Gateshead boss Mike Williamson tips FA Cup opponents Marske United for success

By Mark Carruthers

Gateshead player-manager Mike Williamson has tipped Marske United for success this season after his side sent the Seasiders out of the FA Cup.

Photo: Mark Fletcher | MI News

The Northern Premier League East Division promotion contenders pushed the Heed during a pulsating fourth qualifying round tie.

A lively goalless draw at Marske’s Mount Pleasant home on Saturday led to a similarly intriguing replay on Tyneside on Tuesday night.

The first goal of the tie finally arrived seven minutes into the second half when Heed forward Adam Campbell headed into an empty net after Macaulay Langstaff had crashed an effort against the crossbar.

Gateshead doubled their advantage midway through the half with a neat finish from Cedwyn Scott – but Marske reduced the arrears two minutes later with a goal from Matty Tymon.

Dan Ward restored the hosts’ two-goal lead with five minutes remaining, but their nerves were set on edge in injury-time when Seasiders striker Adam Boyes headed his eleventh FA Cup goal of the season.

Gateshead held on to secure a first round home tie against Altrincham – but Williamson saw enough from Carl Jarrett’s side over the last week to suggest they can enjoy a successful season.

He told The NLP: “We had to show many different sides of our game to get past Marske and I was really pleased with our battling qualities and persistency throughout the game.

“We knew how threatening they are, and we managed to just about get the job done.

“I would be very surprised if they didn’t get promoted out of their league this season because they have a very strong identity, everyone knows their jobs, everyone knows their roles and responsibilities and they are very disciplined.

“They understand what their manager and coaches want from them and everyone does the job asked of them.

“I have a lot of time for teams that go toe-to-toe with you on the pitch and after the game they shake your hand and go for a beer with them.

“They are good people, and we wish them well.”

Williamson’s men are aware of the task lying ahead of them in the first round as they prepare to host an Altrincham side currently sat in the National League play-offs this season.

And the Heed player-manager described the tie as “a good benchmark” for his squad as they look to continue what has been a promising start to the season.

He explained: “When they were in our league, they beat us at their place, and we beat them here.

“They are a strong side; they know how they want to play and it’s a similar style to ourselves.

“For our development, for our evolution as a squad, it will be a great test and we would back ourselves against anyone.”

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