Match Report by Steve Humbles
Gateshead started much the brighter of the two sides on a sunny but cold and windy day in the North-East. Sam Rents’ shot from distance was easily saved by Ryan Young on 6 minutes and Telford were fortunate to survive just a minute later when Phil Turnbull’s shot from just inside the area was superbly turned around the post by the Bucks’ goalkeeper.
Gateshead were enjoying lots of possession and were also passing the ball well with Rents, Turnbull and Kris Gate particularly influential. Only an excellent tackle by Chris Sharp saved the Bucks on 35 minutes as Josh Gillies looked set to pull the trigger following an incisive passing move, whilst Gateshead top-scorer Jon Shaw might have done better when he blazed wide after Liam Hatch had nodded back Turnbull’s left-wing centre.
Telford threatened briefly before half-time with Phil Trainer heading over from Jon Brown’s cross on 42 minutes before Brown’s shot from the edge of the box was saved by the diving home goalkeeper Tim Deasy. However Telford were perhaps slightly fortunate to be level at the break with the hosts having bossed the first period.
Gateshead didn’t have to wait long, though, to finally reflect their dominance as two goals in the first seven minutes of the second-half put the hosts firmly in the ascendency. Shaw found space to cross for Hatch who nodded past Young from close-range on 47 minutes and – after Hatch had fired wide from the edge of the box – Gillies buried a shot past Young to make it 2-0 on 52 minutes.
From there on it looked like being a matter of damage limitation for Telford who were struggling to make any impression as an attacking force. Gillies’ shot was turned around the post by Young on 62 minutes and the increasingly over-worked Bucks’ stopper was required again on 65 minutes when he pushed away Kris Gate’s diving header following Shaw’s cross.
The Heed were totally dominant by this point, however, and it was no surprise when they added a third on 71 minutes. Telford were short at the back with Dan Preston
down injured just outside the area and the home side took full advantage, Hatch nodding back Carl Magnay’s cross for Gate to convert into the gaping net from close-range.
Kyle Perry blazed over after latching onto a centre from fellow-substitute Steve Jones in a rare Telford attack but a confident-looking Gateshead remained in complete control. Turnbull skipped past several challenges before forcing Young to save his fierce strike and Shaw again may feel he should have done better when he headed straight at Young from Magnay’s cross on 85 minutes.
Magnay’s header in injury-time was blocked by Young as Gateshead tried to add further gloss to the scoreline, but there were no further goals as Telford’s first season in the Blue Square Bet Premier ended with a comprehensive away defeat.
1. Tim Deasy, 3. Sam Rents, 4. Kris Gate, 6. Ben Clark (c), 8. Phil Turnbull, 9. Jon Shaw, 11. Micky Cummins, 15. Liam Hatch, 16. Josh Gillies, 18. Carl Magnay, 25. Paul Dummett.
Substitutes: 13. Paul Farman, 7. Martin Brittain, 14. Craig Baxter, 17. James Marwood (for Cummins, 77 minutes), 24. Alan O’Brien (for Shaw, 87 minutes).
1. Ryan Young, 2. Will Salmon, 4. Carl Rodgers, 8. Phil Trainer, 16. Dan Preston
, 18. Chris Blackburn (c), 21. Ryan Brooke, 22. Jonathan Brown, 23. Ryan Valentine, 25. Chris Sharp, 31. Adam Proudlock.
Substitutes: 6. Shane Killock, 9. Kyle Perry (for Brooke, 66 minutes), 15. Nathan Rooney
(for Rodgers, 77 minutes), 29. Steve Jones (for Proudlock, 66 minutes), 32. Ryan Robinson (GK).
Mrs Amy Fearn (Leicester).
606 (including 74 away supporters).