The Heed travelled to the Autonet Insurance Stadium with the chance to progress to the fourth qualifying round and join Vanarama National League clubs in the draw, as well as a variety of sides from around the non-league pyramid.
It proved to be a close-fought affair with the BetVictor Northern Premier League Division One South East side, but O’Donnell’s fifth of the season on 61 minutes was enough to decide the tie.
The midfielder felt that although it wasn’t the Heed’s best performance, making the hat for the next round was all that mattered.
“It wasn’t our best performance of the season in terms of quality, but I think we showed our resoluteness today to dig in and grind out a win,” he said.
“I thought it was a typical FA Cup tie to be honest. It’s a game that was always going to be tough, we knew coming here today that it wasn’t going to be easy and they didn’t make it easy.
“They came out strong in the first 10-15 minutes which is what we expected, and then second half when we scored it was a case of trying to defend the lead.”
O’Donnell’s strike yesterday afternoon takes him to five for the season, and with goals one of his main targets this season it was no surprise to see the midfielder in high spirits after the full-time whistle.
“I’ve not been great the last few weeks but I’m backing myself every time I’m on the pitch to score now and it’s a lovely feeling,” he added.
“The first goal is always massive in an FA Cup tie, if they’d have scored first it would have been backs against the wall for them and we’d have had to find a leveller, but for us to get it settled things down.
“We came here today expecting to win and we’ve done the job that we came here to do.
“The lads deserved it today, I thought we dug in really well and it’s nice to get my fifth and hopefully it’s five of many goals this season.”
Saturday’s win sees Gateshead progress to the fourth qualifying round, leaving Mike Williamson’s men needing one win to join League One and League Two teams in the first round proper draw.
O’Donnell echoes his manager’s thoughts on hoping for a home draw on Monday afternoon (1:30pm), saying: “It would be lovely to get a home tie.
“Any game is going to be tough, teams have come through a few rounds to get to where they are now.
“We’ll see who we get on Monday and hopefully it’s favourable and we can try and get into the first round proper.”