By Jack McGraghan
Setting The Scene
Gateshead face a long trip South to face Havant & Waterlooville on Saturday as Steve Watson’s men look to make it four wins from five.
The Heed head to West Leigh Park in high spirits following last weekend’s 2-0 win over Dagenham & Redbridge – a result that sees the side sit eighth in the National League table.
Gateshead boast the seventh-best away form in the league so far this season, amassing 13 points on their travels, and could make it four consecutive wins away from the International Stadium with a victory on Saturday.
The hosts meanwhile have struggled for wins on home turf since promotion from the National League South last season, with their sole win at West Leigh Park a 2-1 victory over Aldershot in September.
Despite sitting 21st in the National League, the Hawks are a strong side going forward and have netted 18 goals so far this season, with top scorer Nicke Kabamba equal with Luke Armstrong and Scott Boden on five.
Manager Lee Bradbury will be looking to put recent results behind him with his side losing their last two home games to Solihull and Sutton respectively.
Luke Armstrong (hamstring) remains unavailable for selection tomorrow, while defender Mark McManus (ankle) joins him on the injury list.
What We’re Saying
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Watson spoke of the Hawks’ experience, saying: “They play a similar system to us, they’re not a particularly physical side but they’ve got good height and very good players who are similar to what Mike [Williamson] is really, they’ve got big league experience.
“They haven’t had a great record at home, I’m reluctant to say that about anybody because we were saying that about Braintree and they caused an upset, so when we talk about lessons learned that has to be the case.
“It doesn’t matter what their record is, people can beat anybody on any given day so we need to be completely focused and Saturday is the most important game of the season now.”
Watch Watson’s full pre-match press conference…
What They’re Saying
Lee Bradbury feels the pressure is on Gateshead tomorrow afternoon, saying after the Hawks’ defeat at Wrexham: “It’s what we want. we’ve worked hard to get here.
“I just said to the boys before the game today, let’s enjoy the occasion. We’ve got 5,000 fans, we’ve got a good football pitch so more pressure is on them to win really.
“No one apart from anyone in our club would have given us a chance today but we’ve come here and kept I think a good shape and given them a few problems.”
The Heed have conceded the joint-second least amount of goals (5) away from home this season alongside Wrexham and Leyton Orient, only Fylde (3) have conceded less.
Ticket prices are as follows:
Children (5-16): £2
Last Time We Met
Saturday’s clash will be one for the history books, being the first time the two teams have ever met.