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Oxford City (H)
Sat Feb 1
15:00

Next match

Team logo
Oxford City (H)
Sat Feb 1 15:00
The Vanarama National League South
2nd
52pts

Luck Shines On The Heed As They Get First Win

| League
Att: 747
Gateshead
Atkinson (35)
1 - 0
Slough Town
Trevor How
Tyneside is a long way to travel only to find yourself defeated by a slack goal, but it looked like a script written for the Rebels on Saturday. Neither side was worthy of a larger share of the points and application seemed missing in this extremely slow game.

It was another lesson for Slough, who looked defensively capable with Trevor How at the heart of their sweeper system but they were buried with the only clear-cut chance of the game. After that they couldn't get back into the match. New signing Sean Lahiff, an Australian goalkeeper who has been linked with Reading, made his debut between the sticks. Neal Stanley was absent with flu and Tony Knight was sidelined through an ankle injury, but still made his own way up to watch the game.

Slough had the better of the first half possession wise, they did everything right with the sweeper, building slowly and keeping hold of the ball and looking well worth a point. Gateshead were not impressive, they had not scored in their three league games so far and lost the lot, albeit this being their first home game in the season.

But away is rapidly becoming a nasty four letter word for the Rebels - on a day when of the eleven league games played, ten were home, wins and one a draw. But for all the hard work done at the back, Slough were incapable of finding an effort on target as the game settled into a pitched battle in midfield.

Robbie Johnson did find occasional space on the left flank but the Slough forwards were outmaneuvered by the home defence. The best Slough effort came when Mark Adams headed over from Steve Thompson's cross but even then he was flagged off-side.

Gateshead anxiously shot from long range as they failed to get around the defence and Lahiff was quickly off his line to take the ball off Gary Leonard's feet as he was put through. But he totally misjudged his punch when committed to a free kick which sailed into the box and was lucky to see Stephen Plaskett shoot well wide with the loose ball.

Lahiff made amends when his feet blocked Leonard's long range effort, but it was another distance shot which produced a goal. In the 35th minute Steve Baxter put Derek Bell clean through and his shot was parried into the path of Paddy Atkinson who had the simplest task of slotting home without a defender near him.

Slough had nothing to offer before the break and had to rely on the defence to knock the ball around and play out the half. The second period was dismal. The ball was continually out of touch. Slough found no space in the Gateshead half and creativity was zero. Thompson saw his effort saved early in the half and Bell at the other end raced through on the Gateshead right only for Dell to clear his low ball out of the goalmouth.

Dell then went into the book for a foul on Leonard. An unthinkable basic error by Lahiff after 70 minutes saw him run through the area with ball in his hands - the net Geordies should have done more with the free-kick for the blatant steps infringement. Late on Slough pushed and slightly and found some space around the back of the defence, but the crosses were dealt with easily.

Gateshead Line up

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