’ way when Macaulay Langstaff came inches away from meeting Campbell’s low cross to the back post, which only needed the slightest touch.
Campbell and Dan Ward both went into the referee’s book for a couple of tough challenges in the middle of the park as the visitors tried to push forward past the half-hour mark.
Altrincham saw a couple of corners come their way without creating any real threat, while at the other end Matthew Gould was quick off his line to deny Greg Olley a one-on-one after Cedwyn Scott slid him through.
Campbell struck two minutes after the restart to put Gateshead in front with a low drive from the edge of the box, placed well out of Gould’s reach.
Scott had a golden chance to double The Heed’s lead just past the hour mark but was denied from point-blank range by Gould, before Altrincham almost levelled at the other end but for Alex Nicholson’s clearance from just in front of the goal line.
Ten minutes from the final whistle and Olley made it two, curling a free kick into the box that missed all defenders and found its way into the far corner to send Gateshead International Stadium into raptures.
The two-goal lead lasted three minutes as Altrincham struck back quickly through Marcus Dinanga, handing the visitors a lifeline.
Gateshead did well to stand firm and clear the balls coming into the box in the final moments, before the visitors found a way through with the final kick as Jake Moult converted from inside the box to send the tie to a replay.
Gateshead XI: Chapman, Nicholson, Storey, Williamson, Jacob, Bailey, Olley (c), Ward, Campbell (Hunter, 84’), Scott (Blackett, 90’), Langstaff.
Substitutes: Pani, Wombwell
Goals: Campbell (47’), Olley (80’)
Yellow Cards: Campbell (27’), Ward (34’)
Altrincham Goals: Dinanga (83’), Moult (90+5’)