Forest Green Rovers 1-0 Gateshead

17/01/2010, by Jeff Bowron

Ian BogieGateshead are back in the Blue Square Premier relegation zone for the first time in over three months following a single goal defeat at fellow rivals in distress Forest Green Rovers.

The Tynesiders lacked a killer instinct and paid the price when Forest Green claimed a 69th minute winner from former Arsenal trainee Isaiah Rankin.

Unlike at Barrow in the previous game Gateshead defended solidly and restricted Forest Green to very few chances - yet came away with nothing.

On chances created over the past two games six points should have been claimed instead of one which now sees Ian Bogie's side in fourth bottom position.

Just as at Barrow Gateshead were denied by the woodwork, Daryl Clare in the first half and Graeme Armstrong late on, but for all their possession they didn't trouble home keeper Terry Burton enough.

"Relegation or survival was never going to be achieved on the outcome of this game, but to lose it in the manner we did was an absolutely crushing blow," said Bogie.

"We created plenty of chances and should have won comfortably and there didn't seem to be a threat when they scored their goal.

"The last two performances have been decent yet we've picked up only one point. We have got to be more ruthless and it would be nice to play poorly and win like Forest Green did.

"We never worked their keeper enough though we hit the bar and post and missed a one-on-one, and had other chances - I could go on and on.

"We've now got to make sure we put in a performance and get a result in the FA Trophy against Chippenham Town on Tuesday.

"After that we've got a massive game against Luton Town at the International Stadium next weekend when I expect us to rise to the occasion."

Bogie is determined to have a couple of new faces to face the Hatters with less than two weeks of the transfer window remaining.

Forest Green had put in a Herculean effort to clear the pitch of snow but misplaced passes were the order of the day in the first half at the New Lawn.

Despite that Gateshead should have gone into the dressing rooms ahead after two chances in the last five minutes fell to Clare.

The first came when Burton flapped one handed at a Wayne Phillips cross and Clare headed against the bar, and the 31 year old then put a first time shot wide from seven yards.

Early presure after the break from Rovers came to nothing but they grabbed the all important goal midway through the second period.

Former Gateshead target Tomi Ameobi cut across debutant Rikki Bains near the byline and when Paul Farman could only parry the striker's angled shot at full stretch the unmarked Rankin tapped into an empty net.

Farman saved from substitute David Brown while Conal Platt fired narrowly wide from 22 yards but the final half hour saw Gateshead pour forward in search of an equaliser.

Clare, twice, Kris Gate and Armstrong put headers wide while Clare's goalbound shot was deflected wide.

The best chance fell to Steven Richardson who had earlier cut inside to hit a right foot shot that just flew just past the far post.

The diminutive front man raced clear after a powerful headed clearance from inside his own half from Bains sailed over the Rovers defence.

Richardson however was unable to convert a one-on-one against Terry Burton when a heavy second touch allowed the experienced stopper to smother.

It was then all over when Armstrong thudded a 20 yard shot against the post with two minutes left on the clock to leave Gateshead wondering what might have been.

"We had eight or nine good chances but didn't take any of them," said assistant manager Jeff Wrightson "and if we'd got the first goal we would have won handsomely.

"But we've just got to get our heads down and work hard - starting with Chippenham Town in the FA Trophy on Tuesday.


Forest Green: Burton, O'Cearuill, Preece, Thorne (Brown 45), Stonehouse, Platt, Rocastle, Hodgkiss, Powell, Rankin, Ameobi.

Subs: ( not used): Wilkinson, Winter, Else, Osman.

Goal: Rankin (69)


Gateshead: Farman , Baxter , Cave , Gate , Curtis, Bains , McDermott (Francis 79), Williams (Turnbull 59), Clare , Richardson (Armstrong 70), Phillips

Subs: (not used) Provett (gk), Robinson.


Referee: W.Barratt (Halesowen)

Att: 805