Gateshead travel to Meadow Lane for the first time in 12 years to face league leaders Notts County on Tuesday, December 13.
The Heed are set to compete in sub-zero temperatures in Nottingham, with all but two midweek fixtures in the National League falling victim to this week’s surge of winter weather.
Mike Williamson’s side currently lie four points from safety albeit with two games in hand on 20th placed Maidstone United, who will visit Dorking Wanderers in the night’s only other surviving fixture.
Notts have proved a difficult opponent to breach at Meadow Lane so far this season, conceding just four goals and going unbeaten in their 10 National League home fixtures so far.
Luke Williams’ men have drawn their last two games on home soil however, with Yeovil and Bromley taking a point each with 0-0 and 1-1 draws respectively.
Both sides will see familiar faces compete against their old clubs, with former Gateshead forwards Macaulay Langstaff and Cedwyn Scott potentially lining up for the hosts whilst Kenton Richardson and Adam Campbell could make the Heed’s eleven.
“We know what Notts County are about, they’re very well organised and they move the ball very well,” said player-manager, Mike Williamson.
“We’ve got to be patient but we’ve also got to go there and be ruthless, and we back ourselves to show up and hit the levels in our own performance.”
“I’ve got some insight into the team performance and how they’ve fared against the other teams in the division and the resources they have, and on that basis I think Mike is the best manager in the division,” said Notts County boss, Luke Williams.
“We’re all judged on the result of the team, but if you judge on the performance, not only this season but previously, then he’s done an incredible job.
“They will be well prepared to play against us and we have to play very well to beat them.”
Greg Olley will be available to make his return to the squad following a recent short-term injury lay-off.
Tonight’s game at Meadow Lane is available to watch live via the National League’s new streaming service, National League TV.
Fans can subscribe at www.nationalleaguetv.com, with match day passes priced at £4.75 during the initial beta phase.
Fans will have the ability to switch between any National Division match streamed on any given match day.
Admission at Meadow Lane is priced at:
65 and over: £14
Under 18: £7
Under 16: £5
Under 12: £1
Under 7: Free*
Away supporters must purchase tickets in block Z2 of the Jimmy Sirrel stand, and can purchase online here.
Supporters are advised that prices for ages 12 and over rise by £2 on match day.
Two strikes either side of half time proved enough to see a spirited Gateshead side defeated away to league leaders Notts County.
Ed Francis put the hosts in front after capitalising on a deflected shot despite The Heed limiting the hosts’ chances in the first 45, before Ruben Rodrigues added a second 61 minutes in to make sure of the result.
Danny Elliott was handed his first start at Meadow Lane, while Dan Langley deputised for James Montgomery in goal after the latter missed training last week.
The home side were patient in possession during the game’s early stages, though failed to create any real clear-cut chances as a resolute Gateshead defence held their shape well.
Will Harris sent a low effort wide of Sam Slocombe’s goal on the counter inside the opening 10 minutes, while at the other end Langley was alert to tip Macaulay Langstaff’s header over the bar from 12 yards.
Elliott put in an industrious performance on his full debut and looked to cause the Magpies’ defence problems on the break, sending two efforts wide of goal before half time.
The hosts found a way through to open the scoring with four minutes until the interval however, with Francis firing home on the half-volley from 18 yards after an initial effort deflected into his path.
Greg Olley was introduced for the second half with Gateshead chasing a way back into the game, and he struck the side netting after combining with Elliott 11 minutes into the second 45.
Notts would grab their second and ultimately put the game to bed with just over an hour on the clock however, when Rodrigues slid towards the back post to prod a lofted ball over the line.
The home side slowed things down and looked to control the game from there on out, though Aaron Nemane sent a ball across the face of goal which could have made it three had any black and white shirts connected.
Elliott continued to graft in attack for Gateshead though, and fashioned himself a chance from Adam Campbell’s ball over the top only to fire over the crossbar under pressure.
His strike proved to be the final action at either end, as Notts saw the game out to see Gateshead defeated.
Gateshead: Langley, Tinkler, Richardson, Storey, Forbes (Ward, 56’), Pye, Bailey (c), Conteh, Campbell, Harris (Olley, 46’), Elliott (Carty, 88’).
Substitutes: Montgomery, Magnay.
Yellow Cards: Bailey (25’), Tinkler (48’), Campbell (52’), Storey (89’)
Notts County: Slocombe, Brindley, Nemane, Baldwin, Cameron, Chicksen (Bajrami, 46’), Palmer, Francis (Bostock, 62’), Rodrigues, Austin, Langstaff (Scott, 70’).
Substitutes: O’Brien, Castro.
Goals: Francis (41’), Rodrigues (61’)
Yellow Cards: Francis (10’), Baldwin (48’), Nemane (90’)
Attendance: 5,539 (88 Gateshead)