GATESHEAD’S play-off challenge may have ended in disarray at relegated Bath on Saturday but they had a big say in Luton Town’s promotion bid last night.
The injury-hit Tynesiders did everything but score in an entertaining goalless draw at the International Stadium. That has left former First division club Luton needing a point at Champions Fleetwood this weekend.
The recalled Phil Turnbull fashioned an opening for the lightning quick Alan O’Brien on 16 minutes.
He raced clear from half-way but with little of the goal to shoot at fired past the far post.
The Tynesiders almost engineered their own downfall five minutes later with an ill advised goal kick that was nearly punished by Stuart Fleetwood.
With on loan Newcastle left-back Paul Dummett impressive at the back and Josh Gillies a threat, Gateshead matched the promotion-chasing Hatters.
Late pressure in the first half brought four efforts at goal with Micky Cummins and defender Carl Magnay shooting wide and Turnbull firing over from 25 yards.
The deadlock was almost broken in stoppage time but Jake Howells headed Cummins’ header from Gillies corner wide.
Luton were having trouble picking up Gillies and the 21-year-old had two shots after the break from outside the box.
Both sides lacked a cutting edge up top with Gateshead only able to field one of their four strikers, the combative Liam Hatch.
Dummett had a chance to break the deadlock in the 75th minute from Gillies’ corner but headed straight at the goalkeeper, Eddie Odhiambo, then blocked Fleetwood’s goalbound shot with Deasy stranded.
The Tynesiders continued to carry the greater threat and when James Marwood’s mis-hit shot hit Greg Taylor Tyler was forced to make a superb reaction save to prevent an own goal.
Gateshead deserved all three points and they almost got them in the last minute when Marwood hooked a Cummins header onto the post from close range.