Cambridge United 0-1 Gateshead

18/03/2012, by Jeff Bowron

Liam HatchGateshead's prayers were answered at The Abbey when Liam Hatch's 47th minute header kept the Heed's play-off hopes alive with nine games left.

Victory left Gateshead six points off 5th placed Southport with a home game against bottom club Bath City to come on Tuesday.

The Tynesiders had never scored in their three visits to The Abbey - all defeats - but Hatch's finish ended that unwanted record to keep the promotion fire burning.

It was a first clean sheet on their travels since the New Years Day win at Darlington, the Heed defence on this standing firm after the previous weeks setback at Braintree.

Defences were certainly on top in the first half at The Abbey with Josh Coulson, unable to feature after the break, slicing an early Martin Brittain cross over the bar.

Brittain had come in for another former Magpie, the injured Alan O'Brien, with another recalled player, Phil Turnbull, handed a more advanced role.

Jon Thorpe and Tom Shaw efforts were blocked before they could reach Farman as the U's were held at arms length.

Turnbull fired wide at the other end while top scorer Jon Shaw was just off target on the stroke of half-time from another Brittain cross.

Two minutes into the second period The Abbey jinx was laid to rest when Hatch looped a back post header over Danny Naisbitt from Brittain's deep cross.

Brittain curled a trademark free kick just wide with Naisbitt rooted to the spot as The Heed looked for a second goal to kill off the shot-shy U's.

Micky Cummins then won the ball from Rossi Jarvis in midfield to find Turnbull whose well struck shot was saved by Naisbitt.

Late home pressure saw Kevin Roberts shoot wide from distance while Farman comfortably saved from Josh Dawkin.

Turnbull had another effort saved by Naisbitt as a solid looking Gateshead restricted the U's to scraps.

An injury time corner from Jarvis saw Andy Pugh head wide under pressure in a packed penalty area to confirm victory for The Heed.

Jamie Chandler pulled the strings in midfield with James Curtis a rock at the back and a number of other players putting in notable performances.

Cambridge, who had won their last two games 1-0, had gone five months without a Conference home win on a Saturday.

A 10th away win of the season for Gateshead meanwhile was just what the doctor ordered - but it needs to be be backed up with another three points against Bath on Tuesday


Cambridge Utd: Naisbitt, Roberts, Jennings, Coulson (Hudson 46), McAuley, Thorpe, Shaw (Berry 61), Jarvis, Eades (Dawkin 66), Gash, Pugh
Subs (not used): Tyriaki, Hughes

Bookings: None


Gateshead: Farman, Baxter, Dummett, Chandler, Curtis, Clark, Brittain (Odhiambo 86), Turnbull, Shaw, Hatch (Marwood 75), Cummins
Subs (not used): Gate, Deasy (gk), Gillies

Goal: Hatch (47)

Booking: Turnbull (63)


Referee: Declan Ford (Leicestershire)

Att: 2,344


Phil Turnbull

Phil Turnbull pulls the strings in midfield


Liam Hatch heads home a Martin Brittain cross

Liam Hatch heads the second half winner from a Martin Brittain cross


Micky Cummins congratulates Martin Brittain on his assist

Micky Cummins congratulates Martin Brittain for the goal assist


Micky Cummins and James Curtis defend Gateshead's lead

Micky Cummins and James Curtis defend Gateshead's lead. Photos by Shaun Brooks/Cambridge Utd FC.