Another FA Cup shock in store in front of the cameras at Gateshead
Non-league Grimsby saw off Scunthorpe to join Conference North side Brackley in the second round of the FA Cup and Gateshead can make it three shocks in three days by beating League Two Oxford at home.
The north-east minnows were 2-0 up with 13 minutes to go at Oxford before their hosts rallied late on, but back at Gateshead International Stadium the Conference Premier side can make amends in their televised replay.
Gateshead to win @ 7/4
After a truly wretched start to their Conference Premier campaign, featuring losses in their opening four league games and two wins in their first nine matches, Gateshead have picked up considerably and are now just two points off the play-off places.
The Tynesiders have won eight of their last 12 games in all competitions and have scored an impressive 16 goals in their last seven Conference Premier outings.
A 1-0 win at Chester last month booked the Heed’s place in the FA Cup first round proper and Gateshead should really be preparing for a second round clash with Wrexham, after throwing away a two-goal lead in the last thirteen minutes in Oxford.
Since their woeful opening to the campaign, Gary Mills’ side have won six out of eight home games and recently held third-placed Luton to a draw in Gateshead.
They face an Oxford outfit that sit top of League Two after 16 games, but have won just three of their last nine matches and are level on points with three other teams at the summit of England’s fourth tier.
Chris Wilder’s men have lost four times since the middle of September and went down to a 2-1 defeat at home to struggling Portsmouth in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy recently.
In front of their own fans, Gateshead can give their campaign a massive boost with a win against the Us.
James Marwood to score the first goal @ 10/1
It’s difficult to oppose the 23-year-old for the opener in this tie, as Marwood has scored six goals in his last seven appearances for the Heed after failing to find the net in his first seven matches this term.
Four of those efforts were the first goals scored in their respective games and Marwood broke the deadlock with a 35-yard rocket in Oxford.
Since Jordan Hugill returned to Port Vale after scoring five goals in seven games on loan at Gateshead, Marwood has been the Tynesiders’ main man and is the pick to bag the opener here.
Over 3.5 goals @ 12/5
After featuring in five games that produced just five goals all together in October and the start of November, Oxford’s last two matches have been a veritable goal frenzy, with four efforts apiece struck home in clashes with Gateshead and last time out in League Two at Mansfield.
Gateshead’s last three games have seen over three goals harvested in each and Mills’ men also thumped Nuneaton 4-1 in the middle of October.
With smart attacks and leaky defences set to clash in the north east, a striking feast looks to be in store for punters.