Rovers return to their Newfields '˜home' with four goal victory
Spittal Rovers 4-2 Gateshead Redheugh
Spittal’s long awaited return to Newfields proved to be a successful one after they cemented back to back league wins in a match that saw them also score a quadruple for the first time since the opening day.
Stuart Coyle is the man whose name will be remembered fondly after netting the opening goal back at the club’s old stomping ground.
A slow, lethergic start from Rovers saw them ride their luck early on with Redheugh guilty of missing several glorious chances to take the lead. Michael Lewis first saw his rasping drive drift inches past Michael Beveridge’s upright before Corey Lennox missed from close range, his shot rising high above the crossbar.
Jordan Stevens’s pace up top was causing problems and the opinonated striker also put himself about the entire match. He too had a opportunity early on, but it was lacking in both power and accuracy departments - a let off for the home side.
When the Seasiders finally did find their feet they created plenty chances of their own although the encounter always looked stretched.
Coyle glanced the energetic Leigh Walker’s cross just off target and Ewan Sherry was unfortunate to see his goal bound effort, via a Marco Lambert corner, deflect just wide. Half chances also fell to Paul Wood and Luke Strangeways, but it was Coyle who was to hit the opener - a neat pass from Strangeways ruthlessly coverted by the tall striker.
Moments later, Strangeways was reeling away to celebrate a second only for a dubious offside decision against Walker to turn his smile into a frown.
After getting their noses in front late in the first half, Rovers led for a mere five minutes when the sides emerged after the break - Stevens pouncing to bundle home a goalmouth scramble which had resulted from a dangerous, inswinging corner.
The equaliser followed a brisk breakaway upfield by the visitors, whose crossbar had been left shaking following Coyle’s thunderous shot from distance seconds earlier.
The Berwick side did regain the lead when Walker latched onto a perfectly weighted through ball from Kyle Jeffrey.
After stripping Ross Cunningham for pace he rounded goalkeeper Paul McCarthy for a simple tap in.
Spittal again lost their concentration at the other end midway through the half when Steven’s struck to net his second, this time from a throw in down the left.
More chances then fell to them with Beveridge saving superbly with his leg before tipping another just wide.
These passages of play looked to effect Spittal’s confidence all over the pitch, but the introduction of 16 year old striker Craig Bell soon calmed the nerves - the substitute swiveling to turn home Walker’s cross to make an instant impact from the bench.
The teenager impressed throughout his appearance with some neat touches and notable runs in behind. He almost scored again from a tight angle, but it was Strangeways who secured the points when he stabbed home the fourth from close range - Bell with the assist.