The Wood are back on the road this Saturday, January 26 (3pm), when we head to Gateshead, in the National League. Here’s our preview… 

Match Details 

Tickets are available to purchase on the gate, on the day of the game, at the International Stadium.

Prices are as follows: Adults £15; Concessions £8; Under 18s/students £5; Under 12s free (must be accompanied by an adults).

Away fans are usually located in the large East Stand on one side of the stadium, which has a capacity of 4,000.

Team News

Luke Garrard has no fresh injuries to contend with.

Gozie Ugwu returned to the bench against Havant & Waterlooville and is once again available for selection.

Keiran Murtagh missed the clash with the Hawks, but is expected to return to the squad on Saturday.

Form Guide

The Wood were frustrated last time out, falling to a 3-1 defeat at home to Havant & Waterlooville.

Wood went two goals behind in the first half, before pulling one back in the second, through Idris Kanu. However, Hassan Jalloh scored late on for the away side, to confirm their victory.

Kanu’s goal was his second in as many league games, since joining the club on loan from League One Peterborough United.

Sean Shields returned to the line-up, having been cup-tied for the FA Trophy game against Blyth Spartans and looked a lively presence throughout, in the number 10 role.

The Wood currently sit 14th in the National League, on 38-points after 30 games.

Managed by 36-year-old former club captain Ben Clarke, Gateshead currently sit in ninth place, just outside of the play-offs.

The Heed are yet to register a win in 2019 and have lost three of their last five matches, drawing twice.

They drew 1-1 away from home with National League promotion hopefuls Salford City, last time out.

One to Watch – Fraser Kerr

26-year-old centre back Fraser Kerr has been a rock at the back for Gateshead, as they have made a charge for the play-offs this season.

The defender has featured 33 times for Gateshead this campaign, at the heart of the defence.

Standing at 6ft 2in, Kerr is a dominant presence at the back, who has chipped in with two goals along the way.

A former Scotland Under 21 international, Kerr began his career with Birmingham City, but departed for Motherwell, without making an appearance for the Blues.

From the Dugout – Luke Garrard  

“They are having a great season, in terms of where they are currently situated. The work that Steve Watson done in regards to recruiting and getting on a great run, to be two-points outside of the play-offs, at this stage of the season, is fantastic.

“They have got a great, young, athletic side, who have got the likes of Robbie Tinkler, who has played England C, and Jack Hunter, who I like.

“They play the same system, in terms of the 3-5-2, and they have got similar personnel from the team prior to Steve Watson leaving, so I can imagine that Ben Clarke doesn’t really want to shuffle the pack much.

“They move the ball, they make the pitch expansive, and they open up supply lines, for the two strikers.

“But, we are going there full of confidence and full of anger, trying to put some wrongs right come Saturday, and hopefully we come away with three points.

“If you walk across Meadow Park, or if you are within 100 yards of our training ground, you would assume we are top of the league – because of the energy and the enthusiasm they have.

“I think that the week they have had so far has been positive and I hope that they relay that in a good performance against Gateshead on Saturday.”

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