By Rory Drake
A young Gateshead side were dumped out of the Durham Challenge Cup by Northern League leaders Dunston UTS at the International Stadium.
Gateshead took the lead against the run of play, when Cameron Salkeld played in Lewis McGeoch who tapped home in the 14th minute, but Andrew Grant-Soulsby headed the visitors’ level just before half time.
Dunston took the lead six minutes into the second half when Scott Heslop played a Liam Marrs freekick to Dan Capewell, who tapped in from close range. Gateshead came close to an equaliser towards the end but were unable to find an equaliser.
After the game, Gateshead manager Ben Clark said: “I was really pleased with the first half, I think we were the better team.
“We played some lovely football and probably could have gone in a couple of goals up if we’d been a bit more ruthless in front of goal.
“But I’ve got to give credit to Dunston, I think they were the better team second half and on the whole, they probably deserved to win the game.
“It’s a great learning curve for the young players to play against top Northern League players. There was a good crowd for the lads as they’ve never really played in a crowd like this.
“Chris Swailes has got a good team there, the Northern League’s a tough league and these are seasoned pros. We had a 16-year old playing, I don’t know what our average age was, but it would have been young.
“Disappointing not to win the game, but overall very pleasing. We want to wish Dunston all the best because I think over the game they probably deserved to win.”
Gateshead XI: Foden; Outterside, Dobie (Dabizas 73’), Bennett, Devitt, McHarg, Slater, Maloney, McGeoch, Carrick, Salkeld
Unused subs: Warriner, Hassan, Lumsden, Moody
Goals: McGeoch (14)
Bookings: Bennett (50), Foden (76)
Dunston XI: Dryden; Marrs, Grant-Soulsby, Capewell, Halliday (Scott 45’); Elliott (Nellis 58’), Stafford, Pearson, Heslop; Fitzpatrick, Brooks (Haley 64’)
Unused subs: Elliott, Harrison
Goals: Grant-Soulsby (41), Capewell (51)
Bookings: Nellis (83)
Referee: Seb Stocksbridge