Gateshead star Jordan Preston moves on from 'difficult day' ahead of Boston play-off clash
Gateshead star Jordan Preston has revealed that he has moved on from a “difficult day” in his side’s National League North play-off eliminator win at Brackley Town.
The former FC Halifax Town and Guiseley forward has scored eight goals during the season to help Mike Williamson secure a top seven place in non-league’s second tier.
However, he was unable to add to his tally in last Sunday’s win in Northamptonshire as he saw a first-half penalty saved by hosts keeper Danny Lewis.
Preston stepped up once again in the penalty shoot-out after the two sides were unable to be separated after 90 minutes – but sent his spot-kick over the crossbar.
The heroics of on-loan Middlesbrough goalkeeper Brad James helped send Gateshead in Saturday’s semi-final tie at Boston – and Preston revealed the important role that Heed supporters have played in helping put the events at Brackley behind him.
He told The Echo: “I got a lot of nice messages from the supporters on Twitter after the game and it’s gone out of my head now.
“I have had a great bond with them all season and it probably helps that I’ve had a decent season and the team has done well too.
“It was a difficult day, but the messages from the supporters were brilliant, not one person was on my back about what happened, which they could have been.
“I’ve had setbacks in the past and I’ve bounced back, but I have had a lot of good moments this season and I am not going to let two penalty kicks influence my performances.
“I am determined to get out there on Saturday and show everyone how I have been playing all season.”
Gateshead will travel to York Street looking to complete a third win of the season over their hosts.
Goals from Nicky Deverdics, JJ O’Donnell and Dom Tear gave the Heed a 3-0 home win against the Pilgrims in September and they matched that scoreline as Preston was on target to help his side complete a league double in the return fixture in February.
However, the forward was keen to stress that his side can’t pay any attention to their two previous meetings with Craig Elliott’s side.
“We know if you aren’t on your game in this league, any team can punish you,” he explained.
“It doesn’t matter that we have beaten them twice during the season, they were third in the league and they have been up there all year.
“They are where they are for a reason.
“They’re a good side and they played well against us both times we beat them, so we know they are a dangerous side to face.
“We were buzzing to get through last weekend, but that game means nothing if we can’t get through to the final by getting a win on Saturday,” he added.