Buxton 1-2 Gateshead report – Steve Watson marks first game in charge with FA Cup win

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Gateshead are through to the first round of the FA Cup for the first time in three years as Buxton’s wait to reach the same stage stretched to 55 years.

It was a winning start for new Heed manager Steve Watson , whose side were two up at the halfway stage through Paddy McLaughlin and Jordan Burrow.

The latter’s goal was from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time, Buxton back in it through a spot-kick of their own midway through the second half.

The Bucks pressed for an equaliser that didn’t come, veteran former Hartlepool goalkeeper Jan Budtz then keeping the Derbyshire outfit in the tie.

The 38-year-old Dane made a number of saves in front of a 653-strong crowd at The Silverlands – at over 1,000 feet the highest ground in England.

Steve Watson unveiled as the new Gateshead manager
Steve Watson unveiled as the new Gateshead manager

The Heed made their higher status count against their Evo-Stik Northern Premier League hosts and can now dream of Football League opposition in the next round.

“It was always going to be a tough tie, but it was good to get off to a winning start and get into the first round of the Cup,” said ex-Magpie Watson.

“We created quite a lot of chances and their keeper had plenty to do – ideally we’d have put two or three more away and made it more comfortable.

“The main aim was to get through to the next round and get that elusive win the lads have been looking for, and we’ve done that.

“We were playing a team from a lower division that we didn’t know too much about, so it was a case of just concentrating on ourselves.

“A good cup run is crucial to clubs in our league and below. It can give you the chance to pit your wits against a League side and earn some revenue.

“Hopefully we’ll get a good draw but the FA Cup can now be put to bed for a few weeks as we’ve got some big league games coming up.”

Gateshead's Jordan Burrow
Gateshead’s Jordan Burrow

Buxton are two divisions below the Heed and it was the National League visitors who had the better of the opening 45 minutes.

The Bucks dug deep making a number of important blocks with Luke Hannant prominent, Burrow nudging Jordan Preston’s cross narrowly wide.

When the opening goal arrived just before the half hour, it had an element of fortune required in any FA Cup run.

Preston’s 25-yard shot at goal deflected off team-mate McLaughlin to beat Budtz as Gateshead drew first blood at The Silverlands.

Playmaker McLaughlin almost doubled the lead with a free-kick that he had earned, the strike flashing just past the post.

Former Darlington striker Liam Hardy was the Bucks’ main threat, but it was Gateshead who continued to look the more likely side. Budtz saved from Burrow and Preston before Burrow made it two from the spot after Newcastle loanee Callum Williams was felled by Curtis Morrison inside the penalty area.

Burrow converted and after McLaughlin fizzed a shot over the bar after the break, Buxton were given a lifeline.

After a superb reaction save from Dan Hanford, Luke Hinsley was fouled by Theo Vassell and Hardy reduced the arrears from 12 yards.

Buxton piled on the pressure but the Heed, on course for their first away win, held firm, substitute Wes York hitting the bar after Budtz had blocked Preston’s drive.

Sam Smith wasted a late chance to force a replay, Gateshead denied a third at the death when the impressive Budtz denied Scot Fraser Kerr.

How they lined up

Buxton: Budtz, Williams, McWilliams, Ravenhill, Maguire,Young, McGee, Abbott, Hinsley, Hardy (Smith 81), Morrison (Wilson 59)

Not used: Mead, Doran, Kaba, Jameson

Gateshead: Hanford; Williams (Kerr 74), Vassell, Byrne, Barrow; Penn, McLaughlin, Hannant (Maxwell 86); Peniket (York 69), Burrow, Preston

Not used: Johnson, Langstaff, Macleod (gk), O’Donnell,

Referee: D. Richardson (Sowerby Bridge)

Attendance: 653



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