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Can Gateshead achieve a historic promotion?

Gateshead currently sit in the play-off spots with ten games to go and will hope to remain there come the end of the season.

The Tynesiders have been impressive this season which has led them to be in the shout for a promotion spot. However recent form has not been the greatest failing to win any of their last three games in the league leaving them close to dropping out of the playoff spots.

However, Gateshead’s league form might have stumbled in recent weeks, though they are through to the FA trophy semi-final after beating Peterborough Sports 3-2 at the Gateshead International Stadium with Dajaune Brown scoring a hat-trick.

It has been Gateshead’s eye for goal this season which has been fundamental to their success as they are currently the second highest scorers in the National League with 69 goals.

This is largely down to Marcus Dinanga who has been in fine form this season scoring 18 goals in 35 games – more than double what he scored last season and he also secured the National League Player of the Month in September.

Thomas Feaheny a non-league journalist said, “Gateshead have had a good season so far and are very much in with a shout of a play-off place, the likes of Booty, Hannant and Francis have impressed, Richardson is highly rated and rightly so, while Marcus Dinanga has hit top form closing in on 20 league goals for the season.”

Despite the success so far this season for Gateshead they have had obstacles such as when long term manager Mike Williamson left Gateshead after five years of being a player/manager to join MK dons in October 2023.

Not long after Williamson departure. The club appointed Rob Elliot as an interim manager until the end of the season. Since Elliot has been in charge Gateshead have won nine, drawn five and lost seven in 21 games.

2WG764M Southend, UK. 3 Feb, 2024. Rob Elliot (interim)manager of Gateshead during National League match between Southend United against Gateshead at Roots Hallon February 03rd, 2024 in Southend, England. Credit: Action Foto Sport/Alamy Live News

Elliot will be hoping Gateshead will be able to turn their form around for the last ten games as some are against promotion rivals such as Altrincham, Chesterfield, Aldershot and Bromley.

These games need to be must win games for Gateshead if they are serious about getting into the playoffs as there is only six points between fourth and ninth.

Feaheny added: “The difference in quality will be so minimal between those 6 sides that get a play-off place and it really will be factors on the day that decide it, also the occasion of the big final, Gateshead were at Wembley last season for the FA Trophy final and moments like that could help the club if they make the final.”

Gateshead currently have two games in hand on teams around them which might benefit them and allow them to pull away from eighth place, but Gateshead will need to capitalize on that.

Ollie Bayliss, Non-League Show Presenter at BBC Three Counties Radio said: “With Chesterfield having all but secured the automatic promotion spot, Gateshead are among several contenders battling it out for the playoff spots.

“The Heed’s recent form hasn’t been great, with 10 games to go they’re in real risk of slipping out of the playoff spots. Conceding soft goals at this stage in the season could really cost them. However, if they turn their form around and get back to playing how they have done this season, I’d give them a decent chance in the playoffs.”

If Gateshead were to finish in the playoffs and reach Wembley, they will be hoping its third time lucky after losing in their only two other visits to the Stadium. First in 2014 losing 2-1 to Cambridge in the play-off final and then last year losing 1-0 to Halifax Town in the FA Trophy final.

Promotion would be massive for Gateshead financially who had struggled in recent years after being demoted to the National League North in 2019 following financial breaches. But promotion to the Football League would boost ticket sales and the TV money for League Two is significantly more than the National League.

Bayliss said: “Stepping up to the football league could be a massive boost for the club. It would mean bigger attendances as well as the greater opportunity for sponsorship.”

Gateshead next play on Tuesday night against Dagenham and Redbridge at the who currently sit 12th at the Gateshead International Stadium.