MAIDENHEAD 0 GATESHEAD 3 Wat a result as revolution gathers pace
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.
Gateshead celebrate after Luke Hannant’s second at Maidenhead