Gateshead are an awkward outfit to play at the best of times and recent events make this a curious clash.
The midweek defeat against Wrexham saw Solihull Moors drop back to the bottom of the division, another spirited performance meaning little given the end result. We are have accrued just one point from the last six home matches while Gateshead have comfortably put aside Leyton Orient and Maidenhead United in their last two away trips.
And yet there is a belief that we can use this fixture to start turning things around.
Mark Yates has overseen two away games so far and we have performed bright in both, albeit with work still to be done. He has simplified the system and is looking to utilise the power available to him in his forward line to good effect.
Kwame Thomas’ injury could prove a difficult one to take but with Jermaine Hylton and Oladapo Afolayan available it is fair to say we have a buoyant forward line. George Carline is fit and firing again while Shepherd Murombedzi is Mr.Consistency. Then there is Darren Carter who has scored as many goals as Gateshead’s top goalscorer this season.
There is a lot of work still to be done and Yates will be the first to admit that on a weekly basis. By simplifying the system, he is giving himself a good base to work from moving forward.
Gateshead will be awkward opponents but a similar performance and a little bit luck could see a positive outcome. And hopefully the first of many.
Mark Yates talks positives after defeat at Wrexham :
“We never thought it was going to be easy, we knew it was going to be small steps and a building process. We`ve got to realise that we`ve just matched the team who are top of the league for 90 minutes. There`s loads of stuff to keep getting better at and that`s what it`s about. I think we`ve shown enough in these two games that gives us hope for the remaining games in the season.
“We did alright in the first-half, the work rate was there. We just made a couple of mistakes at vital times and unfortunately that`s cost us. We showed a lot of character in the second-half, but we don`t want to be a team that just shows character and gets beat every week. We`ve got to eliminate the mistakes. Lots of stuff to be positive about and we`ll take that into training on Thursday and the game at home on Saturday.”
Solihull Moors Team News:
Mark Yates will be hopeful Kwame Thomas is available this weekend following his late injury at Wrexham. Oladapo Afolayan and Jermaine Hylton will be pushing for a start. Max O’Leary has joined from Bristol City and could start in goal.
Player to watch: Akwasi Asante
Akwasi Asante’s sheer size and presence should be a nightmare for opposition players and having helped set-up the equaliser against Maidstone United and got 90 minutes under his belt on Tuesday, it’s fair to say that he will be a key figure on Saturday.
Gateshead Team News:
Former Birmingham City youngster Fraser Kerr is a doubt with a calf injury, otherwise Steve Watson will have a full-strength squad available.
Player to watch: Danny Johnson
With 31 goals in his last two seasons and a further five so far this campaign, it’s fair to say that Danny Johnson is the go-to man for the North-East outfit. The 24 year-old’s energy is a key component of The Heed’s forward play.
Match Facts & Stats
SOLIHULL MOORS -24th
Overall record: Played 21; Won 3, Drawn 3, Lost 15; For 19, Against 40, GD -21; Points 12
Last six at home: Played 6; Won 0, Drawn 1, Lost 5; For 4, Against 14, GD -10; Points 1
Most starts: Darren Carter – 21
Most goals: Oladapo Afolayan – 8
Worst discipline: Shepherd Murombedzi – 5 yellow cards
Gateshead – 13th
Overall record: Played 21; Won 7, Drawn 7, Lost 7; For 26, Against 20, GD +6; Points 28
Last six away: Played 6; Won 2, Drawn 3, Lost 1; For 10, Against 6, GD +4; Points 9
Most starts: Neill Byrne and Paddy McLaughlin – 20
Most goals: Danny Johnson – 5
Worst discipline: Jamie Fyfield – 5 yellow cards
National League matches officiated 17/18:7
Yellow cards produced: 27
Red cards produced: 2
Penalties awarded: 6
Last time in charge of Solihull Moors: Harrogate Town 2-0 Solihull Moors – 21/08/10
Assistant referees: Hristo Karaivanov and Matthew Smith
Fourth official: Richard Watson
Solihull Moors 1-1 Gateshead
Solihull Moors’ next six fixtures:
02/12/2017 – Leyton Orient (H) – NL
05/12/2017 – Hednesford Town (H) – BSC
09/12/2017 – Chester (A) – NL
23/12/2017 – Boreham Wood (H) – NL
26/12/2017 – Maidenhead United (A) – NL
30/12/2017 – Barrow (A) – NL