Shilbottle CW 0 Gateshead Leam Rangers 1
Northern Football Alliance round-up Bay Plastics Second Division
Shilbottle just came up short in this top-of-the-table clash with Gateshead Leam Rangers at the Welfare Ground.
The Colliers were arguably the better side for large periods of the match, but lost out to the only goal of the game, which came from one of the visitors’ few attempts on target.
The Colliers opened brightly in front of one of the best crowds of the season and almost took the lead when an in-swinging corner from Ross Gair was headed off the line.
Chris Graham then struck the bar with a free-kick from 30 yards as the Colliers tried to press home their advantage.
Little had been seen of the Gateshead attack as the interval arrived with the game goalless.
The restart saw a more even game, but it was the Colliers who almost opened the scoring when Josh Hay broke clear only to shoot wide under pressure from a defender.
The crucial goal came after 70 minutes when a high ball to the edge of the box caused problems for the Shilbottle defence and Gateshead substitute David Lucas capitalised by lobbing the ball into an unguarded net.
Despite the best efforts of the Colliers, they were unable to make up the deficit as the teams tended to cancel each other out in a hard-fought encounter.
As the game came to a close, Gateshead held on to take all three points and move into the driving seat for the league title.
Shilbottle: S Shanks, R Douglas, C Graham, R Young, J Giles, P Grey, M Graham, R Gair, B McClelland, J Hay, L Brooks, R Brown, S Hutchins. Shilbottle’s man-of-the-match: Matty Graham. Match sponsor: Amble Tavern.