Heed boss rues toothless display
Gateshead manager Malcolm Crosby was left to rue a toothless second-half display as Dover Athletic fought back from a goal behind to claim a 3-2 victory at the International Stadium.
The result was particularly disappointing after the Heed had recovered from conceding in the fourth minute to lead 2-1 at half-time.
Crosby said: “We did fantastic to make it 2-1, but I’ve got to say in the second-half we just never got going at all.
“All credit to Dover, but I’m very disappointed.”
Gateshead struggled to get a foothold throughout the second period, and Crosby admitted that he could see the Whites’ winner coming.
He said: “At the end of the day we never got hold of the ball, we didn’t pass it very well. I can’t make people get the ball down and pass it.
“As a whole the team didn’t have control of the ball and when that happens you’re always going to be defending. We ended up very deep in our own half.”
Crosby was full of praise for the visitors, who dominated the latter stages.
He said: “They took the game to us second-half – I can’t complain about the result.
“When you go 2-1 up you know what you’re going to say in the dressing room – ‘right, go and get third goal and you go on and win the game’.
“But Dover played the better football.”
Crosby also pointed to the importance of set-pieces, after all five goals in the game came from dead-ball situations.
He said: “Sometimes the quality of the delivery is very good and it causes you problems. Both sides were quite big, and you do get joy from set-plays if the delivery is good.”
The manager was quick to stress, though, that there remains plenty to be positive about.
He said: “These players have been fantastic up until today, so I haven’t got to be too harsh on them.
“They’ve got us into what is a very good position, and there are plenty of games to go.”
Crosby said he was confident Josh Gillies would be fit for Tuesday’s clash at Grimsby Town after a first-half scare in which the midfielder was left clutching his shoulder.
And the manager is looking forward to trying to bounce back against two of the league’s strongest teams.
He said: “We’ve got two good games, two hard games. But you’ve got to look forward to playing the likes of Grimsby and Cheltenham in this division.”