Gateshead make the short trip along the River Tyne to face neighbours South Shields in the final game of pre-season on Friday, July 28 (7:30pm kick off).
Mike Williamson’s side travel to The 1st Cloud Arena on the back of a win in midweek, defeating League Two side Harrogate Town 2-0 at Gateshead International Stadium.
South Shields have faced Harrogate themselves in pre-season, falling to a 6-1 defeat at The 1st Cloud Arena with former Gateshead forward Luke Armstrong netting four times.
The Heed open their 2023/24 National League season in just over one week, with Boreham Wood travelling to Tyneside on Saturday, August 5.
The hosts find themselves in a new league and under new management ahead of the 2023/24 season, following promotion to the National League North and former player Julio Arca’s return as manager.
Ex-Gateshead forward Paul Blackett has enjoyed a fruitful pre-season so far following his move from Spennymoor Town, netting four goals so far for his new employers.
“Everyone has seen the standard we’ve set in pre-season,” said midfielder, Elliot Forbes.
“It’ll be a really tough test for us [at South Shields] and that’s what we want.
“We’ll be playing to our system, and going into next week it’s the start of the season, so we want to make sure we’re doing the right things.”
“I hate losing, and when things like that happen, it hurts,” said Julio Arca following South Shields’ 6-1 defeat to Harrogate Town.
“The fans have a right to be hurt today, but we have to prepare in the right way to get a better performance against Gateshead.”
Supporters can purchase tickets for our trip to the 1st Cloud Arena online here or on the gate, with admission priced at:
Away supporters are required to enter via turnstiles three and four (both of which operate as cashless), with the ground open from 5:30pm.
All indoor bar areas at the 1st Cloud Arena are card only, though food kiosks accept either cash or card.
Gateshead came from behind to win their final friendly of pre-season at South Shields.
Gateshead tried to gain the lead only a few minutes in when Adam Campbell went through on goal but Myles Boney keeps his team in the game.
Gateshead went on to go down 1-0 after 7 minutes as Joao Gomes fired Shields ahead after an unfortunate Gateshead error at the back.
Having multiple close attempts, Gateshead couldn’t seem to put in the back of the net. Dinanga finds his space well to try and get Gateshead back in the game but Myles Boney makes multiple saves to stop Gateshead.
As the first half went on, Gateshead held onto the ball trying to find a way past the South Shields defence but unfortunately couldn’t slot the ball into the back of the net.
South Shields were starting to struggle to hold off the attacking force of Dinanga and Wearne as the first half came to an end. Olley and Wearne had two chances to score from close range free kicks but both being blocked by the wall.
Being down 1-0 at half time, the lads had a big second half coming and had to get their team back into the game. Gateshead didn’t let their heads go down and Mike Williamson gave them some words of encouragement to help them get back into the game.
Gateshead started the second half fast, trying to get back into the game as soon as possible. Gateshead won a corner just a few minutes in and this lead to Wearne going down in the box but the referee didn’t see a problem with the challenge and said play on.
Five minutes into the second half, Dinanga slots the ball into the bottom left corner to bring Gateshead back into the game.
Gateshead started making changes in the 57th minute with Rutledge, Allan and Trialist 21 who made a big impact in the second half.
South Shields weren’t giving up even after conceding to Dinanga. Lufudu driving forward for Shields, giving Shields a good chance to take the lead again but the Shields attacker puts it wide of the post after the ball fell straight into the middle of the box.
Shields had another chance to take the lead for the second time today with Mongoy making a perfectly timed run but his shot goes just wide of the far post.
Gateshead decided they needed another to make sure they come out victorious. Hasani making a good run forward, taking it past multiple midfielders to then lay it off to Booty. Booty makes a clean connection with the ball and it’s driven across the box towards the bottom corner and all it needed was a little tap for Gateshead to go ahead for the first time but nobody could react quick enough and Shields come out with a goal kick.
Rutledge makes a massive impact as soon as he comes on and ends up putting Gateshead ahead for the first time in the game. The ball comes in high towards Rutledge, positioned in the middle of the box. Rutledge leaps like a salmon, beating the defender to the ball and the ball goes over the head of Myles Boney and straight into the back of net. Gateshead lead 2-1.
Gateshead weren’t finished just yet. In the 89th minute, Trialist 21 slots the ball into the back of the net, scoring two goals in two games.
Gateshead finish out on top, winning 3-1 in their final pre-season against South Shields.