Gateshead 0 Marine 1
The UniBond League Challenge Cup Final First Leg proved to be a tight affair with just one goal separating the two sides. The narrow scoreline means that it is still all to play for in the Second Leg that takes place at Marine's Rossett Park home on Thursday 24th April 2003 (kick-off 7.30pm).
Gateshead were looking to make the most of home advantage in the First Leg, but despite having the majority of possession throughout the game, they were not able to hit the back of the net. The only goal of the game arrived as early as the 4th minute.
A looping header in the middle of the box from Marine's Rick Bainbridge found David Nolan unmarked at the back post and he made no mistake in finding the back of the net from close range.
Gateshead's Michael Chilton had several chances to draw level during the first half, whilst Marine's Jon Paul Stanhope first chipped an effort off the bar, before having a weak header cleared off the line by John Watson.
The Tynesiders had most of the game in the second half. Steve Harrison flashed a shot wide with ten minutes to go after David Colvin's intial shot had been blocked. In stoppage time Harrison turned provider as his centred ball was met at the back post by Colvin, who with only the keeper to beat, struck his shot narrowly past the far post.
Gateshead will feel aggrieved not to have at least picked up a draw. However, the Cup Final is still very much alive and there is everything to play for in the Second Leg.