In recent months Gateshead haven't been able to play at the International Stadium following major difficulties with the make up of their pitch getting permanently waterlogged. The cure to the problem is a civil engineering project and at this time of the season that isn't a viable option.
To alleviate the problem they have been using other clubs facilities with Hartlepool, Doncaster, Blyth, Carlisle and now York City helping out where they can. Although we are officially the away side Gateshead will feel that they are also away from home and our last two seasons games there have given us wins both times.
The second big boost came this afternoon with the news that Michael Gash has joined us on loan from Cambridge until the end of the season with a view to a permanent move next season. Obviously if we don't get promotion then Gash could rethink his options.
With Amari Morgan-Smith getting recalled by Macclesfield last Friday and Greg Pearson unable to play against Grimsby, his employers, next Saturday then we needed another striker urgently. Nathan Blissett had shown he wasn't capable of being classed as a striker just yet and the Rowe/Malbon combo just didn't work. Gash could be the striking option we have been looking for.
With the return of Keith Briggs to the team on Saturday against Ebbsfleet we now have an almost complete squad to choose from. There has been no news yet on why Danny Jackman wasn't available on Saturday so hopefully it wasn't anything too serious because Briggs looked a little unfit and Jackman would have been a shoe in for him and would probably have supplied a little more creativity than what we saw.
Gateshead have quite a large squad to choose from, bigger than one would have expected really, but it's not known what the injury situation is up there. They sit third from bottom of the table at the moment but they do have the 'luxury' of three or four games in hand over the teams above them.
Theoretically they should pick up some points in future games but with every game now an away game it's not as likely as it should have been. Let's just hope that they don't feel too at home at York tomorrow night.
Photo © Getty
Lewis, N Vaughan, L Vaughan, Williams, Dunkley, Demetriou, Gowling, Shakes, Storer, Vincent, Jackman, Briggs, Pilkington, Guinan, Johnson, Pearson, Malbon, Gittings, Devaney, Jarvis, Rowe, Gash.
Bartlett, Nixon, Magnay, Boyle, Chandler, Curtis, Clark, Gillies, Turnbull, Hatch, Cummins, Fisher, Brown, Marwood, Bush, Donaldson, Barton, Carr, Galpin, Lilley, Luke, McGlen, Mole, Patton, Ramshaw, Roberts, Ravenhill, Sweet, Henderson, Bore, Everson, McGorrigan.
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