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Match Report: Gateshead 1-1 Southend United

Rob Elliot’s Gateshead struggled to finish their chances as the points were shared between them and Kevin Maher’s Shrimpers.

Within the first minute of the game, a low drive from skipper Greg Olley was parried by Southend keeper David Martin. Following this, it was advantage Gateshead as Stephen Wearne curled a shot into the top right corner, giving The Heed a one-goal cushion going into the interval.

In the second half, Harry Cardwell brought the game back into a stalemate after he fired into an open net. 

Gateshead would welcome a Southend side who boasted three wins in their last five league appearances despite being 15th in the league, they would however be without players Wes Fonguck and Oli Coker due to injury. The Tynesiders however would come into the game off the back of three wins in their last three, with Mamadhou Jobe making his home debut.

Within the first minute Olley had space to shoot out the box, his shot though well struck was parried by Martin who had the support of his defence to scramble the ball out of danger.

Southend had a chance to lead shortly after when a cross from Gus Scott-Morriss found its way to Brooklyn Kabongolo inside the box, and from an awkward angle, the ball could only fumble wide.

Gateshead’s top goalscorer Marucs Dinanga had a perfect chance to increase their lead in the sixth minute following a Regan Booty through ball, despite being one on one with the keeper his shot failed to stay down, sailing high over the crossbar.

The first half would continue its fiery start when in the 12th minute, Shrimpers’ skipper  Nathan Ralph stormed down the left side of the field, Cardwell met his cross with a header that failed to hit the target. 

Two minutes later The Tynesiders capitalised on an error from Dan Mooney. Wearne, following a lofted ball from Louis Storey, cut inside the box from the left side and unleashed a curling effort that flew past the diving Martin into the top right corner.

Following the goal both sides failed to produce much quality going forward, until in the 32nd minute as Wearne hit the side netting as he received the ball at the back post following a corner.

In the 35th minute Southend once again failed to hit the target as a corner from Jack Bridge found Kabongolo at the back post who glanced wide.

Gateshead nearly made it two close to half time as Dinanga’s low driven shot was blocked following a scramble inside the box, meaning Rob Elliot’s side were one goal to the good going into the break.

The first chance of the second half came from Southend’s Daniel Kanu as Cardwell’s flick on failed to be dealt with by Storey giving the striker a chance on goal, However Scotsman Mair kept the Tynesiders ahead as he got low to deny.

It was then Dinanga who had a chance to increase his goal tally however he failed to slot it past Martin following a through ball from Luke Hannant (who replaced injured Greg Olley in the first half) 

In the 69th minute, Jack Woods had a golden opportunity to score after he came on to replace Mooney, after receiving on the right side following a Kanu pass he did well to dig the ball out of his feet and unleash a shot that slammed against the crossbar.

A couple moments later in the 71st minute, Dinanga once again hit wide outside the box, this time it very narrowly missed the goal as it glanced past the left post.

With the game opening up for both sides it looked like Gateshead would put the game to bed when in the 74th minute Dinanga with his back turned to goal flicked the ball into the path of Jack Hunter on the right hand side of the box whose shot agonisingly for The Tynesiders rebounded off the left side of keeper Martin’s post and out of danger. 

Going straight up the other end following was Southend’s Jack Bridge who found Scott-Moriss, the full back’s firm strike was parried into the path of Cardwell by Mair who had the entirety of the goal at his disposal, neatly dispatching the ball into the net and levelling things up going into the final 15 minutes of the match. 

Following the goal for The Shrimpers, Gateshead looked to try and retain their lead when in the 83rd minute Kyran Lofthouse’s strike via a cut back from Billy Chadwick was well stopped by Martin.

With Gateshead continuing to mount pressure, Chadwick found himself in a pocket of space inside the box following a Hunter pass from wide, his shot could only sail over the bar.

The shot would prove to be the last chance as both teams went home sharing a point.