Gateshead 2 - 2 Huddersfield Town

13/07/2009
Blue Square Premier newcomers Gateshead made it hot for Lee Clark's Terriers in an action packed opening pre-season friendly at the International Stadium.

Gateshead reproduced the free flowing football that had earned them back-to-back promotions against their League One opponents but couldn't quite force victory.


But despite creating a host of chances the Tynesiders had to come from two down to earn a draw, though they went close on three occasions to grabbing a late winner.

Lively summer signing Steven Richardson was denied an 8th minute opener by Town keeper Matt Glennon after racing clear, and he then headed a Martin Brittain cross against the bar.

Town new boy Robbie Simpson however eased between Chris Swailes and Craig Baxter just outside the box to score a fortunate opener midway through the half.

Jim Provett made a fine block only for the ball to cannon off Simpson's legs and into the empty net.

Simpson had another effort ruled out for a marginal offside before Kris Gate had a shot cleared off the line by Nathan Clarke and Wayne Phillips went close with both head and boot.

Indecision between Carl Jones and James Curtis however proved fatal eight minutes into the second half allowing Shane Birtles  to set up Huddersfield's second for Phil Jevons.

Undaunted Gateshead continued to create openings and sub. Jamie Harwood's angled shot into the far corner soon halved the Terriers lead.

Kiegan Parker crucially missed a on-on-one with Provett that would have restored the visitors two goal lead, and it proved costly when Jones headed the equaliser from an Alex Francis corner.

Town keeper Simon Eastwood then pulled off a string of important saves to deny Gateshead a deserved victory in an entertaining game for a 700+ crowd at a sunkisssed International Stadium.

Francis set up sub.Dan Neary only for Eastwood to turn the ball past the post, and Jones then almost grabbed his second with two efforts on goal that were blocked.

A 25 yard Gate piledriver was tipped over by Eastwood who then made a stunning full length save at the foot of the post from a driven Francis free kick.

"It has been a fantastic work out for the lads," said Huddersfield boss Lee Clark "I thought Gateshead did very well - I was very impressed with them but I knew they would do well , because Ian Bogie and Jeff Wrightson have done a very good job here ovder the last two years."

Bogie was more than satisfied with his side's first work out and was particularly pleased with his summer signings, though Phil Cave and Christoph Ascherel were not cleared in time to play.

"I was delighted with our performance against a full-time professional outfit," said Bogie "we played really well and created so many chances that we should have won the game.

"The new signings did well with Steven Richardson's pace up front causing the Terriers all sorts of problems, while Martin Brittain did well on the right.

"Mark Robinson gave a composed performance at left back and Chris Swailes brought experience and organisation to the back four before he picked up a slight hamstring strain.

"Young Paul Farman showed up well in goal when he played the last 20 minutes in place of Jim Provett who is still recovering from a hernia operation he had a few weeks ago."

Gateshead will now travel to Northern League neighbours Dunston UTS for their second friendly before hosting a Sunderland XI on Saturday.

Gateshead: Provett (Farman 70), Baxter (Pelonde 70), Robinson, Gate, Swailes (Curtis 26), Jones, Brittain (Harwood 45), Turnbull (Francis 58), Armstrong (Neary 65), Richardson, Phillips (Brown (62)

By Jeff Bowron

Gateshead 2 Huddersfield Town 2

Gateshead apply presure to the Huddersfield Town defence during Saturday's 2-2 pre-season friendly draw at the International Stadium. Pic. by Martin Avery

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