Heed boss Aspin takes positives from Barrow stalemate
Neil Aspin was content as his Gateshead side extended their unbeaten sequence to six games after a 0-0 draw at Barrow.
On a blustery evening at Holker Street, the Tynesiders carved out the better of the chances against Paul Cox’s Bluebirds, with CJ Hamilton and Rob Ramshaw among those to go close.
There was almost a late sting in the tail, however, as Barrow substitute Jason Walker bundled a last-gasp chance wide of the post.
A point edges the Heed to within two of the Vanarama National League’s final play-off place, boss Aspin satisfied with his players’ efforts in testing conditions.
He said: “The wind made it a very difficult game for both teams. It was hard to play football, and it spoiled the game.
“Coming away to Barrow on a windy night, and playing on a firm, bobbly surface – it isn’t a bad point.
“It is what it is. I’d say it’s a point gained rather than two points dropped.
“Even against the wind in the first-half, we created the better chances.
“And in the second-half, there were a couple of occasions where the ball came across the face of goal, and if we’d anticipated better we could have scored.
“But then, when you’re in a game like that and the clock is ticking, you can also lose it, and Barrow had their best chance of the night in injury time.
“That really would have left a sour taste in the mouth.
“I’ll take the positives. It’s another clean sheet, and if we keep being defensively solid we can keep getting results.”
A further positive for the Tynesiders came 25 minutes from time, as winger Josh Gillies made his return to action after four months on the sidelines.
It was Gillies’ first appearance in a Gateshead shirt since Aspin’s arrival at the club, the Heed’s boss keen to take it easy with the winger in the days and weeks ahead.
He said: “I’ll have a word with Josh and see how he’s feeling after coming on tonight.
“It’s good for his confidence to get some minutes. We just have to build up his game-time, and whether it’s worth giving him a start and then bringing him off [in the next week or two], we’ll have to see.”