Gateshead round off the Easter Weekend by hosting neighbours Darlington at Gateshead International Stadium on Easter Monday (3pm kick off).
The Heed re-took top spot in the Vanarama National League North with a 6-0 win at Guiseley on Good Friday, and sit one point above Brackley Town heading into Monday’s fixtures.
Mike Williamson’s side return to Gateshead International Stadium on Monday having won 15 from 18 league fixtures at home – the second-best record in the division.
Darlington sit 10th and four points behind the final play-off spot prior to Monday’s game following Friday’s 2-0 defeat at home to Curzon Ashton.
Alun Armstrong’s men sit fourth in the form table over the last 10 games however, winning six, drawing two and losing two.
Jack Lambert is The Quakers’ top scorer in the league with seven goals as things stand, following the January departure of Luke Charman, who had 12 goals to his name.
“They’re in good form, they’ve got a wealth of experience now when you look at their team and Alun likes to play good football,” said Williamson following Good Friday’s win at Guiseley.
“It’s complete focus on ourselves, recovery and making sure we’re in the best shape we can to go into the game.”
“We’ve got to bounce back or we’ll end up getting a spanking like Guiseley have,” said Darlington manager Alun Armstrong following Friday’s defeat to Curzon Ashton.
“Gateshead will be riding high and have a few to swap so we’ll have to rotate the squad again.
“Hopefully we’ll have a few more fitter bodies on Monday, fingers crossed, and put in a much improved performance.”
There are no fresh injury concerns to report following Friday’s 6-0 win at Guiseley.
Last Time We Met
Gateshead ran out 3-1 winners following a hectic second 45 at Blackwell Meadows in the final game of 2021.
Macaulay Langstaff put the visitors ahead with 72 minutes gone, only for Luke Charman to level one minute later, before Cedwyn Scott struck two minutes after that to restore the lead.
Langstaff made sure of the result with six minutes to go to see The Heed through to a hard-fought three points.
Fans under 16 can claim their free ticket on the gate at Gateshead International Stadium, including season ticket holders. Under-14’s must be accompanied by a paying adult.
Segregation will be in place at Gateshead International Stadium, with away supporters situated in the East Stand.
Tickets will be available to purchase online or on the gate, with admission priced at:
Adult – £15
Concession – £10
Under-16’s – FREE
Carer – FREE
Tickets purchased online are not posted to supporters and must be either printed at home or shown on a smartphone upon entry.
Supporters should purchase tickets under the relevant age bracket, and there is also a carer option which permits entry free of charge.
Carers will be required to bring identification with them, such as a Blue Badge or a letter proving their carer status.
A four-goal second half comeback saw Gateshead extend their lead at the top of the Vanarama National League North table to four points on Easter Monday.
Nathan Lowe put The Quakers in front with three minutes on the clock via 25-yard free kick, and the lead was doubled when Jack Lambert converted from the penalty spot after he was judged to have been brought down by Robbie Tinkler.
A sensational second-half comeback saw Gateshead score four goals in the final 24 minutes, with a Macaulay Langstaff double alongside Greg Olley and Connor Malley’s efforts securing three points.
Mike Williamson made three changes to the side that won 6-0 at Guiseley on Good Friday with himself, Taylor Charters and Cedwyn Scott coming into the starting 11.
It was the visitors who started hot however and found themselves in front within minutes, as Lowe curled a free kick into the near post from distance to catch Filip Marschall off guard.
Langstaff and Adam Campbell both saw half-chances saved by Tommy Taylor from in and around the box, before the visitors made it two with 18 minutes on the clock.
Lambert drove down the left wing and darted towards the box before going down under pressure from Tinkler, and then stepping up to send the resulting penalty into the bottom left corner.
The Heed struggled to find their rhythm in the opening 45 and could have been three behind but for Marschall’s near-post save from Kevin Dos Santos.
Olley led shouts for a penalty after rifling a shot into the Darlington box and claiming it had struck a stray hand, but nothing was given and Gateshead trailed by two at the break.
Gateshead came out for the second 45 with 1,722 home supporters rallying behind them, and it was one-way traffic for the remainder of the game.
Langstaff sent a header into Taylor’s grasp at the back post six minutes after the restart, and fired wide from inside the box moments later as The Heed’s confidence grew.
Connor Malley and Matty Jacob were introduced 11 minutes into the half, and Olley saw claims for a penalty denied once more when he went down under Alex Storey’s challenge.
It was Olley who grabbed the first to spark the comeback after Campbell’s pressure won possession high up the pitch, before neat work between Olley and Scott allowed the captain to slot home at the near post.
Seven minutes later and Gateshead were level when a goal kick was headed behind the Darlington defence by Owen Bailey, and no one could catch Langstaff who raced through to prod past Taylor.
The electric atmosphere at Gateshead International Stadium begged the home side to go on and net a third, and it seemed only a matter of time as Malley fed Langstaff to fire over from inside the box.
With six minutes to go, Langstaff sent the home crowd into raptures with his second and Gateshead’s third as he raced through one-on-one before poking past Taylor to net his 26th league goal of the season.
Substitute Malley rounded off the comeback with a fourth in injury time – his second in as many games – to see Gateshead extend their lead at the top of the table to four points with four games remaining.
Gateshead XI: Marschall, Tinkler, Williamson, Storey, Charters (Jacob, 56′), Bailey, Ward (Malley, 56′), Olley (c), Langstaff (Hunter, 86′), Campbell, Scott.
Substitutes: Magnay, Montgomery.
Goals: Olley (66’), Langstaff (73’, 84’), Malley (90+1’)
Yellow Cards: Campbell (61’)
Darlington XI: Taylor, Hedley, Moke, Lambert, Dos Santos (Ellis, 75’), Lawlor, Purver, Griffiths, Mondal, Wheater (c) (Storey, 57’), Lowe.
Darlington Substitutes: Smith, Ellis, McHale.
Goals: Lowe (3’), Lambert (18’, pen)
Attendance: 2,332 (610 Darlington)