Gateshead make the mammoth trip to Yeovil Town in the Emirates FA Cup first round on Saturday, November 4 (3pm kick off).
The Heed were handed their second away game out of two ties in the competition so far following a fourth round qualifying win at Stourbridge, facing a 726-mile round trip to Huish Park as a result.
Yeovil are a side with renewed confidence following their relegation from the National League last season, and currently sit top of the National League South while looking to add to a 10-game winning run.
The fortunes of Mark Cooper’s side are much changed since they succumbed to a heavy 4-0 defeat at Gateshead International Stadium in April, and are yet to lose at home in the league this season.
A defeat at Hemel Hempstead on the opening day, followed by a 4-3 loss at Havant & Waterlooville just over three weeks later, are their only two defeats during the current campaign.
Conditions at Huish Park could have a strong say in Saturday’s tie, with Storm Ciaran expected to hit the South of England over the weekend.
“By no means are we taking them lightly,” said Rob Elliot.
“It’s probably one of the toughest games we could’ve got in terms of the travel, their form and the potential conditions.”
“I like watching [Gateshead] in my spare time,” said Cooper.
“I would say they’re the one of the best, if not the best, pure football teams in the National League.
“They’re very similar to Notts County, and if you take Chesterfield out of it, they’re the toughest test we could have got from the National League.”
”We just spoke to the staff and if it’s nil-nil then one of us is going to run on to the pitch to score an own goal.
“It will be the worst thing for both teams with the amount of games coming up.”
Carl Magnay and Robbie Tinkler remains unavailable for selection due to injury.
Commentary during our first tie will be available through BBC Radio Somerset – listen online here.
65+ & Armed Forces: £14
Gateshead supporters will be seated in a designated area of the Screwfix Community Stand, with segregation in place at Huish Park. Away areas are indicated as red blocks via Yeovil Town’s online ticketing platform, though the Away Terrace will not be in use for this fixture.
Yeovil Town have five covered wheelchair bays available and offer a free carer ticket to anyone on mid/higher PIP/DLA. For disabled tickets, supporters should call 01935 847 888. All disabled supporters pay the relevant age bracket, with their carer admitted free of charge.
Tickets can be purchased up until kick off online, or from the ticket office at Huish Park.
Gateshead exited the Emirates FA Cup at the first round stage following a 3-2 defeat at Yeovil Town.
Rhys Murphy and Jordan Stevens put the hosts two up at the break, before Murphy’s second 63 minutes in made it three to leave The Heed with a mountain to climb.
Marcus Dinanga pulled one back from the penalty spot four minutes later and netted again deep into injury time, but it proved too late to spark a comeback at Huish Park.
Rob Elliot re-introduced Connor McBride and Ed Francis to the starting 11 in Somerset, with Regan Booty slotting into the back three as Francis partnered Callum Whelan in central midfield.
A goal inside three minutes handed Yeovil a dream start however, with Murphy capitalising on a loose ball inside the area to prod over Archie Mair and give his side the lead inside three minutes.
Gateshead controlled possession after going behind but couldn’t get a clear sight of goal in the opening 45, with McBride firing over the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area before Stephen Wearne did enough at the other end to prevent Frank Nouble’s cross from being converted.
Stevens added Yeovil’s second of the afternoon with 26 minutes on the clock, slotting into the far corner to leave Gateshead requiring a two-goal turnaround in the second half to force the tie to a replay.
A positive start to the second period saw Ed Francis call Joe Day into a save from the edge of the area, though it was Yeovil who struck next to make it three when Murphy penalised Booty’s misdirected clearance and tucked past Mair just after the hour mark.
The Heed were handed a lifeline when Dinanga was brought down inside the area, before stepping up and slotting home from the penalty spot to get his side on the scoresheet.
A raft of attacking changes saw Jordan Hunter, Billy Chadwick, Aidan Rutledge and Luke Hannant introduced in an effort to salvage the tie, and late hope was offered when Dinanga nodded home after Rutledge’s deflected effort bounced back off the crossbar.
With only two minutes to go though, time was not on Gateshead’s side, and Yeovil held out to earn progression to the second round.
Gateshead: Mair, Richardson, Grayson, Booty, Lofthouse (Chadwick, 65’), Wearne (Rutledge, 73’), Francis, Whelan (Hunter, 65’), Olley, McBride (Hannant, 81’), Dinanga.
Substitutes: Storey, Allan, Pani.
Goals: Dinanga (67’, 90+5’)
Yellow Cards: Richardson (42’), Rutledge (90+2’), Grayson (90+6’)
Yeovil Town: Day, Smith, Williams, Wannell, Whittle, Worthington, Lo-Everton, Stevens (Bell, 79’), Nouble (Cox, 79’), Dawes (Young, 71’), Murphy (Hyde, 73’).
Goals: Murphy (3’, 63’), Stevens (26’)
Substitutes: Fisher, Staunton, Maguire-Drew, Owers.
Yellow Cards: Smith (45+3’), Whittle (90’)
Attendance: 3,241 (27 Gateshead)