Last night, I travelled over to Hartlepool’s Victoria Ground to watch Gateshead’s “home” Blue Square Premier League game against high-flying Wrexham.
Having watched Gateshead home and away throughout most of the 1990s, this was my first league fixture in over a decade. I hadn’t seen a game at this particular ground in many a year either – from memory the stand in the picture didn’t even exist last time I was there...
It was good to catch up with one or two familiar faces from times gone by, even though I was still reeling from the £14 admission... £14? For non-league football?
Oh well, maybe it’ll be a decent game...
Gateshead huffed and puffed but lacked any real composure in the final third, although they did squander a couple of golden chances, one in each half. Wrexham were the better side, but not by as much as the difference in league position would suggest. The visitors were quick on the break and although they also missed a couple of great opportunities, they did find the back of the net, Brett Ormerod converting from a close range fairly early on in the second half.
Whilst there was plenty of effort and commitment from the Gateshead players, they lacked the craft to break down a decent Wrexham defence and the Welsh side comfortably held on to their advantage.
So for Wrexham, a trip to Wembley in the FA Trophy beckons and they stand three points clear of the rest of the table in their bid to regain Football League status. As for Gateshead, well all that lies ahead is a relegation battle, one that at£14 a go I won’t be witnessing first hand, but for the current generation of the “Heed Army”, I really hope it is a battle they can win.
All my own work... almost.