Altrincham 1-1 Gateshead

06/03/2011, by Jeff Bowron

Ashley WinnGateshead dropped two points at the death at Altrincham after Ashley Winn's heavily deflected 57th minute opener appeared to have given Ian Bogie's men maximum points.

It was a disappointing finale to a frustrating game, Gateshead well below the high standards set during a fantastic February.

While captain Ben Clark again led from the front too many others had an off day against an Altrincham side fighting for their lives at the wrong end of the table.

James Tavernier, a revelation since joining the club on loan from Newcastle United had his worst 45 minutes for the Heed, and the midfield failed to spark.

Wide men Martin Brittain and Adam Rundle struggled to get into the game, Phil Turnbull had a rare quiet game and Kris Gate's energy in the engine room was missed.

Michael Liddle backed up a fine display at York with another solid 90 minutes, but had more players hit their straps victory would surely have been achieved at Moss Lane.

A lethargic Gateshead were second best in the first half, the Robins Nicky Clee causing plenty of problems down the left.

Gateshead debutant Richard Offiong could have earned his side a penalty just 29 seconds into the game when Rob Williams climbed all over him in the box but Merseyside referee Jake Collin was unimpressed.

Tavernier then lost possession and only a great tackle inside the box o Damian Reeves from James Curtis prevented Altrincham from taking an early lead.

Brittain then lost the ball near the halfway line and Clee's reverse ball put Wes Baynes in, but his shot from a tight angle was blocked by Tim Deasy.

Jon Shaw headed over from an Adam Rundle cross and Rundle had a half chance from Brittain's cross but failed to make any contact with his head.

Offiong eased pat two players to hit a well struck shot that was blocked by a defender, but it was Altrincham who again went close to breaking the deadlock.

Clee cut inside past Tavernier to hit a low cross that should have been turned in by Sam Hewson, only for the striker to make a hash of the opening.

The greater urgency was coming from Altrincham but Shaw had a deflected shot held by Craig Dootson, Offiong having shot weakly at the Robins custodian a minute earlier.

Gateshead had a scare either side of half-time.Tavernier was booked for a foul on Clee and when Joseph headed on Baynes' free kick defender Greg Young glanced a header wide.

Baynes' corner on the right then saw Deasy superbly tip over from Young's bullet header, although he didn't receive the credit as a goal kick was wrongly awarded.

Gateshead still weren't firing but a huge slice of luck gave them the lead just before the hour.

Winn let fly from outside the area and the ball took a big deflection off Joseph to leave Dootson flat-footed and powerless to prevent the ball from nestling in the net.

Deasy saved Baynes' 20 yard drive low to his right while Nathan Fisher, a half-time replacement for the injured Shaw, brought out a flying save from Dootson.

Altrincham had been less threatening in the second half but they fired a warning when Reeves had an 81st minute effort ruled out for offside.

A surging run from Tavernier then took the teenager into the box but his shot from a tight angle was blocked by Dootson's legs.

Fisher's scissor kick had earlier cleared the bar but there was to be a sting in the tale as the home side levelled three minutes from time.

Tavernier conceded a corner when the ball got stuck between his legs on the by-line and Joseph powered a free header into the roof of the net from Baynes' flag kick.

Gateshead could stlll have won it when Fisher set up fellow sub Craig Nelthorpe but, instead of hitting the ball first time, the winger twisted and turned before shooting straight at Dootson.

While the final result was disappointing it was a 5th consecutive away game for Gateshead - a run that has brought an impressive three wins, a draw and one defeat.


Altrincham: Dootson, Bateson, Joseph, Williams, Lawton, Reeves, Clee (Brown 89), Baynes, Hewson (Danylyk 87), Young, Piergianni
Sub (not used): Coburn (gk)

Goal: Joseph (87)


Gateshead: Deasy, Tavernier, Liddle, Winn, Curtis, Clark, Brittain, Turnbull, Shaw (Fisher 46), Offiong (Gillies 71), Rundle (Nelthorpe 78)
Subs (not used): Farman (gk), Baxter

Goal: Winn (57)

Booking: Tavernier (40)


Referee: Jake Collin (Merseyside)

Att: 765


Pre-match handshakes. Altrincham v Gateshead


Gateshead defend a corner

Photos by Altrincham FC.