Setting The Scene
Gateshead travel to Kettering Town on Saturday afternoon for the fifth game of the National League North in search of their first league win.
The Heed have drawn their opening four games against Southport, Darlington, AFC Telford United and Bradford (Park Avenue), scoring twice so far.
JJ O’Donnell is the club’s top scorer this season with two goals to his name, while Joshua Kayode and Jordan Preston came close to opening their accounts to no avail.
The Poppies meanwhile have seen a mixed set of results so far, beating Telford on the opening day before going on to lose at King’s Lynn Town and Darlington.
Kettering secured a 1-1 draw at home to Chester in their most recent fixture to halt their losing run, sitting 19th in the league table as things stand – level on points with 15th placed Gateshead.
Mike Williamson (hamstring) is unavailable for tomorrow’s fixture and will be forced to manage from the sidelines, although fellow centre-back Michael Nelson is set to return after being taken off at Telford last Saturday.
What We're Saying
Speaking to gateshead-fc.com on Thursday afternoon, assistant manager Ian Watson said: “We’re expecting a really tough game, we’ve watched a few of their games and they looked like a good side.
“They’ve got three or four really good players in there and they seem to be working hard for the manager, so it’s going to be a really tough test for us to go down there.
“All we can do is prepare best we can, we’ll get down there early on Saturday and as always look to get the win.
“The performances have been there so as long as we can maintain that performance level then eventually the wins will come.”
What They’re Saying
Kettering Town forward Lindon Meikle told Poppies TV following their 1-1 draw with Chester: “It’s another tough one, they won’t enjoy coming down here so we’ve got to make this place a fortress.
“They didn’t enjoy it today moaning, their manager was moaning about it, good that’s what we want.
“We get goals like that and hopefully we’ll have a better referee on Saturday.”
Admission prices for Saturday’s game are as follows (tickets are available on the gate):
Adults - £15
Concessions - £10
Under 16’s - £5
Last Time We Met
Kettering emerged victors last time the two sides met in January 2012, ending a 13-game winless run with a 2-1 win over the Heed in the National League.
Goals from Danny Mills and Aman Verma put the hosts two goals ahead, with Jon Shaw’s late header not enough to inspire a Gateshead comeback.
The result put a dent in the Heed’s play-off hopes that season, while Kettering were ultimately relegated to the National League North after finishing 24th.
Gateshead XI: Deasy; Baxter (Moore, 90’), Curtis, Clark (c), Rents, Chandler, Turnbull, Cummins (Brittain, 59’), Odubade, Shaw, Airey (Hatch, 59’).
Unused subs: Farman, Odhiambo-Anaclet.