Rovers Last Match
October 17, 2014
FOREST GREEN ROVERS 1. v. 1. GATESHEAD
(Adapted from the Gateshead FC Official Site with thanks.)
DEBUTANT defender Callum Howe capped off an impressive performance with the equalising goal as the Heed collected a valuable point at fellow high-flyers Forest Green Rovers.
The 20-year-old – who only completed his one-month loan switch from Scunthorpe United yesterday – cancelled out Jon Parkin’s opener for the hosts with a rasping finish late on.
The draw at the New Lawn extends Gateshead’s unbeaten run to nine games – ahead of a mouth-watering clash with promotion rivals Barnet at the International Stadium next Saturday.
After a quiet opening, it was Rovers who created the first clear-cut chance of the afternoon midway through the first-half.
James Norwood raced in on goal with only Adam Bartlett to beat – but the Heed stopper held firm, diverting the forward’s low effort out for a corner.
Eddie Oshadi met the resultant set-piece, but wastefully cleared the crossbar with his headed attempt.
The best opportunity of the first-half, however, fell to the Heed. On 29 minutes, Jon Shaw connected with Tom Allan’s low ball from the left, only for Rovers goalkeeper Sam Russell to deny the in-form frontman with an outstanding save.
On 37 minutes, veteran forward Parkin latched on to Luke Rodgers’ through ball, only for Bartlett to hold his ground once more – denying the former Preston North End man with a two-handed stop.
On the stroke of half-time, Alex Rodman went close to opening the scoring for the Tynesiders – cutting in from the left, before forcing Russell into another fine save from 20 yards.
The second-half also began in unremarkable fashion. The only chance of note early on fell to the Heed’s Danny Wright, who skewed a left-footed effort wide of the post on his return to his former stomping ground.
Gary Mills’ side appeared to be turning the screw as the clock ticked by, but with 20 minutes remaining, they fell behind against the run of play, as Rovers put together the most impressive move of the game.
Russell rose high to collect a Gateshead corner, and hoisted the ball clear for Rodgers to hold up. The forward then threaded it through for substitute Dale Bennett, who had embarked on a buccaneering run. The winger drove on to the by-line, before picking out Parkin at the far post – who coolly slotted beyond Bartlett to register his sixth goal of the season.
But the Tynesiders were not behind for long. Six minutes after falling behind, Phil Turnbull’s free-kick was met by substitute Michael Rankine at the far post, who nodded down for Howe. The young defender couldn’t have caught the ball any sweeter – volleying beyond Russell in emphatic fashion.
Parkin almost denied the Heed a share of the spoils on two occasions late on, though.
On 86 minutes, he glanced a Marcus Kelly cross agonisingly over the crossbar from just six yards out.
And with almost the last kick of the game, the forward’s stabbed effort from the edge of the penalty area trickled narrowly wide of the post – thanks to a last-ditch challenge from the visitors’ Ben Clark.
Forest Green Rovers: Russell, Pipe (Bennett, 58), Oshodi, Coles, Kelly, Guthrie, Wedgbury, Sinclair (Kamdjo, 85), Norwood, Parkin, Rodgers (Hughes, 85).
Goalscorer: Parkin (71).
Gateshead: Bartlett, Howe, Jones, Clark, Allan, Oster, Pattison (Finnigan, 46), Turnbull, Shaw (Brown, 81), Wright (Rankine, 75), Rodman.
Goalscorer: Howe (77).
Referee: Nick Kinseley