By Dominic Scurr
TEENAGE midfielder Elliot Forbes was frustrated to mark his return to the starting XI with a 1-0 defeat at Eastleigh despite a Man of the Match display.
Forbes played the full 90-minutes at The Silverlake Stadium as Reda Johnson’s 16th-minute header was enough for the Spitfires to claim all three points and further secure their final play-off position.
The 19-year-old was at the heart of the action as the Heed controlled the game for large spells though failed to really threaten the Eastleigh goal.
Following the match, Forbes told Gateshead-FC.com: “It was just frustrating all around to be fair.
“To be completely honest, I don’t think we started the game completely on it but conceding the goal has probably woken us up because we started playing some good football after that.
“Second half, especially the first half hour of the second half, we were well on top and very disappointed not to score.
“Towards the end we might have showed a bit of tiredness but everyone put a great shift in and you couldn’t fault the lads’ effort.
“I 100% thought we did enough to get at least a point from the game.
“Second half, we had enough chances and they didn’t really look like scoring at all really other than the corner so it’s a really disappointing one.”
Since graduating from Gateshead College’s scholarship programme last summer, Forbes is now nearing 20 competitive appearances for Gateshead in his first season in professional football.
Saturday’s defeat was the young midfielder’s first start since the 2-1 win over Barnet last month but was disappointed Gateshead couldn’t pick up another vital three points on his return.
“I’m buzzing to be back in the starting XI,” admitted the former Newcastle Benfield loanee.
“It’s been frustrating being just slightly injured for a few weeks so it was good to get a start but obviously disappointing not to get a result.
“We’ve got three games to go now and we have to win all three.
“The atmosphere was a bit down in the changing room after the game but I think we just need to regroup and really go for it the last three games and put a real show on for the fans by getting as many points as we can.
“As players we just want to do what’s best for the football club and end the season well.
“It’s been a big learning curve for me this season but I’ve really enjoyed it even though it has been a big step up.
“The group we’ve got here, the lads have been absolutely class. We all say this, but everyone gets on with everyone and I couldn’t have hoped for a better group to settle in to my first pro season.”