Blue Square Premier
Saturday 11th February 2012 – Kickoff: 1500hrs
Gateshead take on rock-bottom club Bath City on Saturday as they look to break into the play-off frame with all three points here.
The north-east outfit sit just outside the top five just two points adrift of Kidderminster Harriers in fifth spot and will be looking to put behind them their recent back-to-back defeats against Kettering Town and Newport County which has temporarily paused their assault on the play-off pack.
The Heed’s home record stands at 6-7-3 28/23, and have lost at home just once in their last seven matches whilst beating Kidderminster 2-1 a couple of weeks ago. Striker Jon Shaw (22 goals, 2 assists) has been almost unstoppable this season and is their stand-out threat.
However, he does have support in the form of Yemi Obudabe (7 goals), and the ammunition provided by Baxter and Brittain (4 assists each) along with new signing forward Liam Hatch from Darlington who opened his account against Newport County.
Bath City will certainly be sweating at the prospect of facing Jon Shaw et al on Saturday having conceded 11 goals in their last three matches; 0-6 at Grimsby Town, 0-3 at home to Alfreton Town and a 0-2 loss at Wrexham. Their away record as a result still remains without a win and stands at a bleak 0-5-10 11/36, and unsurprisingly they have the worst defensive record away from home in the division.
They are also the lowest goalscorers on the road and have failed to score an away goal on six occasions. In addition to this they have lost by a two-goal margin on seven occasions, and with their leading scorers only accruing 5 goals each (Sean Canham and Scott Murray), they only have the creativity of Hogg and Marc Canham (5 and 6 assists respectively) to fall back on.
However, Bath’s defence has leaked more than a Sunday tabloid news reporter and they are almost certain to go down again at Gateshead on Saturday. With that in mind, I’m having a stab at Gateshead with the -1 handicap and backing Shaw to have a field day.
Pick: Gateshead AH-1 @ 1.97 Pinnacle