Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Heed Shaw Don't Miss Hitman Jon

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Heed Shaw Don't Miss Hitman Jon

Article excerpt

Gateshead 4 Mansfield Town 1 WHO needs Jon Shaw? Not Gateshead, thus far. It is early days, of course. However, the Tynesiders have navigated the trickiest of openings to their Conference National campaign by drawing at title favourites Luton Town and, last night, dismantling second favourites Mansfield Town with impressive ease and swaggering enterprise.

Moreover, they have done it without Shaw after the goal machine joined the Hatters this summer and, last night, with strikers James Brown and Yemi Odubade sidelined by injury.

In their stead, Liam Hatch and Nathan Fisher have delivered. Chris Bush proved pivotal too.

All told, Gateshead have passed the first, crucial hurdle of a challenging season with flying colours, and ended the evening second in the table.

They started it brightly too, James Curtis heading wide and Fisher's shot deflected off target.

Soon enough though, they converted early promise into sustained, concentrated pressure, half chances into genuine ones and had their reward.

On nine minutes, Bush's Exocet throw was half-cleared, Ben Clark retrieved and crossed, but Hatch's point-blank effort was pushed behind by Alan Marriott.

From Josh Gillies' corner, Micky Cummins' header was parried by the Stags goalkeeper and Carl Magnay's follow-up deflected over.

From Gillies' ensuing flag-kick, directed low to the front post, Hatch stole free and hooked in.

Two in two; really, who needs Shaw? Well, not Mansfield either, for eight minutes later they were level.

For all the hosts' intricate passing and movement, the visitors' goal was a good deal more rudimentary.

Andy Owens lumped a deep free-kick goalwards, Gateshead's defence went AWOl and Luke Jones looped a backheader over Adam Bartlett and in.

It did not unduly affect the home side. Bush was blocked by Jones, Magnay headed off target. …

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