Gateshead Reserves 2-0 Dunston UTS [Durham Challenge Cup Final]
Gateshead lifted their first senior trophy for a quarter of a century when the club's reserve side beat neighbours Dunston UTS 2-0 in the final of the Durham Challenge Cup.
A 450 strong sundrenched Good Friday crowd saw Paul Bryson's young guns turn in a superlative display to deservedly lift the impressive and historic trophy.
Goals late in each half from former Newcastle United trainee James Marwood and ex. Carlisle United striker Jonny Allan brought the silverware back to the International Stadium.
Gateshead FC U.18s had beaten Newcastle Benfield 3-0 the previous night in the the final of the Durham FA Youth Cup to make it a good 24 hours for the North East's senior non-league club.
Gateshead fielded only four professionals, two of whom got the goals, but the nine youngsters involved also contributed massively to the success.
One of them, Kris Wilkinson, almost sensationally fired Gateshead ahead after just 28 seconds from Luke Gilbert's ball over the top.
Former Tynesider Liam Connell blocked the striker's first shot with Michael Robson deflecting the follow up for a corner, Wilkinson then hitting the post two minutes later.
Josh Gillies curled a 25 yard free kick against the bar while captain Paul Farman had to race out of his area to clear from Andrew Bulford.
Allan was just wide with a 25 yard grubber though Farman was back in action to make a full length save from Bulford in an entertaining first half.
Anth Smith and Paul Bryson with the Durham Challenge Cup
Marwood's pace broke the deadlock on 39 minutes. Running on to Allan's headed flick on the winger lifted the ball over Connell and into the bottom corner from just inside the box.
Gillies then ran at the Dunston defence after a Michael Dixon error on halfway to shoot narrowly wide and Marwood also fired wide, Jack Burns off target at the other end.
Gillies cross put Wilkinson in on goal on the hour but the youngster headed against the advancing Connell and then Robson had to clear off the line from Gillies.
Gateshead's rookie defence allowed Dunston little in the way of clear cut chances and as the Heed pressed for a second goal Robson cut Wilkinson in half just outside the penalty area.
A leg weary Dunston were still in the game until, pushing on, they caught out at the back following a surging run down the right from substitute Mattie Soulsby.
The right back squared the ball invitingly into the path of Allan who swept the ball into the bottom corner from 15 yards to seal victory.
Gateshead Res: Farman, Gilbert (Soulsby 79), McDonald, A.Brown, Lay, Scott, Marwood, Briggs, Allan, Wilkinson (Robinson 81), Gillies
Subs (not used): Porter (gk), Dodds
Goals: Marwood (39), Allan (85)
Dunston UTS: Connell, Pickering, Galbraith, Robson, Cattanach, Herron, Burns, Dixon, Hepplewhite, Bulford, McAndrew
Subs: Armstrong, Bell
Referee: Geoff Eltringham (Sunderland)
Photos by Paul Reece.