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PREVIEW | Gateshead v Wrexham

23 January 2023

Victory in Kent on Saturday brought Wrexham level with Notts County at the top of the table, but there's no rest for Phil Parkinson's side as we hit the road again for a trip to the North East.

There were no obvious new injuries to worry about after the 3-2 win in Bromley, and Ollie Palmer came through the last 20 minutes successfully following treatment in the week. 

Gateshead haven't played in a week and a half, as their match on Saturday against Dorking was postponed. That game saw them reach the last 16 of the FA Trophy with a 3-1 victory at Oldham Athletic which continued their upturn in form as they battle against relegation.

They might be four from bottom, but The Heed are unbeaten in 5 and beginning to work up some promising momentum. A 3-0 win at York and a 5-1 beating of Gloucester City were part of that impressive mini-run, although they also picked up an impressive point at play-off contenders Barnet in their last league match. 

Danny Elliott is catching the eye having played a major role in the Gateshead renaissance. Elliott struck 31 goals last season for Boston United as they reached the National League North play-offs, and was a major transfer target for Gateshead in the Summer. He opted to sign for Boreham Wood instead, but has struggled to get into their side, so Gateshead came back in and signed him on loan last month.

Elliott has made an impressive start, striking 5 goals in the first 4 matches of the recent unbeaten run and playing his part in the win at Oldham. Speaking to the Sunderland Echo, he was confident that The Heed can build on their current improvement in form.

The league table is not necessarily anything to go by, even though we are roughly halfway through the season. There are still twists and turns to come, I’ve played in this league before and there are always a lot of teams bunched up. Putting a run together, with the confidence we have now, could make all of the difference.

-Danny Elliott

Manager Mike Williamson has good options to use alongside Elliott up front. Fan favourite Adam Campbell hasn't scored since mid-November, but his work rate is undiminished, while experienced forward Aaron Martin is approaching a return from injury.

That goal by Campbell came in a 3-1 win against Southend, one of only two home league victories Gateshead have managed in the league. With only 2 wins on the road as well, nobody has managed fewer league wins in the division, and only Yeovil Town have drawn more games.

The improved fire power Williamson has accumulated should be enough to improve that win rate, and the creativity of the squad was given another boost when Sierra Leone international Kamil Conteh committed to the club until the end of the season. The Middlesbrough midfielder has impressed during his loan spell and hit the net at Boundary Park to register his third goal of the season. 


30/08/2022 Wrexham 3 (Tozer 2, Palmer 9, Mullin 78) Gateshead 1 (Bailey 26)

WREXHAM: M Howard, J Davies, M Cleworth, A Hayden, B Tozer, C McFadzean (J Mendy, 67), J Jones (E Lee, 62), L Young, A Forde, P Mullin, O Palmer (S Dalby, 78) Subs not used: R Watson, T O'Connor            

GATESHEAD: D Langley, L Storey, R Tinkler, C Magnay, D Ward, O Bailey, G Olley, K Richardson, W Harris (P Blackett, 67), A Campbell, T Allan (O Gallacher, 35) Subs not used: E Forbes, J Montgomery, M Williamson

Referee: Daniel Middleton

Attendance: 9,805

Red Card: Storey 29




We've drawn our last three games at Gateshead. Our last game there was in February 2019,  and although we arrived as league leadeers we were fortunate to avoid defeat. The match marked Brian Flynn's return to Wrexham as assistant manager to Bryan Hughes, but The Heed took the lead five minutes before half time. The Red Dragons pushed hard for an equaliser, making extremely attacking substitutions as time ran out, until one finally paid off when Cole Stockton pounced to score an extremely scruffy equaliser in the third minute of added time.

The previous season we were involved in another title race, but struggled to find a way through the home side's solid defence. We were hampered by Scott Quigley having to go off injured after half an hour, and had to be satisfied with a goalless draw.

We certainly weren't harbouring hopes of promotion the season before, as Dean Keates wrestled to get a tune out of the squad Gary Mills had left him with. Mlls' last 6 games had yielded 4 defeats, but Keates had stabilised the situation with 4 points out of 6 in his first two league games in charge. It looked like the improvement might end, though, as Gateshead raced into a 2-0 lead, but second half goals from John Rooney and Hamza Bencherif earned a 2-2 draw.

Mills' only game as Wrexham boss at his old club came a year earlier. Sean Newton scored a 29th minute equaliser in very fortunate circumstances, sweeping in a cross which went all the way in, but it was only a temporary reprieve as we lost 2-1

We also lost six months earlier in a game of two own goals. We were gifted an equaliser, but were up against a rather more fearsome Mills side, which completed an emphatic league double with a 3-1 win, the last goal coming courtesy of an unfortunate Steve Tomassen.

Between that match and a 3-0 thrashing at The Racecourse, we'd met Mills' Gateshead in the FA Trophy in what turned out to be a titanic tie. Andy Bishop, our top scorer against The Heed, scored a 34th minute equaliser at The Racecourse to set up a memorable replay: we fell behind as early as the third minute but equalised shortly after the break through a fine Connor Jennings volley. When Wes York raced through to put us ahead with 7 minutes left, it looked like we'd booked our place in the quarter finals, only to conceded an equaliser 3 minutes from the end.

An exciting extra 30 minutes yielded no goals so the game went to a penalty shoot-out. With Dan Bachmann performing heroics in Wrexham's goal, Louis Moult dinked in a Panenka to earn a 5-3 victory, although you'll have to take my word for it as the angry home cameraman stopped recording as Moult walked up to the spot! 

We enjoyed a big win in September 2013, as Brett Ormerod, Bishop and Tomassen all scored in the second half to secure a 3-0 win in front of just 538 fans. That's the lowest crowd to watch this fixture in Gateshead, but not the lowest overall, as the season before the pitch at the Gateshead International Stadium deteriorated to the point that the game was switched to Hartlepool. Ormerod struck on the hour to secure a 1-0 win in front of a mere 512 fans, 

Our biggest win at Gateshead came in October 2011, when goals by Keates, Danny Wright and Joe Clarke were supplemented by an own goal in a 4-1 victory. Keates scored the only goal at Gateshead the previous season, to avenge a 1-0 loss in March 2010.


WhatsApp Image 2022-10-08 at 2.39.02 PM.jpg

Ollie Palmer's 450th league appearance.

0eed9735-c96f-4edc-9241-f3138f63bedd.jpgTom O'Connor's 100th league appearance.

Max Cleworth's 75th career appearance.

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