MAIDENHEAD 0 GATESHEAD 3 Wat a re­sult as rev­o­lu­tion gath­ers pace

Sunday Sun - - Football - JEFF BOWRON

GATESHEAD’S up­turn in for­tunes un­der Steve Wat­son con­tin­ued in Berk­shire as they recorded a stun­ning three-goal win at mid-ta­ble Maidenhead.

The Heed were two up in­side just eight min­utes, ris­ing star Luke Han­nant’s sec­ond of the af­ter­noon af­ter the break mak­ing it four wins from six un­der Wat­son.

Not sur­pris­ingly, for­mer Pre­mier League star Wat­son was de­lighted with a fourth con­sec­u­tive clean sheet and a sec­ond suc­ce­sive Con­fer­ence away win.

“We played some ter­rific stuff and scored some great goals,” said de­lighted Gateshead man­ager Wat­son.

“Ev­ery­body played a really big part in an ex­cel­lent team per­for­mance. A lit­tle more clin­i­cal and it could have been a lot more.

“You start with a solid base and even when three up I wanted us to keep an­other clean sheet be­cause ev­ery­one de­served it.

“That was our most com­plete per­for­mance so far. We’ve not only looked solid, we’ve done very well with the ball on a pitch that wasn’t easy.

“We started really well, that was the key. The prepa­ra­tion was good and we ex­e­cuted the game plan very well.

“The key is to keep im­prov­ing. We’ve got a tough home game against Tran­mere com­ing up where we’ll try and keep the run go­ing.”

Wat­son has not named the same side in any of his six games in charge, four changes made for the sec­ond week run­ning.

The Heed’s big­gest away fol­low­ing of the sea­son, 117, were in dream land as their Mag­pie hosts were hit by two quick-fire goals.

Han­nant got the ball rolling af­ter only five min­utes find­ing the bot­tom cor­ner with a smart fin­ish from the edge of the box.

Danny John­son does what he al­ways does when re­turn­ing to the side af­ter be­ing over­looked – scored goals.

The striker got the Heed’s clinch­ing goal in the FA Cup win over Chelms­ford last week in his first start un­der Wat­son.

And the Teessider was at it again at Maidenhead, Han­nant’s 25-yard strike can­non­ing off the bar and Johnny on the spot John­son tuck­ing home the re­bound.

Maidenhead were meet­ing Gateshead for the first time in their his­tory and hadn’t lost at York Road since Au­gust.

But with the Tyb­nesiders on top form there was no way back for Alan Devon­shire’s out­played side.

When they did break through they could not get the bet­ter of Dan Han­ford in the Heed goal, Gateshead un­lucky not to score more than three.

John­son twice went close, Scott Bar­row also be­fore Rus­sell Penn cleared a Harry Pritchard ef­fort off the line.

JJ O’Don­nell missed a sit­ter on the stroke of half-time but it mat­tered lit­tle, Han­nant mak­ing it three five min­utes af­ter the break.

That was game over, the Mag­pies hav­ing their wings firmly clipped in their own nest, Han­ford mak­ing good saves from Adrian Clifton and Ryan Upward.

Sub­sti­tute Jor­dan Pre­ston was inches wide of the far post for a ram­pant Heed, an­other sub, Richard Peniket’s shot turned onto the bar.

It was a fourth game un­beaten for an up­wardly mo­bile Gateshead as the Steve Wat­son rev­o­lu­tion gath­ers pace on Ty­ne­side.

THOMAS LANG

Gateshead cel­e­brate af­ter Luke Han­nant’s sec­ond at Maidenhead

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