Former Newcastle United defender ‘delighted’ as Gateshead move 90 minutes from Wembley

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The Heed are just 90 minutes from Wembley after a hard-earned win on Saturday afternoon.

Gateshead player-manager Mike Williamson was left ‘delighted’ as his injury-ravaged side sealed a place in the FA Trophy semi-final with a penalty shoot-out win against Farsley Celtic.

Mike Williamson challenges for the ball in Gateshead’s FA Trophy quarter-final win against Farsley Celtic (photo Charlie Waugh)Mike Williamson challenges for the ball in Gateshead’s FA Trophy quarter-final win against Farsley Celtic (photo Charlie Waugh)
Mike Williamson challenges for the ball in Gateshead’s FA Trophy quarter-final win against Farsley Celtic (photo Charlie Waugh) | Charlie Waugh

With a whole host of key players missing through injury and three recent additions unavailable after featuring for other clubs earlier in the competition, Williamson was forced to name a substitutes bench consisting of two goalkeepers and two academy players.

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The Heed’s cause was not helped when former Sunderland and Hartlepool United defender Kenton Richardson hobbled out of the action before the 10-minute mark, leading to a senior debut for young striker Olly Thompson.

Both sides showed plenty of endeavour during the game but failed to create too many opportunities to secure a win over 90 minutes. Heed keeper James Montgomery came to the fore in the penalty shoot-out as he saved two Farsley spot-kicks to allow on-loan Middlesbrough midfielder Kamal Conteh to fire his side into the last four of the competition.

Former Newcastle United defender Williamson praised his side for ‘never giving up’ as they battled past a dogged National League North opposition but admitted there were areas for improvement.

He told The Echo: “We like to do it the hard way but overall it’s all about progression in cup competitions.

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“There were areas that let us down, the final third wasn’t good enough, and we needed to be more clinical. But we kept probing and never giving up and stuck at it. It took penalties but more than anything we are just delighted to get through.”

Gateshead join National League rivals Barnet, Altrincham and FC Halifax Town in Monday’s semi-final draw - but Williamson stressed he is solely focused on earning three points in next weekend’s home game with fellow strugglers Torquay United.

“For me now, we have huge game coming up next week and all focus is on that,” he explained. “The future is the future, we are just desperate for those three points to get us out of the situation we are in and that is our main priority until the next round comes along.”

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