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Match Report: Gateshead Wembley Bound!

Gateshead fought off a second half scare from Macclesfield to make it to Wembley for the final of the FA Trophy for the second time in successive seasons.

Ben Worman fired first from close range before Callum Whelan from an equally as close distance made it two. Macclesfield’s Kane Drummond’s outside of the box shot just after the break halved Gateshead’s lead to one.

Despite a spot at Wembley up for grabs for the winning team, Gateshead started with a few changes to their squad; Tom Allen, Greg Olley and Worman would all be welcomed into the starting eleven with top goalscorer Marcus Dinanga on the bench. The visitors would enter the match as underdogs with ‘The Silkmen’ currently flying high with a strong promotion push in the seventh tier of English football. They would also start without Neil Kengni and Paul Dawson, with Sam Perry and Brandon Lee coming in to replace them.

695 Macclesfield fans made the trip from Cheshire.
695 Macclesfield fans made the trip from Cheshire.

Gateshead grabbed an early goal in the fifth minute when Worman received the ball on the inside right of the box following a run from Dajaune Brown, his low driven effort nestled in the bottom left of the net.

Luke Hannant nearly gave Gateshead a second in the 10th minute when Brown, with his back turned just inside the Macclesfield half, set up a free-roaming Hannant down the right flank. His shot however fired over the Ollie Byrne crossbar.

The hosts then continued to dominate proceedings, in the the 22nd minute Brown was set through by Worman who found himself in a tight angle to finish, his shot rolled past the face of the goal for a goal-kick.

Gateshead’s second eventually came in the 25th minute, when Brown’s initial shot rebounded back to the Derby loanee who laid it off to Whelan who fired into the top left corner.

A third nearly came for the hosts as Ed Francis produced a curled effort outside the box that was tipped onto the bar by Byrne, the Macclesfield defence then cleared their lines.

The last chance of the first half came in 45th minute when Sam Perry fired Macclesfield’s first chance of the match from 25-yard out, the shot however was easily collected by James Montgomery.

Macclesfield came out strong after half time, after Gateshead failed to clear their lines safely, a loose ball found its way into the path of Kane Drummond outside the box who fired a strong strike that sailed past Montgomery into the top left corner.

‘The Silkmen’ then made a sub, Alex Curran and Dan Sweeney coming on in replacement of Tunde Owolabi and Perry. This was shortly followed after by the hosts as Regan Booty came on in replacement of Whelan.

Another close chance came for Gateshead, the ball dropped for Olley inside the box before the skipper turned and shot, Byrne managed however to palm it out for a corner.

Rob Elliot after this chance made his second sub, Dinanga coming on for the hosts, replacing Allan.

Macclesfield nearly equalised in the 77th minute when Tre Pemberton found himself free on the right side, after arriving into the box his shot took a defelction off of Montgomery and glanced the side netting of the keeper’s near post.

Maccelesfield then made their last sub, Kengi coming on for Brandon Lee.

Francis’ shot from just inside the box was cleared off the line by Sam Heathcote in 79th minute.

Louis Storey came on replacing Worman as Gateshead looked to run the clock down with two minutes of the additional five left.