Gateshead 1-3 Ebbsfleet United

20/02/2010, by Jeff Bowron

Peter WinnGateshead's hopes of pulling clear of the relegation zone received a setback when they lost their six-pointer against Ebbsfleet United at the International Stadium.

A bright opening 20 minutes failed to produce a goal and two goals in two minutes from Fleet on the half hour pulled the rug from Bogie's men.

Peter Winn, Gateshead's stand out player, scored with a header for the second consecutive game and put in an impressive shift.

Phil Turnbull had a useful game in midfield, Paul Heckingbottom, on loan Mansfield Town, had a steady game at left back and Paul Farman made some important saves.

But, just as in the fortunate 2-1 win over Barrow, not enough players hit their straps and more will have to do so if Altrincham and Forest Green Rovers are to leave Tyneside empty handed this week.

If Gateshead had a slice of good luck against Barrow the same commodity was in short supply against Kent visitors Ebbsfleet.

Daryl Clare headed against the post early in the second half and another Clare effort from a Turnbull corner at the death stuck in the mud on the goalline.

Sandwiched in between was the type of farcical goal Gateshead have patented this season as Andy Ferrell's lunge in midfield midway through the second half produced Fleet's third and clinching goal.

The ball flew past home defenders and into the path of Moses Ashikodi who was coming back from an offside position.

The linesman, wrongly, waved his flag for offside. An exposed Farman stopped only for the referee to overrule the hapless flag waver for Moses to shoot home.

It was the fatal blow that ended any hopes of a Gateshead fightback and has made the Altrincham and Forest Green games even more important.

"That decision didn't cost us the game as it was the right one," said Bogie "inept defending denied us the chance to get the win we were looking for.

"They should be able to sort the situation out at the back but there is a lack of communication and leadership and it is proving costly.

"It is very frustrating as a manager and the scoreline suggests we were well beaten at 3-1 but that wasn't the case.

"We had the rub of the green against Barrow but our luck was certainly out against Ebbsfleet and it is a missed opportunity.

"Our football in the opening 20 minutes on a bog of a pitch was very good and, after conceding two goals, we were back in it at 2-1.

"Clare's header was then goalbound but took a bobble and hit the post while Winn was denied by the keeper, but the third goal killed us."

A superb reverse ball from Clare put Andy Parkinson in after just 28 seconds only for Lance Cronin to make a superb save - hapless official Colin Harwood instead awarding a goal kick.

The lively Winn had a driven cross deflected wide and then ran at the Fleet defence only to shoot past the far post.

It was an explosive start from Gateshead but Farman had to save from Ashikodi before Stefan Bailey sent Magno Vieira racing clear.

Farman did well to stop the in form striker's shot only for Rikky Shakes to shoot home from the edge of the box.

A right side cross then found Dean Pooley in space and while Farman saved at full stretch Vieira tapped in from close in.

From a period of superiority Gateshead were now chasing the game and once again looking vulnerable at the back.

Farman had to race out of his area to kick clear from Vieira and then Bailey shot inches wide of the near post.

The Tynesiders were rattled but were back in it when Craig Baxter's 41st minute cross saw Winn head into the net from a narrow angle.

Bailey then raced clear from half way only for Farman to save the day and then Vieira's follow up.

Gateshead began the second half with all guns blazing, Winn forcing a save from Cronin while Clare headed a Baxter cross against the post.

Just as in the first half Ebbsfleet rode out the storm though Winn, released by Ferrell, should have found Brian Wake in the middle and waiting to pounce.

Winn had a goalbound shot deflected just wide off the heels off a defender only for the officials to, again, wrongly award a goal kick.

Bailey drilled an angled shot wide at the other end before Ashikodi wrapped up the game with the visitors third.

Gateshead huffed and puffed thereafter but didn't look like salvaging anything from the game.

"The pitch was very sticky and bobbly," said Fleet boss Liam Daish "it made us tentative at times but we played winning football in the end and showed a bit of steel.

"I'm pleased to score three goals away from home and to get the three points. We had some hairy moments at times but the result is all that matters."

 

Gateshead: Farman, Baxter, Heckingbottom, Ferrell, Curtis, Bains, Parkinson (Francis 69m), Turnbull, Wake (Armstrong 69m), Clare, Winn
Subs (not used): Provett (gk), Buchanan, Sinclair

Goal: Winn (41)

Bookings: Farman (65)

Shots On: 8

Shots Off: 4

Corners: 8

 

Ebbsfleet United: Cronin, Collins (Salmon 62m), Heeroo, Pooley, Vieira (Ginty 85m), Ashikodi, Shakes (West 79m), Crooks, Bailey, Charles, Holmes
Subs (not used): Wills, Lamprill

Goals: Shakes (28), Vieira (30), Ashikodi (64)

Bookings: None

Shots On: 8

Shots Off: 10

Corners: 5

 

Referee: Colin Harwood (Manchester)

Att: 533

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