Gateshead manager Steve Watson insists the pressure if off when they visit league leaders Leyton Orient tomorrow afternoon. The Heed moved back into the play off places last weekend and Watson highlights his side should cement their place in the top seven ahead of the festive fixtures. Speaking to gatesheadfc.com “we go there with no fear, the win last week has done the world of good and we have got some great games after, where I feel we can take some points”
- Sit 7th on 36 points
- League Record – P21 W11 D3 L7 F27 A18
- Won four of their last seven league games – taking 13/21 points
The Heed picked up their first victory in five with a 2-1 victory at Barnet last Saturday. Scott Boden put them ahead before Jack Taylor equalised in the second half but Luke Armstrong gave them all three points, striking home 13 minutes from time. Armstrong was delighted to pick up all three points, speaking to gatesheadfc.com “I’m over the moon with the win today, It’s great to get back to winning ways which is exactly what we needed to do after the past few weeks. I thought we played really well and caused them all sorts of problems”.
Gateshead suffered a dip in form at the start of November, losing three on the bounce but two positive results have set the Heed up nicely ahead of the Christmas run in. Luke Molyneux made his first start for two months at Barnet after Watson revealed the 20 year old had been impressing in training. Molyneux was involved in the winner at Barnet and revealed it was case of his side being ruthless in front of goal. Speaking to gatesheadfc.com “it was an entertaining game to be involved in to say the least. Both teams were creating chances but in the end we were the more clinical team and got two goals and three points”.
- Kept seven league clean sheets (three away)
- Kept just one in their last five
- Kept four in their last eight games, conceding just seven goals
- No clean sheet in last four away games
- Just one in last six away games (1-0 vs Havant, 13/10/18)
The Heed will be making the long trip to the Capital on Saturday morning ahead of the game and Watson will be hoping his side continue their good form against the London teams. Speaking ahead of the trip to Orient to gatesheadfc.com “we have accepted it and we get on with it. There will be no excuses, we have done relatively well in London and on our longer trips. It is a young group of lads who enjoy each others company”.
Tomorrow’s game will be the first return fixture of the season with the sides drawing 1-1 back in August. The sides have got used to each other as tomorrow’s clash will be their sixth in the past 14 months and Watson is expecting another tight contest. Speaking to gatesheadfc.com “the first game we played excellently down their, the second, they had improved dramatically since Justin came in, it was much tougher and we showed a lot of resilience. There was nothing between the sides earlier in the season and maybe we should have held on for the win”.
- Failed to score in six league games (three away)
- Scored in three of their last four
- Scored in six of their last eight in all competitions (netting ten goals)
- Only failed to score in one of their eight away games (1-0 vs Fylde, 30/10/18)
The Heed are unbeaten against the top two at home and Watson is hoping his side can replicate those performances tomorrow. However, it will not be an easy task for his side and the former Newcastle man is under no illusion of the test that awaits his side “we know how hard it is going to be, it will be a big crowd, it’s a good pitch with a great atmosphere. I have watched the last two games, they are a very strong, organised side who have an outstanding goal-scorer. They have dangerous players all around him, we know all about them but knowing about them and stopping them are two different things”.
- Away League Record – P11 W6 D1 L4 F14 A10
- Four best record in League, only Orient (25) and Eastleigh (21) have taken more points
- One win in their last four (all competitions) – W1 L3
- Won five of last seven away league games
- Four of their six away wins have been by just one goal
The trip to Orient is the first of six fixtures in December and Watson acknowledges that sides can be undone by the run of games. The Heed sit inside the playoffs by a point but the 44 year old admits it is too early to be concerned how other teams are doing. Speaking to gatesheadfc.com “we are not even half way through the season, it is a bit early to be worrying about other teams. We will be just cracking on and getting as many wins as we can. December usually finds teams out, we take one game at a time”.
- Scored 14/27 league goals in second half (8/14) away
- Three of last four have been in second half
- Have netted seven in final 15 minutes
- Seven of their 11 wins have been by just one goal
Watson revealed his squad has few niggles but nothing major. Luke Molyneux is set to continue in midfield while strikers Scott Boden and Luke Armstrong will be hoping to their tally.
Head to Head- Gateshead 2, Draw 2, Leyton Orient 1
- Gateshead have scored in every meetings
- Gateshead have scored two or more in four of the five meetings
- They are unbeaten in two trips to the Breyer Groups Stadium
Last Time Out – 2-1 win at Barnet
Prediction – Leyton Orient 1-1 Gateshead