Alfreton Town 1 Gateshead FC 1

Gateshead boss Gary Mills believes his side deserved all three points at play-off rivals Alfreton, despite playing more than half the game with ten men

Ian Horrocks/Getty Images Gateshead FC boss Gary Mills
Gateshead FC boss Gary Mills

Gateshead boss Gary Mills believes his side deserved all three points at play-off rivals Alfreton, despite playing more than half the game with ten men.

Playmaker Phil Turnbull was sent off for the first time in his career seven minutes from half-time with a tight game goalless.

The Tynesiders, however, made light of their numerical disadvantage to take the lead early in the second half through Marcus Maddison.

With ex-Hartlepool striker James Brown sacrificed for the second half for the energy of box-to-box midfielder Jamie Chandler, Gateshead were well organised and resolute.

Alfreton had won 11 of their 14 Conference games at the Impact Arena but struggled to create openings - though they salvaged a point midway through the half.

Tom Shaw converted John Akinde’s throughball, but the Heed held firm to claim a seventh draw in 11 games.

Mills said: “It is an important point for us, especially with ten men, but I’m disappointed it wasn’t all three as we were the better side.

“From start to finish we were brave and it was just the reaction I was looking for after the Woking defeat.

“We played really well and I couldn’t see Alfreton scoring.

“We defended very well but were maybe a little naive at the back for their equaliser, but we passed it when we could and stuck our heads in when we needed to.

“I had no complaints about the sending-off, but we then got the goal early in the second half and deserved to see the game out.”

Turnbull had already been booked for a challenge on Godfrey Poku when another 12 minutes later on Bradley Wood brought a second yellow card.

That left Gateshead to play 52 minutes a man light but they were ahead six minutes into the second period.

Following a John Oster free-kick, defender James Curtis whipped the ball to the back post where Maddison headed past Jon Worsnop.

The Reds goalkeeper had to make a smart save to deny Maddison a second five minutes later, but when Akinde sent Shaw in on goal Alfreton were back on level terms.

With Oster using all of his experience to keep possession, Alfreton were held at bay.

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