Gateshead 1-0 Forest Green Rovers

15/04/2012, by Jeff Bowron

Jon ShawFree scoring front man Jon Shaw rewrote the record books as Gateshead kept their play-off hopes alive with a single goal victory over in-form Forest Green at the International Stadium.

Shaw bagged his 35th goal in the 2011/12 campaign to become The Heed's record goalscorer in a season beating Paul Dobson's 34 scored in the 1993/94 Conference campaign.

That was enough to earn former Hartlepool and Torquay predator Dobson the Conference Golden Boot, a feat he achieved two years running at Gateshead, but Shaw's Heed heroics may not be enough to finish the top of the pile in the Blue Square Bet Premier.

Shaw's golden moment came when he powered a header into the roof of the net on the hour to give Gateshead a 4th consecutive home win without conceding and keep the play-off dream alive.

If The Heed win at bottom club Bath City on Saturday they will take their play-off dream into the final week - and home games against Luton Town and AFC Telford.

The first half against Forest Green lacked any goalmouth incident, neither keeper having a single shot or header to save as play got bogged down in midfield and both sides cancelled each other out.

Rovers started brightly but soon faded, Matty Taylor heading a James Norwood cross onto the roof of the net.

Alan O'Brien delivered a tempting cross six minutes before the interval but Luke Graham got in front of Shaw to put a diving headed clearance out for a corner.

From the cleared flag kick Ben Clark played the ball back into the box where fellow defender Paul Dummett glanced a header wide.

The fare on offer in blustery conditions was mundane but Rovers Gateshead-born striker Liam Henderson had a half chance two minutes from the break only to shoot over from the edge of the box.

The second half was an improvement on the first as the game opened up a bit, Taylor flashing a first minute angled shot past the far post.

Neither Tim Deasy or Forest Green counterpart Sam Russell, however, had been called into action when the latter had to pick the ball out of the net on 59 minutes.

O'Brien had little space to manoeuvre on the left side of the box but created half a yard despite the attention of Jared Hodgkiss and Eddie Oshodi.

There was still much work to be done but the Ireland international dug out a superb chip from the byline that was meat and drink for the predatory Shaw - the goalscoring record broken with a trademark header.

Again in the right place at the right time Shaw wasn't going to pass up his only clear cut chance and the opportunity to write himself into Gateshead folklore.

Substitute James Marwood's low cross saw Kris Gate get in front of the challenging Oshodi but he couldn't get enough on his sliding shot and Russell gathered comfortably.

Rovers sub Jake Thomson shot weakly wide after creating space for himself as Gateshead continued to defend well and keep the visitors at arms length.

Kieran Forbes' 25-yard shot was deflected wide and then O'Brien shot wide of the near post after he was put in by Gate's reverse pass.

First half substitute Josh Gillies then sent O'Brien scampering clear down the left channel in injury time but the winger shot into the side netting after cutting inside.

The victory was an important one for The Heed who will now look to complete a quickfire west country double at Bath City next weekend.

The loss of midfield man Jamie Chandler with a knee injury was the only downside to the win over Forest Green, though Liam hatch and Carl Magnay will be back after suspension and Phil Turnbull and Chris Carruthers could also be available next weekend.

 

Gateshead: Deasy, Baxter, Rents, Gate, Dummett, Clark, O.'Brien, Chandler (Gillies 24), Shaw, Odubade (Marwood 60), Cummins
Subs (not used): Farman (gk), Odhiambo, Brittain

 

Forest Green: Russell, Hodgkiss, Stokes, Norwood (Uwezu 46), Klukowski, Forbes, Taylor (Styche 60), Graham, Oshodi, Henderson (Thomson 60), Collins
Subs (not used): Todd, Rowe

 

Referee: Peter Bankes (Bootle)

Attendance: 579

 

James Marwood and Jon Shaw

James Marwood and Jon Shaw

 

James Marwood

James Marwood

 

Paul Dummett

Paul Dummett

 

Sam Rents

Sam Rents

 

Jon Shaw

Jon Shaw heads the winner

 

Jon Shaw Micky Cummins and Yemi Odubade celebrate the winning goal

Jon Shaw, Micky Cummins and Yemi Odubade celebrate the winning goal. Photos by Martin Avery, Charlie Waugh & Steven White.

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