By Jack McGraghan
Setting the Scene
Gateshead face a long trip South on Saturday as they meet league-leaders Leyton Orient at The Breyer Group Stadium.
The Heed hope to make it two away wins on the bounce after recording a 2-1 victory at Barnet last weekend with Luke Armstrong and Scott Boden on the scoresheet.
Steve Watson’s side are the fourth-best side in the National League away from home, winning six from 11 games away from the International Stadium.
The O’s meanwhile hope to hold on to their spot at the top of the table, where they sit with just one league defeat to their name – a 1-0 home loss to Sutton in September.
Justin Edinburgh’s side are currently eight games unbeaten in the league with their most recent fixture a 0-0 draw at home to Aldershot.
There are no significant injury doubts ahead of Saturday’s game, despite a few minor knocks.
What We’re Saying
Watson was under no illusions as to the difficulty of Saturday’s game at his pre-match press conference, saying: “They’ve got one of the best defensive records so they’ll be tough to break down.
“Probably the best thing about the Barnet game was the way that the midfielders all filled in on the other side of things, when two of them went we were asking one of them to be a little bit safer and they did that really well.
“On that point of view, we’re going to have to be really good attacking wise to break their defence.”
What They’re Saying
Orient boss Edinburgh spoke of his frustration after his side’s goalless draw against Aldershot in midweek, saying: “It’s been a good month for us, I think we’re unbeaten in a month, it’s 21 games now and one defeat.
“We’re frustrated, but we’re not going to be too down.
“I’ve took the responsibility, we may have needed one or two to be freshened up tonight so we’ll look at that and go again on Saturday.”
In the five games between the two sides over the past two seasons, there have been 19 goals scored. The Heed have netted 10 of those, with five coming at The Breyer Group Stadium.
Gateshead fans will be situated in the East Stand at The Breyer Group Stadium, prices are as follows:
Senior (65+): £18
Under-18s & under-16s: £5
@GatesheadFC will be providing minute-by-minute coverage of the match via Twitter. Goal updates will also be available through the Gateshead FC Facebook page.
Last Time We Met
The Heed suffered late heartbreak in August as 10-man Orient grabbed an 89th minute equaliser to snatch a point at the International Stadium.
The hosts took the lead through Luke Armstrong’s fifth of the season after 77 minutes, four minutes before Orient were reduced to 10 men as James Alabi was shown a straight red for a challenge on Robbie Tinkler.
The visitors fought back against the odds to earn a draw at the death when Marvin Ekpiteta rifled home from a corner.
Gateshead: Pears; Tinkler, Kerr, Mellish; Thomson (Salkeld, 55’), Hunter, Olley, Maloney (White, 55’), O’Donnell; Armstrong, Rigg.
Subs not used: Foden, Devitt, Boden.
Goals: Armstrong (77’)
Booked: Mellish (28’), Tinkler (59’)
Leyton Orient: Brill; Widdowson, Coulson, McAnuff, Clay, Bonne, Dayton (Alabi, 67’), Judd (Harold, 86’), Koroma, Ekpiteta, Lee (Gorman, 62’).
Subs not used: Happe, Sargeant.
Goals: Ekpiteta (89’)
Sent off: Alabi (81’)