1 v 0
AFC Telford United moved up to second in the league with a narrow 1-0 victory over promotion hopefuls Gateshead at the New Bucks Head.
A 5th minute strike from Aaron Williams was enough to separate the two sides after Telford withstood a spell of heavy Gateshead pressure in the second half to secure the three points and extend their unbeaten start to the campaign.
Boss Gavin Cowan named an unchanged starting eleven for the third week in a row, and in a sign of the familiarity beginning to build within the Bucks ranks they started where they’d left off in the league against Brackley when Lee Vaughan’s whipped cross to the near post was flicked in by Williams who’d done well to get across the front of Alex Nicholson to score.
The Bucks were dealt a blow midway through the first half when defender Courtney Meppen-Walters was forced off with a hamstring injury to be replaced by Ross White, but despite conceding large periods of possession to the visitors could well have found themselves 2-0 in front on the stroke of half time.
As the board was raised for three minutes of added on time, James Hardy cut inside from the left flank and fired in a curling shot which sailed past the outstretched arm of former Telford stopper James Montgomery and nestle in the top corner, only for the offside flag to go up against Jason Oswell, lurking just in front of Montgomery’s field of vision in the six-yard box.
Telford withstood long periods of Gateshead pressure in the second half but could well have made the game safe in the 83rd minute. Henry Cowans’ cross from the right wing found Williams once again with space inside the ‘Heed six-yard box and although the former Walsall man was able to direct his effort on target, Montgomery saved brilliantly from point blank range to deny him.
The visitors staged a late rally but were unable to land a noteworthy punch on the Bucks goal, their best effort coming from George Smith as his speculative shot from the edge of the penalty area sailed wide of Russell Griffiths’ left-hand post, leaving Telford to secure their second win of the season at the Bucks Head.
AFC Telford United: Griffiths), Vaughan, Streete, Meppen-Walters (White 45), Sutton (c), Walker, Cowans, Hardy, Williams (Davies 86), Oswell (McHale 65), Byrne.
Unused substitutes: Rawlins (gk), Barnes-Homer.
Gateshead: Montgomery, Nicholson, Smith, Hunter, Olley, Griffiths, O’Donnell (Preston 59), Cooper, Deverdics (Ward 71), Greenfield, Keating (Langstaff 71).
Unused substitutes: Dale, Male.
Match Date: October 17th, 2020 3:00 pm
Competition: National League North
Kick Off: 15:00
Venue: New Bucks Head
Official 4: n/a