Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Brain Drain Top-Six Ambitions of Heed; Watson Furious as Gateshead Lose to Bottom Club NATIONAL LEAGUE

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Brain Drain Top-Six Ambitions of Heed; Watson Furious as Gateshead Lose to Bottom Club NATIONAL LEAGUE

Article excerpt

Byline: JEFF BOWRON

GATESHEAD 0 BRAINTREE TOWN 1 GATESHEAD were the fall guys as bottom club Braintree won for the first time in a dour affair on Tyneside.

The Heed were again undone by a set-play as Billy Crook's lofted 55thminute free-kick from just inside the home half sealed their fate.

On-loan Middlesbrough goalkeeper Aynsley Pears opted not to come for a ball which saw three Braintree players look to get on the end of.

Gateshead only had Fraser Kerr and Steven Rigg in the final mix, the latter allowing Joe Ellul to head home from six yards out.

Opposition sides bringing the heavy artillery up from the back for free-kicks and corners has undone the Tynesiders on several occasions this season.

Many have proved costly and this one was enough to give a limited Braintree side, who hardly threatened in open play, their first victory at the 11th attempt.

Gateshead went close on a handful of occasions but generally lacked creativity and a cutting edge.

"We weren't brilliant today but we certainly had enough about us to have taken a point out of the game," said manager Steve Watson (below).

"We gave Braintree a leg-up by handing them a goal and that's probably one too many - it's really disappointing.

"There are only so many times you can blame the age of the players.

While we can't give them 300 games' experience it's the same mistakes.

"It was a silly foul for the free-kick and it's another header in the box we haven't been able to deal with.

"No one has taken responsibility and it's very disappointing in that respect. "All we can do is look at the game, reflect on it and come back in on Monday looking to win the next game at Chesterfield."

Gateshead won the corner count 11-0 and had 11 attempts at goal but only two of them were on target, while Braintree rarely caused problems. …

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