Gateshead struck late on to rescue a point at Boreham Wood last night and preserve their unbeaten start to the season.

By Chris Brookes

Steve Watson’s side, who had won each of their opening three Vanarama National League fixtures, looked like they were about to suffer their first loss at last season’s beaten play-off finalists. Trailing to David Stephens’ 45th-minute goal, the Heed grabbed a point on 88 minutes through Steven Rigg.

Manager Watson took heart from the persistence of his largely young side, especially given another mammoth journey on the day of a match.

“We were nowhere near at our best tonight,” the former Newcastle United and Everton defender admitted. “We looked a little bit leggy, decision-making was a little bit slow and we were reacting a little bit late instead of anticipating things, but as I said before, they’re a young squad.”

“They give us everything they’ve got every game. It’s certainly not easy to come to a quality team like this after sitting on a bus for six hours, and we’re going to have to go and do the same again Saturday.

“When you take all that into account, and the chances we created second half, and the fact that for large spells, certainly the last ten minutes, we were virtually camped in their box. They were going down with cramp, two or three of them, players limping off, taking ages to do things, it just goes to show the energy levels of the lads.

“As long as we’re in the football match, we will get chances late on.”

It is Bromley away next for the Tynesiders, a team they lost out to back in March’s Buildbase FA Trophy semi-final. Neil Smith’s team have drawn two and lost two of their first four league games. Gateshead, meanwhile, sit in 2nd place.

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