Stevenage travel 490 miles this weekend to kick off this season’s Emirates FA Cup campaign against Gateshead…
Steve Evans’ side turn their attention to the FA Cup after a positive opening few months to their 2022/23 campaign. Last season, Boro made the competition’s Second Round after earning a victory against Milton Keynes Dons before falling short at Yeovil Town.
Gateshead play their football in the Vanarama National League after clinching the National League North title last campaign. The Tynesiders have found life in the National League challenging so far, picking up just two wins from seventeen league games. The side sit twenty-third in the National League meaning there are forty-five league places between Gateshead and Stevenage.
Gateshead earned their spot in the First Round of the FA Cup after overcoming fellow National League side Altrincham. Away from home, Gateshead managed to earn a replay after a 2-2 draw. In the replay, The Heed picked up a 2-1 win through an Adam Campbell brace.
Gateshead boss Mike Williamson was named player-manager in 2019 and has remained in the role ever since. During his playing days, Williamson appeared 150 times for Newcastle United, forming a strong partnership with Fabricio Coloccini at centre back in the Premier League. He also made roughly 150 appearances for Wycombe Wanderers, scoring eleven goals in the process.
Gateshead were regular opponents in the nineties, during Boro’s non-league days. From eleven previous meetings, Stevenage have won six whilst The Heed have won two. Boro’s biggest victory over Gateshead was in 1997 as Broadhall Way witnessed a 6-1 thrashing. This wasn’t the highest scoring match between the sides, however.
In 2009, Gateshead travelled to Hertfordshire and suffered a 5-3 defeat at the hands of Graham Westley’s Conference winning side. Charlie Griffin’s hat-trick was boosted by goals from Yemi Odubade and current Boro midfielder Michael Bostwick to complete the victory.
The Tynesiders play their home fixtures at Gateshead International Stadium, a multi-purpose, all-seater venue. The stadium opened in 1955 and currently has a capacity of 11,800.
Various concerts have been played at ‘The GIS’ which have seen the capacity rise to 30,000. The pitch is surrounded by an athletics track as the ground quite often plays host to Athletics competitions.
Peter Wright has been appointed as Match Referee for tomorrow’s fixture with Simon Clayton and David Avent as his Assistants and James Westgate as Fourth Official. Wright has dished out fifty yellow cards in fifteen games so far this season, and his yet to reveal his red.