Gateshead travel to Runcorn Linnets in the Emirates FA Cup third round qualifying on Saturday (3pm kick off).
The Heed progressed to this stage of the competition with a 6-2 win over Bradford (Park Avenue) at Gateshead International Stadium – a result followed up by a 3-0 home win over Gloucester City last weekend.
Runcorn Linnets currently sit eighth in the Pitching In Northern Premier League West table and are yet to taste defeat on home turf in league competition.
The Linnets have made it through three rounds to reach this point in the Emirates FA Cup, defeating Avro FC, Liversedge and higher-league opposition in Bamber Bridge at the APEC Taxis Stadium.
A crowd of 470 watched on in midweek as Runcorn battled to a 3-3 draw at home to City of Liverpool, ending their six-game winning run at home.
“It’s going to be one of the biggest games in their history and we all know the FA Cup throws up plenty of surprises,” said player-manager Mike Williamson.
“If we go there and we’re complacent and think we can just turn up and win the game we’ll be surprised.
“We’ve done as much research as we can on them, but no matter who we face it’s 95% about us and how we turn up.
“We’ve got a great group of lads and they want to build that winning mentality.”
“We’re playing one of three full time sides left in the competition so it couldn’t have been much of a harder draw,” Runcorn Linnets manager Calum McIntyre told the club’s official YouTube channel.
“They’re a side that have a brilliant brand of football and have a real reputation, a manager that has played in the Premier League, and they’ve got to come to Runcorn Linnets and beat us.
“They’ll be expected to beat us by four or five goals for them to generate some success – it’s the FA Cup and we’ll be having a right good go.”
There is no new injury news to report as Danny Greenfield, Elliot Forbes, Jack Hunter and Luke Williams all continue their rehabilitation programs.
Last Time We Met
Gateshead last met Runcorn, under their former guise as Runcorn FC Halton, in December 2005 at Gateshead International Stadium.
The Unibond Premier Division clash saw Runcorn emerge 4-2 winners despite seeing Lee Furlong sent off after a coming together with Heed captain James Curtis.
Niall Flynn and Liam Radford scored late on, but it mattered little to the result as the visitors left Tyneside will all three points.
Tickets are available on the gate at APEC Taxis Stadium on Saturday afternoon (cash or card accepted), and are priced at:
£1 18 & under
Gateshead progressed to the Emirates FA Cup fourth round qualifying with a 3-2 win at Runcorn Linnets.
A manic first half saw Dan Ward’s opener cancelled out by strikes from Jacques Welsh and Ryan Brooke, before Macaulay Langstaff equalised just before the break.
Cedwyn Scott struck to put Gateshead back in front three minutes into the second half as three proved enough to progress to the fourth round qualifying.
Mike Williamson named an unchanged side following last weekend’s 3-0 win over Gloucester City as The Heed took to a rain-soaked surface at APEC Taxis Stadium.
Gateshead got the early goal they were hoping for with five minutes on the clock when Ward cut in from the left and sent a wicked shot that Joe Young could only parry into his own net.
The lead proved short-lived however as a ball into the box caused a collision between Jacob Chapman and a Runcorn Linnets forward, before Welsh slotted home despite The Heed’s protests.
Greg Olley and Ward both looked to test Young from distance after being pegged back, but it was the hosts who would take the lead with their next foray forward.
A long ball forward led to Chapman’s clearance dropping to Brooke just outside the area and he was quick to put his side ahead amidst heavy protests of offside from The Heed.
Gateshead had Chapman to thank for keeping the deficit to just one goal with just over half an hour gone as he launched himself across goal to keep out Iwan Murray’s effort from point-blank that looked certain to make it three for the hosts.
The visitors were the ones applying the pressure late on in the half in search of an equaliser and Langstaff threatened with a sliding shot at the back post before netting his eighth of the season to level things.
Slick build-up on the right hand side saw Langstaff provided with the ball just inside the box and he shifted onto his left foot before curling into the top corner to leave Young with no chance and make it 2-2.
Williamson’s half time team-talk – and his introduction at the break – injected life into his men and they re-took the lead with 48 minutes gone when Scott prodded home Adam Campbell’s cross at the back post.
The Heed controlled affairs for much of the second 45 and looked more like their usual selves as Campbell came inches from netting himself with a swerving 20-yard strike.
Langstaff was next to test Young in search of a fourth goal as he broke forward on the right wing, but the Runcorn goalkeeper got down well to keep his volley out at the near post.
The home side weren’t out of the game yet though and Chapman had to be alert to keep Gateshead in front with 72 minutes on the clock when he blocked a low-driven effort from inside the box.
Runcorn threw men forward late on in search of an equaliser and thought it had come in the second minute of added time as Brooke sent a bullet header in, but the assistant referee was quick to raise his flag for offside before the final whistle blew.
Gateshead XI: Chapman, Tinkler (Williamson, 46’), Storey, Nicholson, Jacob, Bailey, Olley (c), Ward, Campbell (Blackett, 66’), Scott, Langstaff (Wombwell, 86’).
Substitutes: Cameron, Pani.
Goals: Ward (5’), Langstaff (42’), Scott (48’)
Runcorn Linnets Goals: Welsh (12’), Brooke (26’)
Yellow Cards: Bailey (26’), Campbell (43’)