Sunday, December 16, 2007

Gateshead 1 Farsley Celtic 1 [FAT1]

A bright and inventive Gateshead were denied a place in the next round (at the first time of asking) by a magnificent drive from outside the area.

Football Conference side Farsley Celtic looked like giants compared with our lads at kick off, but come the final whistle it was our players who looked bigger. The experienced campaigners such as Steve Torpey can consider themselves lucky to still be in the FA Trophy.

Gateshead started the game brightly and had the lion share of possession and chances. A makeshift central defensive pairing of Steve Salvin and Paul Thompson put in a good shift together and kept the Farsley front two under wraps for most of the game. The performance was a vast improvement on the way we've played recently in the league. In the first half David Southern looked more like the player of last season, cutting inside and firing in left footed efforts from distance. However the main man of the first half was undoubtedly left winger Wayne Phillips who gave the Farsley Right-Back an torrid afternoon. Roaming in off the left touchline time and time again the full back didn't know what to do.

Both sides had good chances which they couldn't take, with the wood work coming to the rescue at times. Gateshead looked to produce from the wing with Phillips, Baxter and Southern delivering good crosses into the middle, unfortunately we lack a sniffer in the box who naturally knows where to be to get on the end of such deliveries.

Half-time 0-0

Farsley looked better in the second half but it was Gateshead who made most of the chances. Just when it looked like a goal would never come for the Heed, Graeme Armstrong latched onto a high ball on the edge of the box to loop a header (Which seemed to be in the air forever) over the keeper and into the back of the net. Unfortunately just as the Heed Army were going crazy, moments later Simeon Bambrook unleashed an unstoppable drive from outside the area which had Peter Keen at full stretch to no avail as it found the far corner.

Gateshead had chances to win it late on as they surged forward. Davy Southern got in a couple of times but indecision haunted him when he should possibly have pulled the trigger. Gateshead edged the game on possession and chances, so Farsley will be only too happy to get away with a replay.

It's a replay on Tuesday night in Farsley, let's hope we can make it to the next round but maybe more importantly turn our cup form into league form where the lads battle against lesser teams.

Line up and ratings:

Keen 8
Some crucial saves, good handling from high balls. More like the Keeno of old. Great save near the end to make sure of a draw.

Baxter 7
Solid display. Wasteful at times with long balls, but some good crosses.

Cave 7
Held the left well when Phillips went roaming. Solid display.

Thompson 7
Occasionally his positioning was off, but you can ask more of an emergency centre half than to battle and make it difficult. He did his job well, reminded me of that time he played against the enemy up the road at centre half and marked them out of the game.

Salvin 8
Strong against a bigger lad in Steve Torpey. A great display by him and Thomo.

Gate 6
Not a great game by Kris Gate. His passing was off and he looked a yard off the pace at times.

Phillips 8
Outstanding once again from Phillips. He ran the first half, cutting inside and giving the Farsley defence all sorts of problems.
Heed Army Blog Man of the Match.

McClen 7
An improved performance on the last game. First half he got stuck in and not in the crazy two footed manner. He played some intelligent passes, but started to fade a little towards the end.

Bowey 6
Not one of Bowsers best games. He played the more advanced midfield role where he should be, but unfortunately his passing was off today. He needs to be given more protection in central midfield (Salvin alongside him maybe?)

Southern 7
The first half he looked more like the Davy Southern of last season, cutting inside and taking shots on. Second half his control from long balls was exceptional, but the confidence had faded. He looked to pass it when he should've taken it on himself and have a dig, he also over elaborated at times (Maybe he should keep it simple until the confidence comes back?).

Armstrong 7
Great looping header for the goal. Grafted well all game, but he needs to learn when to make runs to the near post, when to come short and when to stay long.


Harwood 7
A couple of good direct runs, but needs to try and get more involved in winning the ball back when we lose possession.

Unused - Talbot, Robson.

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