NEXT: Gateshead (A) (03/18/23 3 pm KO)

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Gary Johnson’s men make their longest trip of the season on Saturday, as they head north-east to take on Gateshead.

With three points separating the two teams, Mike Williamson’s side will also be looking to gain some ground on the teams above as the season enters its final run.

Who is the boss?

Player-manager Mike Williamson took the helm at Gateshead in the summer of 2019. Williamson is currently in his fifth season at Gateshead, having originally arrived as a player in the 2018/19 pre-season. After moving to the coaching staff as player-coach in January 2019, it was that summer that he assumed his role as player-coach.

During his first season in charge, the 39-year-old’s team reached the National League North play-off semi-final, before the following restricted season saw The Heed finish tenth, two points outside the play-offs. offs. However, he went on to have a successful third season managing the team. Williamson guided Gateshead to the National League North title, and after his team scored 94 points and netted 99 goals throughout the 2021/22 campaign, it was no surprise when he was later named Manager of the Season. of the National League North.

Williamson combined his managerial role as a player for The Heed, and has continued to appear for the team again this season, making three appearances so far and starting in the 3-1 win over Southend last weekend.

The Gateshead player-manager is best known for his six-season spell at Newcastle United, where he made over 150 appearances, mostly in the Premier League; but Williamson will be a familiar face to United fans having enjoyed two seasons at Plainmoor. As a teenager, Williamson made around half a dozen appearances for United before moving to Southampton for an undisclosed fee, but he returned to the English Riviera in September 2003 to make a further ten appearances. The defender has also played for Doncaster Rovers, Wycombe Wanderers, Watford, Portsmouth and Wolves.

How have you been?

It’s been a mixed bag for Gateshead this season, with three straight draws in their first three straight three-loss games. Their first National League win came against Maidstone, where they won 4–1 in early September, with their first away win coming a few weeks later at Maidenhead United. However, nine winless league games followed before a 3–1 home win against Southend in mid-November brought that run to a halt, though the results were more mixed, with Heed’s first win of 2023 coming at the end of January. at Wealdstone. the last time he came out was a 0-0 draw against FC Halifax. Away from the league, Gateshead have reached the FA Trophy semi-finals, where they will have a home tie against Barnet for a place at Wembley in June. Coming into this game, they sit in 21st position with 33 points from their 34 games, and they have seven wins, 13 draws and 14 losses so far this season.

player to watch

Owen Bailey is a defender from Gateshead, joining the club after a trial in July 2021, and was an integral part of Heed’s title-winning side of 2021/22, making 49 appearances and scoring four goals while creating six assists. Bailey was also a member of Newcastle United’s under-23 team in 2020/21, while in 2019 he captained the Magpies’ second team to a Premier League Division 2 Play Off Final and also to a final. of the Premier League Cup.

played for both

Shaun MacDonald began his career with Gateshead, although he only made two starts in a two-year spell at the club between 2015 and 2017, before moving to Blyth Spartans for the 2017/18 season, but once again games were few and only he made one appearance for the club before coming to the South and joining United ahead of their National League South campaign. MacDonald was part of the team that saw Gary Johnson’s men claim their first league title in over 90 years and an immediate return to the National League. In his time at Plainmoor, the goalkeeper played over 100 matches for the Club and was also voted the Yellow Army Player of the Season for 2021/22. The 26-year-old then moved to Cheltenham Town ahead of the current campaign, although he has yet to appear in the league for the Robins.

previous meeting

Gateshead 1 – 2 Torquay United, April 2, 2016, National League.

You have to go back nearly seven years to see the last time United won at the Gateshead International Stadium, when a 49th-minute goal from Iffy Allen and a 72nd-minute strike from Andre Wright saw the Gulls come from behind in against after Jon Shaw had given Heed a 21st-minute lead to win 2–1.

Gateshead have provided an update to supporters traveling tomorrow, with the Yellow Army relocated to the Tyne & Wear stand for tomorrow’s meet. For more details, please click here.

Gateshead v Torquay United | Saturday, March 18, 2023, 3:00 p.m. | Vanarama National League | Tickets | OFFICIAL TUFC RADIO


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