Gateshead 3-0 Southport

25/10/2009, by Jeff Bowron
Phil TurnbullGateshead's games against Southport last season were never short of incident, Ian Bogie's side eventually knocking the Sandgrounders out of the Conference North play-offs on their way to promotion.

There was more drama in this FA Cup rematch with both sides playing the second half with ten men after Chris Swailes and Port defender Rob Marsh-Evans were sent off following a clash after the whistle had sounded for half-time.

Gateshead-born defender Swailes, who recently celebrated his 39th appearance, will now be banned for three games and will be unable to play for his hometown club in the 1st round of the FA Cup.

The red cards affected Southport more than the hosts after Liam Watson's side had given Gateshead plenty to think about in the opening 45 minutes.

After Gateshead's on loan winger Peter Winn had a goalbound shot deflected wide in the first minute Blue Square North high flyers Southport took the game to their hosts.

Matty McGinn powered a close range header over the bar and Kevin Lee glanced a header narrowly wide, but it was Gateshead who took the lead just before the half hour.

Phil Turnbull, back after illness, drilled an edge of the box shot in off the post after a short pass from Graeme Armstrong.

It was a great strike but clever control inside the box saw Steve Daly almost restore parity before Swailes and Marsh-Evans saw red.

Southport's challenge faded after the break and only a brilliant reaction save from Tony McMillan from Armstrong's close range volley prevented further damage.

Earl Davis had a chance at the other end but fired wide and Gateshead made it two on 64 minutes when Craig Baxter picked up an Armstrong pass, checked inside his marker to hammer a low drive into the bottom corner.

It was another fine finish and Gateshead were all but home and hosed.

Michael Powell shot just over fro distance for Southport while Daryl Clare forced a full length save from McMillan following an Alex Francis through ball.

Tynesiders keeper Paul Farman finally had his first shot to save in the 87th minute when he tipped a 30 yard Powell drive past the post.

But it was Gateshead who added a late third when sub Neale McDermott squared the ball for Turnbull to claim his second of the afternoon.

"We started brightly but Southport then came back at us," said Gateshead boss Ian Bogie "they are a good side but we had the bit between our teeth and did well in the second half.

"The three goals we scored were excellent. It was good to keep a clean sheet and it was a job well done.

"There were some very good individual performances though I was disappointed with Swailes. His actions could have been costly, but we maintained our composure and got the win we wanted.

"Gateshead have never entertained a Football League club in the FA Cup since the club were reformed in 1977, so hopefully the draw will be kind to us.

"Some big clubs come into the competition in the 1st round such as Leeds United, Norwich and Southampton and a good Cup run can kick-start our season."

Gateshead: Farman,Williams, Cave, Gate (McDermott 81m), Curtis, Swailes, Baxter, Turnbull, Armstrong (Francis 68m) Clare, Winn (One 88m)

Referee: Martin Coy (Durham)

Att: 402

Graeme Armstrong fires in a first time shot that forces Southport keeper Tony McMillan into a fine reaction save
Graeme Armstrong fires in a first time shot that forces Southport keeper Tony McMillan into a fine reaction save. Photo: Martin Avery