Gateshead 0-0 Hayes & Yeading Utd (abandoned after 76 minutes)

Gateshead's Blue Square Premier game against fellow newcomers Hayes & Yeading United at the International Stadium will be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

The Tynesiders had debutant Christoph Ascherl sent off after 51 minutes and then lost wide man Martin Brittain for the season with an horrendous double fracture of the leg.

The injury, sustained in the 76th minute with the game goalless, brought a delay of 40 minutes after which time an announcement was made that the game had been abandoned.

What happens now remains to be seen, but a black afternoon was soured further when Hayes & Yeading manager Garry Haylock accused Gateshead of forcing the abandonment.

"The game was not called off because of the serious injury but because the Gateshead players refused to come put of the dressing room," Haylock told BBC Radio London.

Gateshead counterpart Ian Bogie claimed there had been a lack of respect for the injured player, Brittain, who required morphine injections on the pitch from ambulance paramedics.

"The players were shell-shocked at what had happened to one of their team-mates," said Bogie "they had sat around in the dressing room for almost half a game and were in no frame of mind to play football."

In between the war of words a game of football broke out with Gateshead dominating the first half without getting the vital breakthrough.

Rallied by Ascherl's sending off Hayes & Yeading hit back after the break but with 14 minutes remaining the stalemate remained with the game in the balance.

Gateshead handed a debut to 6' 5" 17 stone French striker Armand One and the big man certainly caused problems for the visitors in the first half.

Three times his headed flick ons set up fellow striker Michael Mackay but the on loan Hartlepool man couldn't get his shot away.

Mackay had almost opened the scoring after six minutes when he latched on to Craig Baxter's chip into the box to hit an angled volley that flew just wide of the far post.

A measured long ball from Alex Francis then saw Mackay denied by a fine block from James Mulley and another Mulley challenge, this time on One, saw the ball loop over United keeper Simon Overland and just past the post.

A half cleared Brittain corner saw Kris Gate's goalbound drive blocked by the prostrate Mulley as Gateshead did all the probing.

The Londoners threatened for the first time after 27 minutes when Gate was at full stretch to cut out a Dale Binns driven cross at the expense of a corner.

One then became the first of six bookings before on loan Notts County striker Sean Canham shot high and wide and Binns put a header wide for the visitors.

One was just off target with a 14 yard header from a Baxter cross - but the game turned six minutes into the second half.

Ascherl got the wrong side of Canham who was in on goal, and his attempt to retrieve the situation brought a tangle of legs and Canham crashing to the turf.

Yorkshire referee Andy Madley, whose performance deteriorated in the second half, immediately produced a red card.

Justin Cochrane's 22 yard shot then brought a flying save from Jim Provett as Hayes & Yeading looked to make their extra man count.

Steven Richardson replaced Mackay on the hour and was booked within a minute for a shirt pull on Mulley.

A Ram Marwa overhead kick was saved by Provett and then only a vital Baxter block prevented Binns from finding sub. George Daly in acres of space on the edge of the box.

Adam Green drove a powerfully struck free kick through the wall that Provett did well to parry before the ball was scrambled clear.

Little was seen of ten man Gateshead as an attacking force though Brittain cut inside to hit a 20 yard shot that Overland comfortably saved.

The Tynesiders best move of the half came in what turned out to be the last minute of the game, the 76th, when sub. Phil Turnbull found Wayne Phillips on the left side of the box.

The winger's cross was inch perfect but there was no-one on hand to apply the finishing touch and Brittain's subsequent horror injury blocking an Adam Green clearance brought proceedings to a close.

Gateshead: Provett, Baxter, Robinson, Gate, Curtis, Ascherl. Brittain, Francis (Turnbull 64), One, Mackay (Richardson 61), Phillips
Subs (not used): Farman (gk), Forsyth, Cave.
Att: 519

Sent Off: Ascherl (51).

Booked: One (28), Phillips (56), Richardson (61)

By Jeff Bowron

Martin Brittain receives treatment on the pitch from paramedics after breaking his fibula and tibia in the 76th minute against Hayes & Yeading United

Martin Brittain receives treatment on the pitch from paramedics after breaking his fibula and tibia in the 76th minute against Hayes & Yeading United. Photo: Martin Avery.