Fans View – Gateshead

Article by Paul Beasley Sunday, November 10th, 2013  



Do I leave it at that? Or do I add a question mark to hedge my bets?

At half time it was very much without the “?”. Tim, a man of considered views, opined that if we lose this Wilder has to go. At half time there was almost total silence in the slash house. That was because there had been an outbreak of “lost for words”. There was the occasional “we thought it couldn’t get any worse but we were wrong.”

The Wilder apologists / supporters point out that we’re really good away from home and of course in an automatic promotion spot.

Those who want him to go hold up the mind numbingly boring home performances, that month after month eat away at the spirit until only the most dedicated of devotees remain, as their evidence. And then add that it is the home games that generate the revenue.

My concern, if he were to go, would be how any newcomer could do as well away as CW has done and is doing.


Obviously we felt better on the final whistle than we had done a quarter of an hour earlier but let us not pretend that coming back from two down can in any way shape or form mask another sorry apology of a home performance over the full 90 plus minutes.

I don’t normally bother that much about other results – there’s only one that matters – but I would be lying if I said the result from Moss Rose didn’t perk me up as I walked back to the car. These darned non-league teams can be tricky opposition.



The magic of the FA Cup Gateshead style

Came to us on some fine form and I have nothing but praise for the way they played the game. They never resorted to the deliberate fouling, shirt pulling and feigning of injury we so often see in League Two. They played the ball on the floor and looked a useful outfit. I applauded their first goal and also gave them a little clap as they left the field. That may have been because they had wilted at the end and allowed us to live to fight another day.


We started well and in the first ten minutes were adept at keeping possession and knocking the ball about with Dave Kitson being instrumental in this. He was one of our better players throughout with his class showing in a sea of mediocrity. Yet some still insist on texting how lazy and useless our ginger veteran is. Kits hardly lost possession all afternoon and was involved in both goals. I really would like to watch a recording of the game alongside these detractors and talk things through as they unfold. Perhaps I’ve got it all wrong.

I like to think I keep an open mind about line ups and team selections until I have seen how things actually work out. Johnny Mullins in midfield, better give him a chance. But it didn’t really work did it? In fact I don’t think the set up of the team was right at all. To that can be added individuals having awful games and our usual negative approach. No wonder we didn’t have an afternoon to remember.

Even before James Marwood had scored I thought our shape wasn’t right and even though Mullins was a midfielder there was a noticeable gap between the midfielders and back line for the Heed to exploit. Marwood’s was a wonder strike, yes, but we gave him too much space. Mullins never quite got in a position to make a challenge, Rose was easily swept past and Jake Wright dangled a leg. It soon became noticeable that the opposition had got their closing down sorted out much better than us and looked the hungrier team.

How many times have we said that at the Kassam? Yes, loads.

If it had not been for a fantastic block by Wright when Ryan Clarke and Tom Newey got into a concussive tangle we would have quickly found ourselves two down.

I read some reports and it would appear that we had a sizeable number of efforts on the Gateshead goal. Well I can’t recall a lot where we actually troubled Adam Bartlett. I recall Sean Rigg side footing hopelessly wide with a left footer from close range and also hitting a shot not worthy of the name from outside the box. On his day Riggy is a player I like watching. But today by half time my frustration had him along with a couple of others in the “waste of space category”. On proper analysis this never stands up to scrutiny though does it?

Riggy had the ball in the net for a goal which may or may not have been correctly ruled offside. He leapt high to keep the ball in the danger zone for our equaliser and put in one inviting cross from which we hit the post in the second half. This was the only occasion that he was given a decent ball to run onto from which he was able to get to the bye line. Coaching staff take note.

Others I had down as wasters in the first half were Deane Smalley and Rose. They of course scored our second half goals and Smalley hit the vicious shot which led to Rose having the opportunity to head home.

I didn’t think Scott Davies was that bad in the first period but his second half showing suggested back to the bench when Andy Whing is fit although I think it unfair for CW to always select a fit Whing. Form and formation should come into it too should it not? It was of course Davies who gifted Gateshead their second but Mullins too could have done better after the lazy pass.

When all is said and done we should have won this game. On the Radio our manager said something like we deserve credit for really going for it at the end. Yes I suppose we do, but here’s a thing. WTF don’t we really go for it from the start? Why when we get a free kick on the half way line don’t we whack the ball into the opponents’ penalty area aiming for Kits, or Michael Raynes (who is rapidly becoming one of my favourite players) or Johnny Mullins? There was as much chance of the pink ball finding its way back to Clarke as this happening.

It was so bloody obvious that when we got at them in the last twenty minutes that their defence was creaky. Getting at them consisted of putting the ball in danger areas and Ryan Williams, a player with confidence and on his game, running quickly with the ball in the right direction. The trickery and width he brought were game changers although Beano was helping to turn things around too. Most think Williams should have been on from the start and I think if we had not had to make the two enforced changes he would have got longer than the 20 minutes he was given. The question is has he got a full 90 minutes of effective football in him?


I have to say I thought Jeremy Simpson was very good. There were very few questionable incidents, the main one being Rose’s (yes him again) shot being blocked by Jamie Chandler on the goal line. It was either a marvellous block or hand ball. At the time I thought his upper arm moved towards the ball but it all happened in a flash making it nearly impossible to tell in real time. But a penalty and a sending off could have been a game changer and could have spared us a trip to the North East on a Wednesday night.

But never mind we’re still in it. Plenty aren’t.


The magic of the FA Cup Oxford style


This entry was posted on Sunday, November 10th, 2013 at 10:15 pm and appears under 2013, Comment, News Items. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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