Report: Gateshead 1-1 Cheltenham Town
Cheltenham Town fought back to draw 1-1 away against Gateshead in today's Vanarama National League clash. Jordan Cranston had given the hosts a half-time lead with a cracking 25 yard free kick in an even first period. Danny Wright equalised for the Robins early in the second half and despite both sides having chances to win, the game ended in a draw.
Gateshead almost got off to the perfect start inside the first 50 seconds when Ryan Bowman played a neat one-two with Jon Shaw on the edge of the Cheltenham box before firing a shot goal wards, only to be denied by a great save from Dillon Phillips.
Jack Munns thought he had given the Robins the lead after five minutes, only to realise he had been given offside from a Harry Pell flick-on.
Gateshead had countless crosses into the Cheltenham area, and the visitors had skipper Aaron Downes to thank when a good ball from the left from Jordan Cranston seemed to have found the strikers in the middle, only to be thwarted by a last ditch interception from the outstretched Aussie captain.
With few clear chances being created by either side, possibly the best chance fell to Munns when the ball found its way to him at the back post, only for his toe-poked half volley to be straight at the keeper from five yards out.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 35th minute with a piece of real quality from Jordan Cranston. The Gateshead left-back curling a beautiful free-kick over the wall and into the top corner from 25 yards.
Cheltenham should have equalised just before half-time when Pell knocked down a Kyle Storer cross into the path of Amari Morgan-Smith six yards out, but the striker couldn't keep his effort down and skied it over the bar.
The half ended 1-0 to the home team, with neither side really able to say they dominated.
Cheltenham cam out early for the second half, and seemed really fired up. They dominated early on and were level in the 50th minute when top scorer Danny Wright rose highest to meet a Jack Munns free kick and head home his seventh of the campaign.
The game slowed after the equaliser with neither keeper really troubled. Morgan-Smith thought he had given the Robins the lead in the 73rd minute but his goal was disallowed for offside.
Both managers made subs to try and liven up the content, Gary Johnson bringing on Billy Waters for Jack Munns.
Waters was almost the provider straight away, his deflected shot finding Morgan-Smith, but the striker pulled his shot wide of the post.
Gateshead striker Ryan Bowman could have won it for the home side late on when a Craig Baxter cross found him unmarked eight yards out, but his header skimmed the outside of the far post.
Substitute Daniel Johnson had a couple of curling efforts but neither really tested Dillon Phillips and although both teams pressed hard for the winner in injury team, neither side were able to get a winner and the match ended in a 1-1 draw.
Craig Baxter, Ben Clark (c), Nathan Buddle (74, Gus Mufata), Jordan Cranston
James Marwood, River Allen (74, James Curtis), Simon Ramsden, Jimmy Phillips (80, Daniel Johnson)
Jon Shaw, Ryan Bowman
Rob Dickie, Aaron Downes (c), Daniel Parslow
Jack Barthram (85, Lee Vaughan), Harry Pell, Kyle Storer, Jack Munns (75, Billy Waters), George McLennan
Amari Morgan-Smith, Danny Wright
1,238 (138 Away)