Gateshead v Boreham Wood
Saturday 5 August, 2023, 3.00pm
Gateshead International Stadium, Vanarama National League

The Wood kick-off their 2023/24 National League campaign with a trip to the Gateshead International Stadium, facing a Tynesiders side led by player-manager Mike Williamson. The Wood come off back-to-back wins against Potters Bar Town and Arsenal XI, and looking for a victory in the opening fixture of what will be hopefully an exciting season for Luke Garrard’s men. 

 IN FOCUS: GATESHEAD FC 

The original Gateshead club was formed in 1899 as South Shields Adelaide and became members of the Football League in 1919. In 1930, financial problems saw the club moved to Gateshead, where they adopted the name of their new town. However, the club was voted out of the Football League in 1960 and folded in 1973. History repeated itself as the South Shields club formed to replace the original one was also moved to Gateshead, becoming Gateshead United in 1974. However, they were dissolved in 1976-77 season. A new club was established, taking over from United in the Northern Premier League. After three season in the bottom half of the table, they finished eleventh in 1980-81, also reaching the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 1-0 to Lincoln City. 

In the 2008-09 season, they were Conference North runners-up. In the subsequent playoffs, they beat Southport 2-1 on aggregate in the semi-finals, before a 1-0 win over AFC Telford United in the final which saw them promoted to the Conference National. The club adopted a full-time squad for the first time for the 2010-11 season. In 2013-14, the club finished third in the league, qualifying for the promotion play-offs. They beat Grimsby Town 4-2 on aggregate in the semi-finals, setting up a Wembley final against Cambridge United, which they lost 2-1. The following season the club reached the third round of the FA Cup for the first time resulting in a 7-0 loss to West Bromwich Albion. The club were suspended from the National League in May 2019 due to financial irregularities and were demoted to the National League North the following month. In 2021-22, Gateshead were National League North champions, earning promotion back to the National League. 

 2022-23 SEASON REVIEW 

Gateshead experienced some of the highest of highs to the lowest of lows during the 2022-23 season. Fresh out of National League North by being crowned champions of the division ahead of Brackley and AFC Fylde, the club gained 94 points in 42 games. However, National League is the hardest division to survive in recent years and The Heed were relegation threatened for a lot of the first season back in the top tier outside the EFL. The Tynesiders finished the season in 14th place after a brilliant mid-season run which saw them survive comfortably despite a few early season scares. They were hit with a one-point deduction in March 2023 after fielding a banned player. It could have proved costly in their season while being 15th at the time. The club ended the season with a record of 15-15-16 (W-D-L) in the league reaching 59 points, as well as reaching the first round of the FA Cup, but lost to the then League Two side Stevenage 3-2. 

The highest point of their season came by their FA Trophy run. They reached the 2023 FA Trophy final at Wembley Stadium in front of over 27,000 fans. Despite losing narrowly to FC Halifax Town 1-0, it was a great occasion for a side that has struggled throughout the campaign. 

IN THE DUGOUT: 

 Former Newcastle United defender Mike Williamson has taken on the role of player-manager at Gateshead since 2019, having joined the Heed a year prior. The 39-year old racked up more than 450 career appearances having turned out for Torquay United, Southampton, Doncaster Rovers, Wycombe Wanderers, Watford, Portsmouth, Newcastle, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Oxford United, and established himself having featured in the Premier League, Championship, League One and League Two, before returning to Tyneside in 2018. Initially training with the club during pre-season ahead of the 2018/19 campaign, he would go on to earn a contract and appeared consistently, but was named player-coach after just five months at the club, joining the coaching staff of newly-appointed manager Ben Clark. He would later take on the role of player-manager and has remained there ever since, guiding the club back to the National League after three seasons in the sixth tier which saw them reach the play-off semi-final in his first year, eventually achieving promotion as champions. He would go on to win Manager of the Season at the end of the campaign. 

ONE TO WATCH: ADAM CAMPBELL 

Adam Campbell was the Tynesiders leading goal scorer in the league last season, reaching 13 goals in 43 games. Born in South Shields, Campbell has plenty of experience throughout the football pyramid in England, coming through the Newcastle academy, he’s been on loan to many football league sides such as Carlisle United, Fleetwood Town and Morecambe FC. He even played for England Under 16’s, U17’s and U19’s, scoring once for the U17 side in 2012. He joined Gateshead on a free transfer from Darlington in the summer of 2021, and has scored 26 goals for the club in the last two seasons across National League, National League North, FA Cup and FA Trophy. 

HAVEN’T WE MET BEFORE? 

Gateshead 1 – 1 Boreham Wood
Saturday 17th September 2022
Gateshead International Stadium, Vanarama National League

The Wood travelled to the Gateshead International Stadium last season on the 17th of September, it was honours even as the Wood maintained their unbeaten away record with a hard fought 1-1 draw. 

The hosts opened the scoring in the first half on 15 minutes from a fantastic volley from Lirak Hasani, and the Wood weren’t able to answer back in the first half. The second half was much better from the Wood and on fifty-one minutes, Josh Rees equalised for Boreham Wood when he converted from a Lee Ndlovu pass. No team were able to find a winner and the Wood left the Northeast with a well-earned point.

 

Ticket info can be found here

 

OUR CLUB. OUR TOWN. OUR COMMUNITY. 

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