By Jack McGraghan

Tom Devitt believes Wednesday’s Durham Challenge Cup quarter-final defeat to Northern League Division One leaders Dunston UTS offered a valuable experience for Gateshead’s youngsters.

Devitt v Dunston (Charlie Waugh)
Devitt v Dunston (Charlie Waugh)

A home side made up of mostly under-19s players took the lead through 19-year-old striker Lewis McGeoch after 14 minutes, but goals in either half from Andrew Grant-Soulsby and Daniel Capewell ensured the visitors progressed to the semi-final.

Devitt, one of four first-team players in the starting 11 alongside Mark Foden, Cameron Salkeld and Lewis Maloney, said: “In the first half I thought we were the better side.

“We moved the ball well and I thought we looked comfortable in possession as well as all over the pitch to be honest.

“We conceded a sloppy goal from a set-piece but other than that I thought we were the better team, it was just a shame we couldn’t do the same in the second half.”

The defender was pleased with his young team-mates’ application despite the final result, adding: “No one is ever happy to lose a game, but I thought they applied themselves well the younger lads and then us four did what we could to help.

“Playing on the pitch against a good Northern League team will only do them well for the future, and now they know what they need to do and where they need to be to be successful in their career.

“Clarky has said me and the other boys needed 90 minutes so hopefully we’ve impressed the gaffer and the other coaches and it gives us the best chance we can of getting back in the first-team.”