Gateshead take on relegation rivals Maidstone United at Gallagher Stadium on Saturday, February 25 (3pm kick off).
The Heed regained their momentum on Tuesday night with a 2-1 win over Oldham, and now remain in the relegation zone only on goal difference with Yeovil Town also on 32 points.
A 1-0 defeat at Southend United last weekend halted Gateshead’s six-game unbeaten run away from home, though The Heed sit fifth in the National League’s five-game form table.
A win this weekend could be enough to see Mike Williamson’s side up to 17th in the league table, with a host of sides in the bottom half still in danger of dropping into the bottom four.
Maidstone United have endured a tough return to the fifth tier following promotion from the National League South last season, and sit 10 points from safety with 13 games left to play.
The Stones have been without a permanent manager since Hakan Hayrettin’s departure on January 9, with former defender George Elokobi taking the reins as caretaker manager since then.
Elokobi’s side have seen contrasting form in the National League and FA Trophy, with two away wins in the latter somewhat downplayed by five defeats and one draw in six league fixtures.
Maidstone’s last home league win came against Maidenhead United in November 2022, with The Stones only losing three from 11 at Gallagher Stadium until that point.
“It was a massive game [on Tuesday], but you know how quick the turnaround is,” said midfielder Callum Whelan following the Oldham win.
“We’re focused on the weekend, it’s another big one and hopefully if we put in another performance [like Tuesday], we should be alright.”
“We do respect every opponent we go up against,” said Maidstone United’s caretaker manager, George Elokobi.
“Tactically, we’re going to have a game plan for Gateshead on Saturday, and hopefully it’s going to be a good game for us and a positive one.”
Elliot Forbes, Lewis Knight, Owen Bailey and Quevin Castro remain absent through injury, while Aaron Martin is suspended.
Carl Magnay is eligible after completing his three-match suspension.
Supporters outside of the UK can watch Saturday’s game live from Gallagher Stadium via www.nationalleaguetv.com, with match day passes priced at £9.50.
Fans will have the ability to switch between any National League match streamed on any given match day.
Supporters can purchase tickets online here, with admission priced at:
Concession (65+/students with valid ID): £15
Youth (11-16): £9
Junior (U11): £3
Away fans are to enter Gallagher Stadium via turnstiles eight and nine, with gates to open at 12:30pm.
Gateshead brought a point back to Tyneside after a 634-mile round trip Maidstone United ended level.
The Heed started the scoring in the first half as George Fowler puts the ball into the back of his own net, while Maidstone find the equaliser they were looking for all game just after half-time.
Gateshead started at the Gallagher Stadium with an unchanged starting 11 from Tuesday’s game against Oldham, with Connor Pani joining the bench after being recalled and Carl Magnay coming back from suspension.
Maidstone started the game with a solid chance as Sha’mar Lawson fires a shot towards Filip Marschall, with the rebound falling to Jack Barham though his header was quickly ruled out for offside.
Gateshead took the lead in the 17th minute though through a second own goal inside five days, with Greg Olley’s low cross into the six-yard box diverted into the Maidstone net by a tumbling George Fowler.
Marcus Dinanga had two clear chances to extend his side’s lead, only to be denied by a fantastic close-range stop from Dan Barden, moments before a low cross from Olley flashed by the forward when any touch would have taken it over the line.
Adam Campbell saw Barden stop his one-on-one as Gateshead mounted pressure in search of a second, though they had Marschall to thank at the other end when he tipped James Alabi’s point-blank header against the post.
The hosts capitalised on Gateshead’s missed opportunities two minutes into the second half however, as Josh Shonibare headed in a cross at the far post to draw Maidstone level.
Both sides saw opportunities go begging in a close-fought second half, with a point ultimately enough to see The Heed move out of the relegation zone and up to 19th.
Gateshead: Marschall, Tinkler, Storey, Pye, Richardson, Conteh, Olley, Whelan (Pani, 88′), Ward (Harris, 77′), Dinanga, Campbell.
Substitutes: Montgomery, Williamson, Magnay.
Goals: Fowler (OG) (17′)
Maidstone United: Barden, Fowler, Alabi (Marshall, 81′), Wanjau-Smith (Walters, 88′), Barham, Binnom-Williams (Brown, 63′), Deacon, Bone, Jobe, Shonibare, Lawson.
Substitutes: Mersin, Jeche.
Goals: Shonibare (47′)
Yellow Cards: Barham (32’), Deacon (51’), Bone (67′)
Attendance: 2,070 (56 Gateshead)