Boro’ have taken on their fare share of opponents over the years and some of those teams have simply been no more than passing acquaintances. Meanwhile, there are also those others that became – well – annoyingly familiar, right? For all the many times that we’ve faced the likes of W*king, for example, there are no shortage of rare match-ups either. So, it makes sense for us to look back through our archives to see how many you can remember. For example, where do Gateshead stand in the grand scheme of things?
The Heed are one of those rare clubs because, technically, they are younger than us. The current incarnation of the North East side came into being in 1977, even football in that particular part of the world dates back to 1889. Again, that’s not a million miles off our own story here in Stevenage – give or take five or so years. But the biggest difference between us and them looking back over our shoulder is that Gateshead had a Football League team long before our humble town. Oh yes, right up until 1960, when they were voted out.
Gateshead: Us And Them
Of course, this Gateshead ain’t that League team of yore. That were the old South Shields, who changed name after – clearly – upping sticks for the place they’re named after. The current Heed went straight into the Northern Premier League after forming in 1977; within three years, they were in what’s now the Blue Vauxhall Vanarama Conference. Our first encounter with them came in 1994, after Boro’ made it to the top tier of non-league football after a slightly longer journey. It wasn’t a great first encounter, however.
Our head-to-head record shows the Heed won that first tete-a-tete; to this day, it still gives ’em exactly half the number of wins they’ve managed against us. Since that August afternoon in 1994, we’ve gone onto win six of the 10 games that followed. And some of them were big wins too – over the years, there has been a 4-1, a 6-1 and a 5-3. And that 5-3 was a game that was probably the least deserving fixture of such a scoreline. But they all count, much like a big free bet. Else, Carl Adams wouldn’t have a debut hattrick to look back on fondly.
The Heed were the first team we took on after wrapping up the Conference title in 2010. Since then, the club has had its own brush with promotion. And relegation. The year we won the title, they were a point off going back to the North division. In 2014, meanwhile, only Cambridge stood between the club and a ‘return’ to the League. If there is a god, he wasn’t a native of Tyne and Wear that day. Our neighbours up the road ended the Heed’s dream at Wembley. And it was as annoying for us as it was for them…
BoroGuide’s Gateshead club profile – for old time’s sake…