Heed’s Box­ing Day derby to be all-ticket

The Chronicle - - Safc - By JEFF BOWRON

GATESHEAD’S big Na­tional League derby against Hartle­pool United on Box­ing Day has now been des­ig­nated an all-ticket game.

Hartle­pool, man­aged by Gateshead-born Craig Har­ri­son, are cur­rently three points above the Heed in the ta­ble.

The two sides have not met in league com­bat since the 1959/60 sea­son – Gateshead’s last in the Foot­ball League.

The Ty­nesiders picked up only one point from their two games against derby ri­vals Hartle­pool, who fin­ished bot­tom of di­vi­sion four.

De­spite Gateshead fin­ish­ing third-bot­tom, five points above Hartle­pool, it was the Ty­ne­side club that was voted out of the Foot­ball League.

Al­most six decades on the Heed will get the chance for re­venge in a fes­tive dou­ble-header against the Vic­to­ria Park club.

Gateshead chair­man Richard Ben­nett said: “It’s been a long time since we played Hartle­pool and it is a great fix­ture for us over Christ­mas.

“It is a game that will at­tract a lot of in­ter­est, es­pe­cially if both clubs main­tain their re­cent im­prove­ment and are well-placed in the ta­ble.

“Hartle­pool will bring a big fol­low­ing and we hope to have size­able back­ing for what is the first of two der­bies in a week.”

New­cas­tle’s Pre­mier League home game against Manch­ester City has been moved back a day to De­cem­ber 27, a boost for the Heed.

Tick­ets for the Box­ing Day show­down against Hartle­pool will be avail­able at all Gateshead home games, start­ing with Tran­mere Rovers on Satur­day.

They are also avail­able on­line at www.gateshead-fc.com, Hartle­pool ex­pected to bring around 2,000 fans to the In­ter­na­tional Sta­dium.

Gateshead fans, mean­while have been al­lo­cated the 1,035-ca­pac­ity Rink End for the re­v­erse fix­ture at Hartle­pool on New Year’s Day, also at 3pm.

Tick­ets for that fix­ture will be avail­able to pur­chase in the Heed’s re­main­ing six home games in 2017 and also on­line. Gateshead boss Steve Wat­son

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