Boro Head the Heed
By Robert Nichols
Thursday 11 Jul 2019 08:58:00
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A much changing Boro side notched up Jonathan Woodgate's first Boro win away against plucky non Leaguers Gateshead last night. A couple of hundred Boro fans made the short jaunt up the A19 to witness Boro being pegged back by a penalty before eventually running out 3-1 winners in the International Stadium.

It was a first look over the Woodgate era for many fans but it is a bit early to jump to many conclusions in the game against National League (Sixth Tier) Gateshead. But even through many rotations Boro deployed plenty of width and attacking players. Lewis Wing sat very deep until replaced late on by Adam Clayton. Young right wing back Djed Spence showed real pace before throwing over dangerous centres, maybe the former Fulham Academy player could be one to watch this pre season.

Jonny Howson put the Boro ahead as the game finally sprung to life just before half time. There was something to cheer for the home fans when they were awarded a penalty dispatched beyond replacement keeper James (for Randolph) straight after the break. But that was the last chance on target for the Heed as Boro bossed the remainder of the match. The home sides only other chance was when sub Sam (son of Alan) Stubbs gifted them the ball and a trialist shot across the goal.

A cool trap and finish by Ashley Fletcher restored Boro's lead before Marvin Johnson planted the ball into the corner of the net in the final stages. Will this pre season be a final opportunity for the former Oxford winger to try and break through at Boro?

With the different fitness levels beginning to tell Gateshead's trailist keeper impressed with two outstanding late saves to deny late sub Rudy Gestede from getting on the score sheet.

There was much applause for former Heed loanee, Luke Armstrong coming on as sub forward for Boro in the second period. The vocal home fans cheered on their team and their goat mascot, roaring him on as Usain Goat, encouraging him to start 100 metres and long jump run ups along the running track that circles this impressive athletics stadium.

Gateshead finished their first pre season game with a team of largely trialists who acquitted themselves well against a Boro side featuring many experienced League players as well as Academy players hoping to graduate this campaign.

With Jonathan Woodgate and Robbie Keane both yelling instructions from the side of the pitch, Leo Percovich restricted himself to a watching brief in the dug out. There was a rotating door with players coming on and off for both sides and only some of the internationals and the injured missed out on some action.

A good run out then and plenty of attacking football for the Boro fans to feast on beneath the floodlights of the Gateshead International Stadium.

Gateshead 1-3 Boro – Howson, Fletcher and Johnson

Boro Line Up Randolph (James), Howson (Spence), Reading (Dale), Flint (Wood), Shotton (Stubbs), Wing (Clayton), Wearn (Malley), McNair (Saville), Fletcher (Gestede), Tavernier (Armstrong), Coulson (Johnson).



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