Gateshead 1- 2 Marine
Gateshead crashed to a third successive league defeat on Saturday with goals from Paul Wolcott and Karl O’Donnell enough to see Marine take all three points back to Merseyside.
For Gateshead, James Dudgeon made his debut alongside Carl Jones and Kris Gate returned to the midfield on the right in place of Jamie Harwood who dropped to the bench.
A sloppy start from the home side saw in-form Marine take the lead inside five minutes when a ball wide from the right found Wolcott in a crowded penalty area and the midfielder had just enough time and space to poke the ball home from close range.
Moments later Gateshead were almost back in the game when Gate turned and found Jamie McClen whose ball saw Davey Southern in space only for the striker’s shot to be saved by the feet of Andy Banks in the Marine goal.
Midway through the first half the impressive Wayne Phillips outwitted the Marine right-back to deliver a cross that fell agonisingly wide of the head of the diving Graeme Armstrong in the area with the ball going out for a Marine throw.
With the Tynesiders pressing hard for an equaliser, a McClen ball saw Steve Bowey through on goal, round the goalkeeper and cross a ball that eluded all players from both teams before being hoofed clear by the visitor’s defence.
As Gateshead pressed, Marine looked dangerous on the counter and could have extended their lead on the stroke of half time when O’Donnell received the ball from midfield, rounded Peter Keen and hit a goal-bound effort only to see Jones clear off the line at the last possible moment to ensure Gateshead entered the break just a single goal behind.
Half time: 0-1
Four minutes in to the second half and the hosts were back on level terms in bizarre fashion when a Craig Baxter cross on the right hand side of the area was completely misjudged by the keeper who somehow found himself on the floor as the ball looped over his head and in to the back of the net.
The home side continued to dominate and could have taken the lead five minutes later when a clever one-two between Phil Cave and Armstrong saw the left-back cross back to the striker, whose glancing header was not powerful enough to trouble Banks.
It was Gateshead who were again on the attack minutes later when Southern found Phillips, whose cross found Armstrong who got his shot away from close range and must have thought he had scored, only for Banks to pull off a fine save and tip the ball over the bar and out for a corner.
With 11 minutes to go Marine, who had been dangerous on the break, broke with O-Donnell who shrugged off the attentions of substitute Jamie Harwood to cut inside and fire a clinical shot past the diving Keen to give the Merseysiders a 2-1 lead.
Five minutes from time Southern had a chance to rescue a point for Gateshead when an Armstrong ball found the striker in the area only for Southern to turn and shoot just wide of the right hand post.
Gateshead’s bad day was compounded with minutes to go when Jones pulled up with what looked to be a hamstring injury, which if confirmed could see the defender out for some time.
Full time 1-2
Gateshead: Keen, Baxter (Robson 84 mins), Cave, Jones (Flynn 87 mins), Dudgeon, Gate, McClen, Bowey (Harwood 77 mins), Southern, Armstrong, Phillips.