PREVIEW: Gateshead (A)

After the draw in west Yorkshire last Saturday, the Rams return to FA Cup action with a long trip up to the north east to take on National League North side Gateshead at the International Stadium.

The “Heed” suffered a late, late loss down at Hereford in the league on Tuesday night but are still handily placed in 8th position with 17 points from their 11 games and a home record of 3 wins, 2 draws and 1 defeat.

The Tyneside club have suffered from financial issues over recent seasons, with an unpopular owner finally bowing out over the summer, but too late to prevent the National League from demoting them a division due to issues regarding money and the stadium.

However, the future looks brighter for the club as they look to regain their place in this country’s fifth tier, so as eighth tier Ramsbottom United make the trip, it is very much as the underdogs.

Of course, this was the case last season when an even longer trip to Weymouth had us down as cannon fodder, but the team responded brilliantly that day, and the feeling is that another similar performance will be needed if we are to reach the 3rd Qualifying round of the FA Cup for the first time since the Rams did so in their inaugural season in the competition 21 years ago.

Admission prices at the International Stadium are £12 adults,£7 Concessions(over 65, 16-17), £4 Under 16’s, Free to under 12’s accompanied by an adult.

Should a replay be necessary, it will take place at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium next Tuesday (24th) with a 7.45pm kick-off.