Next up for the Coasters in the National League is a trip to the Gateshead International Stadium to face high flyers Gateshead FC.

With the Coasters in a buoyant mood following an impressive 3-0 victory over Oldham Athletic last time out, another three points would put the icing on the week’s cake, so we cast an eye on the opponent standing in our way. 

The Lowdown

The Coasters travel to the North East on their best run of the season after going undefeated in three games and coming off the back of an impressive 3-0 home win on Tuesday night at home to Oldham.

A brace from Jon Ustabasi and a Josh Kay strike gave the Coasters all three points on a night of complete domination.

Gateshead also come into this game undefeated in three with wins against Dunston AFC, Stourbridge and a draw away at Rochdale, meaning the Heed come into this clash in good form.

However, they are currently managerless following Mike Williamson’s departure from the club to join League Two side MK Dons, with ex-Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot stepping in to take caretaker charge. 

Interim Manager: Rob Elliot

Ex-Newcastle goalie Rob Elliot takes charge of his second game as interim manager as the Coasters travel up to the North East, attempting to capitalise on the fact that they don’t have an actual manager. 

Elliot managed to get a result on Tuesday night, motivating his troops to come from two goals down to salvage a point at Rochdale and will be looking for his side to stay undefeated when Fylde visit. 

However, before Elliot turned to coaching, he was once a player, making his name as a Goalkeeper.

Elliot started his career at Charlton Athletic, where he made 96 appearances over a seven-year spell, which included loan spells at clubs lower down in the footballing pyramid. 

One of those loan spells was at Accrington Stanley, where he was a key part of the team that got promoted to the Football League. After impressing in the National League with Stanley, he returned once again on loan a year later – however, he could never force his way into the first team.

Elliot then returned to Charlton with one aim, which was to become the number one. After two seasons of bit-part appearances, he achieved the number-one spot and became a regular at Charlton until the 2011-12 season, when he departed the club for Newcastle United.

He went on to make 55 appearances for Newcastle across a nine-year spell, which included appearances in European games. However, Elliot never really made himself first choice at St.James Park. 

After his nine years were up, he moved to Watford, where he made one appearance before joining Gateshead in a dual role in 2022. He joined as a Technical Director and was registered as a player. 

Elliot played a key role under the Williamson era at Gateshead and will now be looking to keep the club progressing in the right direction while they search for a permanent manager. 

Key Players

Marcus Dinanga – A player who is the main man for the Heed this season after firing them up the league with an impressive 12 goals in 16 starts. A versatile forward with strength and power to match any centre-back, he is a vital cog in the Heed’s strong start to the season.

Ed Francis – A young midfielder who has the pace to go box-to-box without any trouble, along with the skill and vision that makes him one of the most underrated midfielders in the League.

Always looking to help the team, which can be seen through the number of goals he’s scored this campaign. 

Greg Olley – The captain, the leader and someone who’s seen it all at Gateshead FC. Olley stayed with the club during their voluntary relegation to the National League North and played an integral part.

With over 125 appearances for the Heed, Olley can be seen as one for the history books. However, with a straight red against Rochdale, Olley could miss this fixture, which would be to the Coasters’ advantage if so.

From The Coasters Camp

Previous Meetings

6th February 2016 – Gateshead FC 1-0 AFC Fylde – FA Trophy Last 16

Goalscorers: The Heed – Ryan Bowman

3rd October 2017 – AFC Fylde 0-0 Gateshead FC – National League

10th February 2018 – Gateshead FC 1-2 AFC Fylde – National League 

Goalscorers: The Heed – Richard Peniket

Fylde – Danny Rowe (X2)

30th October 2018 – AFC Fylde 1-0 Gateshead FC – National League

Goalscorers: Fylde – Danny Rowe

9th April 2019 – Gateshead FC 0-1 AFC Fylde – National League

Goalscorers: Fylde – Nick Haughton

10th October 2020 – Gateshead 0-1 AFC Fylde – National League 

Goalscorers: Fylde – Nick Haughton

30th October 2021 – AFC Fylde 2-0 Gateshead FC – National League 

Goalscorers: Fylde – David Perkins & Joe Piggott

27th November 2021 – AFC Fylde 1-0 Gateshead FC – FA Trophy Last 64

Goalscorer: Fylde – Emeka Obi

5th February 2022 – Gateshead FC 0-3 AFC Fylde – National League North 

Goalscorers: Fylde – Nathan Shaw, Nick Haughton & Sam Osborne

Opposition Form:

The Heed have started the season like everyone would have expected and are sniffing around the playoffs.

Impressive performances and a style of play that is pleasing to watch, many tip Gateshead to be in the top half of the table come next April. 

However, with Williamson gone, it will be hard to find someone with a similar style and identity which got them to where they are now. 

Having lost twice at home all season, going to the North East and coming back with points is no easy feat – however, the Coasters have started well under Chris Beech and will be hoping to continue that against the Heed. 

Match Preview is written by Benji Jenkinson.