Gateshead 2-1 Stamford

Bowey's Wining delight - Evening Chronicle Monday 14th January, By Jeff Bowron

Gateshead captain Steve Bowey grabbed what turned out to be the 68th minute winner in a thrilling 2-1 top seven victory over Stamford at the International Stadium.

The returning Steve Salvin had broken the deadlock three minutes earlier but then handled a Danny French corner and Tony Battersby converted the resultant spot kick.

Gateshead, drawn at home to Spennymoor Town in the semi-final of the Durham Challenge Cup, deserved their hard earned win but were hanging on at the end as substitute Paul Thompson produced two brilliant blocks to prevent an injury time equaliser.

Bowey and former Newcastle Reserves captain Kris Gate had fine games in the middle of the park and Bowey raced half the length of the field after his goal to good naturedly confront the Gateshead bench.

Bowey said: "I'd taken a bit of stick for scooping a few shots over the bar during shooting practice in training and was delighted to score so I thought I'd share it with the lads on the bench."

"I had a gut feeling before the game that I'd score and I usually come good from January onwards in terms of goals so hopefully there's a lot more to come."

"It should have been game, set and match after we scored twice in three minutes but we let Stamford back in the game and it was tin helmets time near the end."

Bowey heaped praise on the talismanic Thompson who had replaced on loan York City defender Carl Jones with 20 minutes remaining.

"Thommo made two tremendous blocks in injury time that prevented goals and he epitomises everything that Gateshead Football Club stands for," added Bowey.

"If would have been devestating if we'd dropped two points at the death as we played well and did enough to win the game against a good Stamford side."

Gateshead bossed the first half withut finding the breakthrough and Stamford contributed to an all-action second period as both sides looked for goals.

Salvin, operating as a stand-in centre half, headed Gateshead in front following a cross from Craig Baxter who again proved a potent weapon down the right.

Striker Graeme Armstrong, who put in a tremendous shift, then created the second when his angled shot was parried by Chris Sanna and Bowey knocked in the rebound only for Battersby to set up a tense finale.