By Jack McGraghan

GATESHEAD’S Man of the Match Aynsley Pears believes that performances are on the up despite Tuesday evening’s 2-1 defeat to Solihull Moors.

Pears v Solihull (Charlie Waugh)
Pears v Solihull (Charlie Waugh)

The Heed fell behind in the first half through Liam Daly’s header, before Darren Carter’s 52nd minute strike doubled the Moors’ advantage.

Scott Boden’s penalty halved the deficit four minutes later, but the visitors stood firm to take three points away from the International Stadium.

Pears, who kept the Heed in the game during the opening 45 minutes with a number of fine saves, said: “I thought we were alright, it was just the first goal that kind of killed us.

“I thought we got into the game quite well and on another night we could have quite easily got something from the game, but it wasn’t to be.”

Tuesday’s defeat sees the Heed remain eighth in the National League despite a rough patch of form, but the 20-year-old is confident that results will turn around sooner rather than later.

“I think we just need to keep doing what we’re doing,” he continued.

“We weren’t great on Saturday but before that and tonight we gave 100%, we play the right way, we play with enthusiasm and I think we just need to keep going and it will turn around.

“We’re still thereabouts, we’re one point outside the play-offs and there’s no reason we can’t be there in four months’ time.”

With the weekend dedicated to the second round of the FA Trophy, Gateshead have an extended break before the next National League fixture at Salford City on January 19.

With injuries and illnesses hitting Steve Watson’s men hard in recent weeks, Pears believes the time off is only a positive, saying: “I think we get Greg [Olley] and Scotty Barrow back, we’ve got a small squad so that’ll help but a little break might do us good.

“We beat Salford in our first game at home so we can do it, we’ll go there with belief and we’ll give 100% so there’s no reason why we can’t get a result.”