GATESHEAD are hoping the International Stadium pitch will be playable for tomorrow night’s game with second-top Grimsby Town.
The Tynesiders had to switch Saturday’s Blue Square Bet Premier home game with Newport County to South Wales after the stadium pitch was flooded.
Drainage problems have surfaced since the pitch was relaid and levelled during the summer and the Tynesiders can ill afford to have a second game called off.
Ian Bogie’s side would have fancied their chances on home soil against an out-of-sorts Newport who had won just one of their last eight games.
Instead, with home advantage forfeited, Newport got their promotion push back on track with a comfortable victory at Rodney Parade.
County’s goals came from two on loan strikers Christian Jolley, who scored twice, and former Darlington front man Michael Smith, now at Charlton.
Substitute Yemi Odubade pulled a goal back and had another effort cleared off the line, but the damage had been done as Newport reclaimed top spot. Gateshead assistant manager Terry Mitchell rued his side’s inconsistency.
He said: “The first half was a non-entity.
“It looked nailed on to be goalless at half-time and then Jolley has scored to put Newport in front.
“To then concede two goals in two minutes early in the second half left us with a mountain to climb, though to be fair we had a real go after that.
“We had eight players below par and you are not going to win football matches with only three players performing. “
After an uneventful opening half hour AFC Wimbledon striker Jolley broke the deadlock on 38 minutes.
Gateshead then folded before the hour mark as Smith stabbed home from close in.
Adam Bartlett could then only parry another Jolley shot into the top corner to leave Gateshead firmly on the ropes.
Energised by substitutes Odubade and Jamie Chandler, the former converted Lee Bullock’s through ball to reduce the deficit 20 minutes from time.
NEWPORT COUNTY: Julian, Pipe, James, Yakubu, Sandell, Porter, Evans (Minshull 70), Flynn, Jolley, O’Connor (Washington 88), Smith. Subs (not used): Swallow, Byron, Pidgeley (gk).
Goals: Jolley (38, 55), Smith (53).
GATESHEAD: Bartlett; Wilson (Magnay 85), Boyle, Bullock, Curtis; Clark, Gillies,Turnbull (Chandler 59), Hatch, Fisher (Odubade 59), Donaldson. Subs (not used): Cummins, Nixon (gk).
Goal: Odubade (70).
Referee: Richard Martin (Weston-Super-Mare).