Gateshead 3 King's Lynn 2
19th November 2008
THIS Blue Square North match was not for the faint-hearted as the Linnets surrended a two goal lead on Tyneside.
Some comical defending saw Keith Webb's side cruise into a commanding two-goal advantage inside the first 16 minutes of Wednesday night's clash.
But determined to get in on the show themselves, some kamikaze first-half defending from Lynn gifted Gateshead the three points.
This 90-minute mix of horror and comedy, as well as quality football, had everything other than the result Lynn had hoped for.
Linnets manager Keith Webb said: "The points were there for the taking, but awful defending has been our downfall again.
"At 2-0 up you expect to go on and win the game but as a manager you can't legislate for the errors we've made in our last two games."
Tynesiders boss Ian Bogie said: "Lee Novak produced another excellent performance and took his goals very well.
"Just as in our previous home game against Burscough we weren't at our best but the lads showed tremendous character to bounce back from two goals down.
"We've now scored seven goals in our last two home games without playing well."
It was Lee Novak's second hat-trick in five games which proved the difference between two defensively-fragile teams at a windswept International Stadium.
The Linnets made a dream start with Scott Mitchell creating Michael Frew's first goal after nine minutes.
Six minutes later it was 2-0 when Julian Joachim punished a square home defence by playing in Frew for his second.
Novak pulled a goal back on 26 minutes when Greg Grane only half-cleared and he slid home from close range following good work from defender Carl Jones.
Five minutes later, a long ball over the top from Craig Nelthorpe saw Novak easily shrug off the attentions of Crane before firing home an equaliser.
The Tynesiders forged ahead when Kris Gate's cushion header put in Novak in to complete a 14-minute treble.
Both defences got to grips with their jobs after the break but there were still good chances for either side.
The hosts should have extended their advantage on the hour-mark when Steve Turnbull's 22-yard effort hit a post and Novak skied the rebound over the bar.
Howie then made a stunning save to deny Graeme Armstrong before a late spell of Lynn pressure.
Ben Chapman saw his centre flash across the Gateshead goal, while home goalkeeper Paul Musselwhite saved from both Frew and Crane, with the former then blazing over in injury-time. Gateshead
: Musselwhite, Baxter, Phillips, Gate, Curtis, Jones, Harwood, S. Turnbull (Francis 77), Armstrong, Novak (Southern 77), Nelthorpe (Holloway 85). Subs not used Norton, P. Turnbull. Booking: Curtis.
: Howie, Graham, Chapman, Weaver, Crane, Camm, Turner (Bloomfield 79), Mitchell, Frew, Joachim, Francis (Sedgemore 39). Subs not used: Murray, Kelly.
: Glen Hart (Darlington).