Sunderland youngster battling for more minutes as he nets first senior goal during loan spell

Luke Molyneux in Checkatrade Trophy action earlier this season
Luke Molyneux in Checkatrade Trophy action earlier this season
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Luke Molyneux hopes his first senior goal can help him force his way into Steve Watson's starting XI.

The Sunderland youngster joined the National League side on loan last month and scored in the 4-0 win over Dunston UTS on Saturday.

He has been getting minutes as the North East side battle in the upper reaches of the league, but had been left out of the previous two games.

Molyneux told the Gateshead FC website: "Hopefully that helps prove that I've got enough to be starting week in, week out.

"Now the gaffer has seen me score, then I can hopefully get straight back into the team.

"It was an amazing feeling, the game was pretty much over and done with, but it was great for me to get a goal for the club.

"Having been out of the team for two weeks, it's good to be back on the pitch and get a goal. It's good to get a lot of game time. It's good football, we're doing well and it's a class set of lads."

Gateshead will now go into the first round draw, where they could meet Sunderland.

The draw takes place at 7PM on Monday night.

Molyneux made his Sunderland debut in the 3-0 over Wolverhampton Wanderers last season, and did feature in the opening stages of the League One campaign.

But Jack Ross said that regular football is now crucial for 20-year-old.

"It’s playing regularly every week versus the odd game every now and then," he said.

“I think there’s some of them who probably could have done with that [loan] before now. I think Max [Stryjek], Elliot [Embleton] and Luke could have done with playing regularly before now but now they’re getting it.

“Max’s form at Eastleigh has been really, really good.

"Elliot has had to work really hard to get in the team at Grimsby but I think he’s making a really good positive contribution now.

“It’s much better for them to be doing that in League Two or the National League, rather than playing the odd game here and there in the Checkatrade.”