By Dominic Scurr
GATESHEAD Under-19s secured their fourth win in five matches with a 6-0 victory over AFC Newbiggin at the International Stadium.
Macaulay Langstaff netted a hat-trick while defender Danny Burns netted twice from Kieran Green set-pieces with Jon Mellish also finding the net for a rampant young Heed side who were five goals up at half-time.
And Tynesiders’ coach Ben Clark was very satisfied with the victory and was particularly pleased to see his side keep their first clean sheet in the Northern Alliance this season.
“It was a really good performance all around,” said the former Heed Captain.
“We got the six goals which is great as we’ve been scoring a lot of goals of late but the clean sheet was very pleasing.
“The lads were outstanding and we had the four young pros come in, three of them getting the goals, and that raised the whole level of performance of the team.
“We scored some very good goals, two great headers from Dan Burns and Macaulay does what he does best and that’s score goals.
“After being 5-0 up at half-time we just controlled the game really well in the second half and it could have easily been double figures if it wasn’t for some terrific saves from their goalkeeper.”
While Clark admitted young pros like Langstaff, Green, Mellish and White gave the side a big boost – he was full of praise for the Under-19s regulars who have gone from strength to strength in recent weeks.
“Brandyn Ford did a great job at right-back despite being a centre-midfielder,” he continued.
“Winner Luaba, Alex Hastings were both fantastic at the back and Iain Macleod did excellent in goal as well after returning from injury.
“The midfield three of Elliott Forbes, Tom White and Kieran Green is by far the best midfield in this league and I told them that and they were all outstanding once again.
“Liam Butler did well on the left as well but out of the 19s I was particularly impressed with Brandyn and Winner and Alex in defence.
“You can feel the confidence growing in the side and I think that’s a big reason behind this upturn in form.
“The lads are believing more in their own ability and it’s taken a little bit longer than Micky and myself would have liked but confidence is key and once you do get that first win, the confidence just grows and you can see that in training as well.
“We just want to keep going from here and push up the league by playing good football and working hard.”
Gateshead Under-19s: Macleod; Ford, Luaba, Burns, Hastings; Butler, Green, White, Forbes, Mellish; Langstaff
Substitutes: McDougal, Halliday, Studholme
Goals: Langstaff (3), Burns (2), Mellish