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samhardy

Career Gateshead in Europe: Matchday 2 - A) Slavia Prague

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  • Europa League Matchday 1
  • 19th September 2019
  • Gateshead v Zenit - Att: 11,627
  • International Stadium, Gateshead

Line-ups

Gateshead: Eastwood, Bennett, Sibbick, Isherwood, Harvie, Paton (c), Adshead, Thomson, Bates, Redmond, Hinchcliffe.

Zenit: Kerzhakov, Ivanovic, Anyukov (c), Mammana, Smolnikov, Kranevitter, Marchisio, Shatov, Driussi, Kokorin, Dyzuba.

 

If there was any doubt about the size of the task awaiting Gateshead in this group then it was quickly becoming real as just a brief scan down the team sheet revealed some big names in the opposition squad. The bookies were offering odds as short as 1/6 on the visitors emerging victorious and it was hard to make a case at all for the League 2 side, who had decided to keep the faith with the players who got them there for the opener.

The International Stadium was packed to the rafters including some mad bastards from Russia and as soon as the ref blew his whistle to start the game the atmosphere was electric.

It took just 3 minutes for Zenit to sting the palms of Jake Eastwood in the Gateshead goal, some neat play in the middle resulted in playmaker Oleg Shatov letting loose a piledriver which tested the keeper but the test was passed as he grabbed without much fuss. A quarter of an hour later and it was becoming one way traffic, 72% possession for the visitors but no real "clear cut chances". Despite this it still felt only a matter of time.

But on the half hour mark bedlam nearly ensued around the stadium as Connor Thomson won a corner for the hosts which new signing Toby Sibbick headed narrowly over in what was arguably the chance of the game so far. They were made to pay just a matter of minutes later though as a foul just outside the area led to a neat free kick by former Premier League star Branislav Ivanovic which left Eastwood rooted to the spot. A deserved goal but still a hard one to take.

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The lead was very nearly doubled just before the break as Paul Paton gave the ball away in the centre circle and the Russians launched a savage counter attack which resulted in Sebastian Driussi rounding Eastwood but the angle was too narrow and he fired into the side netting.

Half Time - Gateshead 0-1 Zenit: Ivanovic 34

There were no changes at the break for Gateshead but it only took 5 or so minutes for "Sam" to roll the dice unleashing Jordan Gibson and Tom White for Devonte Redmond and Alfie Bates in a bid to add more pace and to sure up the midfield.

Another five minutes ticked by without much action but as the clock ticked round to the hour mark Gateshead had just enjoyed their best spell of the match. White fired one wide from outside the area, Daniel Adshead mis-controlled in the box where he had a potential opportunity and a couple of corners came to nothing.

However, the phrase "score when you're on top" really summed this up as they failed to do so; Zenit didn't. Shatov was starting to become a bit of a thorn in the hosts' sides as he sent a ball out wide to Driussi who had Daniel Harvie's life on the wing, sent a low ball into the box for Artem Dyzuba who swept in with his right foot to double the visitors' advantage.

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That really sucked the life out of Gateshead and from this point onwards they ran out of legs, Zenit had won the midfield battle throughout with Kranevitter and Claudio Marchisio particularly standing out.

The aforementioned Marchisio rattled the bar with a quarter of an hour left, Gateshead's highlight from then in was a penalty shout which the ref wasn't remotely interested in. It was more than comfortable for Zenit and you get the feeling they could have added more if they really wanted to.

It was a harsh lesson for Gateshead on their European debut and it was the classy Russian outfit who left the North East of England with the 3 points.

Full Time - Gateshead 0-2 Zenit: Ivanovic 34, Dyzuba 60.

A win for Partizan in the other game left Group L looking like this:

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Next up for Gateshead will be a trip to the Czech Republic to take on Slavia Prague in a game they really can't afford to lose.

--

Hope you enjoyed and thanks to @Foxy for the stunning fucking graphics.

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Shame about the result but what a fantastic sight to see the mighty Gateshead tackle European footy.

Good luck in the next one mate.

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Good read that. I think you have a chance against the other teams. Gonna be a challenge to qualify but you never know and good luck!

I had noticed the quality graphics all over this site. I assume @Foxy is responsible for most of them!

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3 hours ago, samhardy said:
  • Next up for Gateshead will be a trip to Serbia to take on Slavia Prague in a game they really can't afford to lose.

an odd place to travel to when taking on a team from the Czech capital :D

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At least that's most difficult team out of the way. Positive thoughts mate. You can do this!!

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16 hours ago, Mr Tree said:

an odd place to travel to when taking on a team from the Czech capital :D

Clearly thought it was Partizan next up instead :@

Thanks for all the comments!

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  • Europa League Matchday 2
  • 3rd October 2019
  • Slavia Prague v Gateshead - Att: 19,997
  • Eden Aréna, Prague

Line-ups

Slavia Prague: Kolar, Coufal, Kudela, Boril, Zmrhal, Stoch, Ngadeu-Ngadjui (c), Pavlenka, Husbauer, Skalak, Skoda.

Gateshead: Eastwood, Bennett, Sibbick, Isherwood, Paton (c), Adshead, Gibson, Olley, Redmond, Hinchcliffe.

 

A crucial clash between the two teams in the group who lost their first fixture. It was accepted by everyone connected to Gateshead that they didn't come away from this match defeated otherwise qualifying would begin to turn into a task not dissimilar to pushing custard uphill with a fork.

The stadium situated in the Czech capital is relatively small for a European outfit, with a capacity of just under 21,000 but it was still much bigger than what Gateshead were used to and there was another banging atmosphere ahead of this one with the 700 Gateshead fans locked up in a cage in the corner making the most of it.

Jordan Gibson and Greg Olley came in for Conor Thomson and Alfie Bates for this one and it was Olley who had the first chance of the game after just a minute. A resolute Slavia defence meant the move wasn't really going anywhere, restricting Olley to a fizzing strike from just outside the area that went just wide of the post. But if that was seen as a good start then it very quickly took a turn for the worse and there was very little the L2 side could do about it. A long throw in from the right was scrambled away by Gateshead, straight to the feet of Juri Skalak who was waiting on the edge of the area. The Czech winger took one look up, and bent a curling left footed effort past Eastwood. It was a fantastic goal and Gateshead were behind just 5 minutes in.

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The visitors then threatened to collapse as Slavia surged forward again just a couple of minutes later, and when Stoch twatted a thundercunt off the post from 30 yards it was looking bleak and coupled with some angry words from the management team it equalled a very unpleasant first 10 minutes.

For the next quarter of an hour there was a bit of a lull in the game which it could be argued is what Gateshead needed, Slavia had 70% possession at this point and their game plan was clearly to tire their weaker opponents out and eventually pick them off.

Skoda flashed a header wide for the hosts but soon after that it was finally time for Gateshead to celebrate, and against the run of play too. Captain Paul Paton won the ball in the middle and fed it wide to Gibson who won a foul. The quickly taken free kick caught Slavia off guard and Olley was left with space just outside the area. He let loose and the ball took a slight deflection past the stranded keeper and into the net. Gateshead finally had their first goal in European football!

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Goals change games of course but the pattern of this one didn't really alter after the equaliser. Slavia were still content passing it about nicely in the middle without really creating anything too menacing, Gateshead were defending quite deep and were happy to soak up the pressure up until half time.

A defensive error very nearly messed up that plan in first half stoppage time as a horrendously short back pass from Thomas Isherwood left Eastwood scrambling to clear it which he just about did sliding in, despite calls from the crowd that he took the man first. Half time.

Half Time - Slavia Prague 1-1 Gateshead: Skalak 5; Olley 28

There was a change at the break for Gateshead with the ineffective Ben Hinchcliffe being replaced by Kai Brunker with the hope of creating more of an out ball and having an aerial threat.

Early signs in the second half showed that the change didn't mean much. It looked as if Gateshead were scared to take any unnecessary risks and as such Slavia were walking all over them, this lead to an absolutely golden chance for Husbauer who had time to take a touch in the box and crash one off the post from point blank range when it was harder to score than miss.

They didn't need to wait too much longer to regain the advantage though. A couple of corners came and went but eventually Husbauer  got some joy down the left as he got in behind, put a menacing cross in playmaker Alexej Pavlenka was there to nod in at the near post from close range. A deserved goal but a sloppy one to concede.

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Arguably that goal was the best thing that happened to Gateshead all match up to that point as it allowed them to loosen the shackles a bit and have a go. Salvia were strong at the back, but half-chances were coming with Adshead and Harvie firing wide with audacious efforts. Brunker was starting to come into his own now after the introduction of Kimpioka to play alongside him up top and they had a half-arsed appeal for a penalty turned down when the ball appeared to strike the hand of the Slavia captain Ngadeu-Ngadjui (glad I haven't had to type that name too much :S) but he had no time to get out the way of the ball.

Slavia then had a much stronger penalty appeal turned down at the other end when Skalak was brought down under the challenge of Bennett but it was waved away. The game then went into another lull, this time to the advantage of the hosts as Gateshead readied for one last push in the last 15 minutes.

There were signs both teams were starting to run out of steam a little at this point, Slavia brought on a couple of big cunts to help them continue to win the battle in the air that they'd won all game long. Redmond surged forward this time and for the third time in the half the referee was given a decision to make as the midfielder was brought down in the area. This time he pointed to the spot! Utter bedlam from the Slavia fans who were disgusted by this decision, flares on the pitch and everything.

It was down to Gateshead captain Paul Paton to deliver the goods from the spot. He hit it right footed hard and to the keeper's right... The keeper dived the other way and the visitors had pulled Slavia back again!

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Gateshead were happy with the point but were still exploring avenues on the counter attack but nothing really came off. Slavia on the other hand appeared to have lost the plot in possession for the next 5 minutes but did provide a heart in mouth moment when Skoda sent a half volley flying narrowly over the bar.

5 minutes of stoppage time arrived, Skoda headed over the bar in the second minute of it but by this point Gateshead were shithousing a little bit, wasting time and interrupting the flow of Slavia.

No more chances came. Zmrhal had the ball on the halfway line towards the dugouts on the left when the ref had a look at his watch and blew for full time. This was greeted by boos and jeers from the locals however the Gateshead fans in the corner were loving it despite not winning the game. First point was secured and a double header against Partizan to come.

Full Time - Slavia Prague 2-2 Gateshead: Skalak 5, Pavlenka 58; Olley 28, Paton 79 (pen) 

Zenit beat Partizan in a 6-goal thriller in Russia to top the group.

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Next up for Gateshead is a couple of make or break fixtures against Partizan, starting with a home game at the International Stadium.

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Definitely 3 points required from that home game against Partizan. A defeat and it's all over!

 

 

You'll probably get a draw now...

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15 hours ago, Mr Tree said:

quality stuff mate - and a great result!

Thanks!

15 hours ago, 1759 said:

Brilliant summary that!

I can see you getting a win in at least one of the home games!

 

14 hours ago, DutchTony said:

Definitely 3 points required from that home game against Partizan. A defeat and it's all over!

You'll probably get a draw now...

3 points minimum over the two Partizan games required. Otherwise I think it'll be all over especially with Zenit in the penultimate game.

15 hours ago, Nucleus said:

What a truly average manager.

I agree. Jindřich Trpišovský deserves the sack for not being able to beat Gateshead at home...

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Just picked this thread up. Fantastic cup run in season 1, well played! Partizan are there for the taking!!

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