Tamworth 1-0 Gateshead

03/03/2010, by Jeff Bowron

Alex FrancisGateshead's bid to record consecutive Blue Square Premier wins for the first time this season failed when they narrowly lost their six-pointer at Tamworth.

It was a disappointing display from the Tynesiders who forced 11 corners, the majority in the opening 25 minutes, but failed to register a shot on target.

The loss of captain Kris Gate with a recurrence of his thigh injury was a setback forcing one change to the side that beat Altrincham at the International Stadium.

Tamworth entered the game on the back of four straight defeats coupled with the setback of losing the six points they had gained from beating expelled club Chester City.

That put a new emphasis on this clash at the Lamb ground but Ian Bogie's men failed to make the most of the opportunity.

Iyseden Christie grabbed the all important goal ten minutes into the second half to send the Tynesiders home pointless.

Gateshead created little after a bright opening, substitute Alex Francis missing a rare chance after the break.

"We've always been a side that creates chances but there was no creative or cutting edge and, after a bright opening period our passing was inept," said Bogie.

"We dominated for 20 minutes and forced eight corners in the first half but didn't work the Tamworth keeper in the entire 90 minutes.

"Defensively we were again a lot more solid. We've only conceded one goal in the last two games and Tamworth's winner was dubious.

"The linesman judged that the ball had crossed the line before Paul Heckingbottom kicked it clear and it proved decisive.

"We've now got to move on to the next game at Histon. Tamworth is in the history books and we'll be looking to carrier a greater offensive threat at the Glassworld Stadium."

Defences were on top in a goalless first half where

the Lambs edged possession but were held at bay by a Gateshead defence with Carl Jones and James Curtis again proving a good partnership.

Gateshead had an early escape when Tom Shaw's 10th minute inswinging corner saw Michael Wylde's close range header hit the bar and then a Neil Mackenzie shot was blocked by Paul Heckingbottom.

A long range Andy Ferrell drive flew wide of the left hand post midway through the first half as the stalemate continued.

Farman then saved comfortably from Andy Pritchard and Alex Rodman while Peter Winn was off target at the other end.

Just as in the 1-0 win over Altrincham in their last game Gateshead were more compact and they were almost ahead just before the break.

A Mackenzie foul on Brian Wake saw Jones put a close range header wide from Winn's free kick.

Chris Smith headed past the angle in stoppage time and Farman saved from Rodman before Tamworth took the lead after 55 minutes.

Shaw's flag Kick was was flicked on by Rodman for Christie to force the ball over the line with a header from inside the six yard box before Heckingbottom could clear.

Gateshead claimed, unsuccessfully, that the ball had not crossed the line and it proved to be the matchwinner.

It was a body blow and the Tynesiders received another when Curtis was booked for a foul on Rodman - his 10th yellow card of the season.

The dependable defender will now be suspended for the away games at Histon and Rushden & Diamonds .

Bogie threw on the fit again Wayne Phillips for Andy Parkinson and Francis for Craig Baxter in an unsuccessful bid to save the game.

Former Newcastle trainee Francis immediately put a right foot shot from inside the Lambs area wide of the post.

Farman denied Rodman at the other end but Gateshead almost fell further behind with ten minutes left when Sebastian Lake-Gaskin struck the post from close in.

Late Gateshead pressure came to nothing - the only consolation being that none of their rivals in distress managed to pick up three points on the night - Eastbourne Borough crashing 0-6 at home to Stevenage Borough.

"I thought we thoroughly deserved the win," said Tamworth boss Gary Mills, "it's exactly what was needed after a couple of bad weeks with a display from the team that we know they can produce."

Tamworth: Alcock, Tait, Smith, Wylde, Blackwood, Pritchard, Shaw, Mackenzie, Lake, Christie (Murdock 88), Rodman
Subs (not used): Frankern, Hurren, Lyttle, Briscoe

Booking: Smith

Goal: Christie (55)

Gateshead: Farman, Baxter (Francis 70), Heckingbottom, Ferrell, Curtis, Jones, Parkinson (Phillips 59), Turnbull, Wake (Armstrong 79), Clare, Winn
Subs (not used): Provett (gk), Swailes

Booking: Curtis

Referee: P.Bankes

Att: 483

Match stats:
Tamworth Gateshead
Shots On: 8 0
Shots Off: 8 5
8 11