Setting the Scene
Solihull Moors make the 410-mile round journey from the West Midlands to Tyneside on Tuesday evening looking for a win which could put them firmly in the picture for the title.
Like Gateshead, many people tipped Solihull to be fighting at the other end of the table this season, but both have so far defied expectations, spending the first half of the season in and around the play-off places.
The Damson Park outfit currently sit fourth in the National League, having played 28 games, and would move just three points behind leaders Leyton Orient with a win tonight.
A win for the Moors might not be enough to help them climb the table tonight however, with Wrexham, who currently sit third, playing Bromley.
Tim Flowers’ side have only lost one of their last four games in the league, which came away at Wrexham, and will believe tonight’s rearranged game has come at a good time with the Heed currently short on numbers.
Solihull recently added to their squad by signing Nathan Blissett, who was promoted with Macclesfield Town last season, and the striker has already bagged three goals in his first four appearances, including one against Eastleigh last time out.
Eastleigh, who currently sit just three points behind Gateshead, were blown away at Damson Park on Saturday. Goals from Danny Wright and Blissett had the Moors 2-0 up at the break, Paul McCallum pulled one back early in the second half, but a Jermaine Hylton brace saw Solihull win 4-1.
The Heed’s 1-0 loss at home to struggling Maidenhead United on Saturday saw them drop out of the promotion places for the first time since November as a mounting injury list has started to take its toll.
Tuesday night’s match was initially set to take place on November 27 but Solihull’s FA Cup commitments saw the game rearranged.
And despite failing to win any of their last three matches, Gateshead know a victory on Tuesday evening would see them rise up to sixth in the National League table.
Greg Olley (ankle), Scott Barrow (hamstring) and JJ O’Donnell (foot) are nearing returns. Midfielder Tom White has served his three-match suspension and will be back in the squad for Tuesday night’s match.
Lewis Maloney will also join up with the team following the end of his successful loan spell at Whitby Town.
What We’re Saying
Gateshead manager Steve Watson said ahead of the match: “We just have to focus on getting the players as fit and as rested as they can be within a short period.
“It’s our game in hand and Solihull are flying but it’s a game we need to go into believing we can win and I’m sure everybody does and I’m sure everyone is hurting from Saturday but that’s over now.
“We’ll learn from the first half display and take the positives from the second half and go again.
“It is going to be another really tough game for us again with a difficult turnaround from Saturday.
“It’s a game we need to win if we have any thoughts about hanging around the play-offs then Tuesday is another must win.”
What They’re Saying
In an interview with the Solihull Moors official website after the game, first team coach James Quinn, said: “I thought we were absolutely outstanding from goalkeeper to the three forwards. It’s as good of a performance since I’ve been at the club.
“We looked a threat every time we were going forward and were unlucky to not have been about four up at half-time with the chances that we created.
“I don’t want to single out any players really – there were some 10 out of 10 performances in there.
“Some of them have been in this league for a few years, some of them have won this league – they know what it’s about, they know how to be successful in this league.
“We’ll go to Gateshead on Tuesday, we’ll have a good go there and they’ll be in for a hell of a game. They’re a good team, but we believe we can take something from that.”
@GatesheadFC will be providing minute-by-minute match updates via Twitter. There will also be goal updates on the club’s Facebook Page.
With 46 points from 28 matches, Gateshead are just eight points behind their National League points total from the previous campaign with 18 games still to play.
Tickets are available to buy with cash on the turnstiles or via credit or debit card at the main reception at the International Stadium.
Adults – £15
NUFC/SAFC season ticket holders – £10
Concessions – £8
U18s/Students – £5
U12s – Free
Last Time We Met
Back at the International Stadium in March 2018, Gateshead came twice from behind against Solihull Moors to secure a point as they extended their unbeaten run to five games, ahead of their FA Trophy semi-final.
It was a tough start for the Heed as they were reduced to 10 men inside the opening quarter of an hour as Rees Greenwood was given his marching orders. Alex Reid gave the visitors the lead 20 minutes later before Paddy McLaughlin bagged the equaliser midway through the second-half.
Chris Lait then arrived late on to score and seemed to have won the game for the Moors. Though the Heed weren’t quite done there as Wes York stepped up to the plate as his strike deflected heavily off Kyle Storer in the final minute of stoppage time and secured a point for Steve Watson’s men.
Gateshead (3-5-2): Montgomery; Fyfield, Kerr, Byrne (c) (Burrow 90’+2); Preston (York 62′), McLaughlin, Fox (Penn 45′), Greenwood; Peniket, Johnson.
Subs not used: Hanford, McNall.
Bookings: Fyfield (26′), Barrow (70′), Penn (78′)
Sent Off: Greenwood (11′)
Goals: McLaughlin (68′), Storer og (90’+4)
Solihull Moors (4-5-1): O’Leary; Williams, Kelleher,Reckord, Daly; Thomas (Carline 79′), Carter (c), Storer, Osborne, Reid (Lait 87′); Hylton,
Subs not used: Martin, Frempah, Green,
Bookings: Daly (53′)
Goals: Reid (32′), Lait (87′)
Referee: Mr Matthew Dicicco (Terry Fletcher 45′)
Attendance: 486 (21 Solihull Moors)
MOTM: Fraser Kerr