December 20, 2014
(This match report is taken from the Gateshead FC Official Site with thanks.)
GATESHEAD’S hectic festive campaign began in disappointing fashion. They came out on the wrong end of a five-goal thriller at high-flying Bristol Rovers.
The Heed twice led at the Memorial Stadium through Matty Pattison and Alex Rodman – but they were undone by a blistering three-minute spell from the home side midway through the second-half.
The Tynesiders began the evening brightly, however, and took less than 30 seconds to register their first shot on target, as Rob Ramshaw’s low effort on the turn was pushed wide by Rovers goalkeeper Fabian Speiss.
Pattison almost found the net on six minutes, as he nodded John Oster’s deflected cross narrowly over the bar from close-range.
But the South African made no mistake with his next opportunity.
Oster swung in a low cross from the right, and Ramshaw’s touch took the ball into the path of Pattison – who slotted home at the far post to give the Tynesiders a deserved lead.
The former Newcastle United and Norwich City midfielder almost doubled the visitors’ advantage midway through the first-half – connecting with Rodman’s cutback, only for Rovers defender Tom Parkes to nip in with a superb block.
The Pirates began to stir as the half drew to a close.
Midfielder Lee Mansell found the side-netting with an acrobatic effort on 37 minutes, before captain Mark McChrystal clipped the crossbar from Andy Monkhouse’s deep corner-kick.
Rovers upped the ante following the restart, and Mansell squandered a superb opportunity to restore parity just two minutes in, firing straight into the hands of goalkeeper Adam Bartlett from Stuart Sinclair’s cutback.
After a spell of concerted pressure, the Pirates got back on level terms on 58 minutes, as substitute Ollie Clarke drilled beyond Bartlett from 25 yards.
But just three minutes later, Gateshead restored their lead.
Oster pounced on a mistake in the Rovers half, and his inviting cross fell kindly for the unmarked Rodman to sweep home first-time.
However, any hopes of registering an impressive victory on the road disintegrated in a nightmarish three-minute spell for Gary Mills’ side.
On 68 minutes, Rovers were awarded a free-kick 20 yards out, and Mansell stepped up to fire into the top corner of the net in impressive style.
And within the blink of an eye, the hosts had turned the game on its head, as Sinclair pounced on some confusion in the Heed backline to lash the ball home from just inside the 18-yard box.
The Tynesiders struggled to pick themselves up after that, and rarely threatened a leveller in the closing stages.
Their only chance of note fell to Pattison four minutes into injury-time, but his free-kick from 25 yards sailed harmlessly over the crossbar.
Bristol Rovers: Speiss, Brown, Lockyer, McChrystal (Trotman, 66), Parkes, Mansell, Taylor, Monkhouse, Sinclair, Balanta (Clarke, 28), Wall (Harrison, 84).
Goalscorers: Clarke (58), Mansell (68), Sinclair (70).
Gateshead: Bartlett, Baxter, Curtis, Clark, O’Donnell, Chandler (Rankine, 62), Turnbull, Oster, Pattison, Rodman, Ramshaw (Wright, 73).
Goalscorers: Pattison (17), Rodman (61).
Attendance: 5,367 (inc. 46 away supporters)
Referee: B. Huxtable
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