Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Four Games without a Win for Toothless Heed; NATIONAL LEAGUE

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Four Games without a Win for Toothless Heed; NATIONAL LEAGUE

Article excerpt

Byline: JEFF BOWRON

HALIFAX TOWN 1 GATESHEAD 0 GATESHEAD'S winless run was stretched to four games as hosts Halifax Town hit the top of the table with a fifth win from seven.

The Tynesiders maintained their record of conceding just one goal in every game this season, but they couldn't fashion one of their own.

It was a strike from Jordan Preston, one of a host of players that left Gateshead in the summer, which claimed the decisive goal.

The Heed made three changes for the game at The Shay, with Cameron Salkeld, Tom White and former Halifax striker Scott Boden all returning. Steve Watson's side rarely threatened in the opening 45 minutes, but should have gone in at half-time on level terms.

Halifax went close twice in the opening quarter of an hour, Bury loanee Joe Skarz with an early cross that caused problems. Ben Tomlinson climbed well but headed just wide, while Dayle Southwell's long-range effort was dealt with by Aynsley Pears at his near post.

On-loan Middlesbrough goalkeeper Pears then made a fine diving save to turn Southwell's edge of the box drive past the post.

Defender Nathan Clarke planted a couple of headers over the bar as the home side continued to probe.

Tynesiders captain Robbie Tinkler was booked for a foul on the dangerous Matty Kosylo, whose cross then gave Preston a half chance.

Gateshead finally created an opening 10 minutes from the interval, with Boden's tame effort parried by former Heed goalkeeper Sam Johnson. But JJ O'Donnell was unable to get on to the loose ball, and it was to be Halifax who got the all-important goal on the stroke of half-time.

Gateshead gave the ball away cheaply, allowing Kosylo to run at goal to set up Preston, who curled the ball beyond Pears and into the far corner.

It was the sixth time in their seven games this season that the Shaymen had scored first, and the fifth time in the first half - it was also Preston's first goal for Halifax. …

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