In the spotlight: Gateshead

Fact File

Full Name: Gateshead Football Club

Year Formed: 1977

Nickname: The Heed

Stadium: Gateshead International Stadium

Capacity: 11,800

2021/22 Finish: First in National League North

Review of the 2021/22 season

Gateshead’s main ambition for the 2021/22 season was to gain promotion back to the National League. A 3-1 win over Boston United in October moved them into first place – a position they would only temporarily give up a couple of times before the end of the season. The Tynesiders made the FA Cup second round before losing to Charlton Athletic; their FA Trophy campaign didn’t go as well as they fell to AFC Fylde in the second round. From the turn of the year, Gateshead lost just four times in 26 games as they strolled to the National League North – a 2-2 draw away at Chorley in the penultimate game confirmed their promotion back to the fifth tier.

Manager – Mike Williamson

Mike Williamson had a playing career that spanned mostly in the EFL, as well as a six-year spell with Premier League side Newcastle United. Two years after leaving St James’ Park, he moved back to the north-east to join National League side Gateshead. The club were demoted to the National League North at the end of the 2018/19 season and the defender was appointed as player-manager. The Heed had two seasons without promotion before finally winning promotion back to the fifth tier with a 2-2 draw against Chorley securing National League football for the 2022/23 campaign.

Mike Williamson

Star Player – Greg Olley

Greg Olley began his professional playing career with Hull City. He made a couple of EFL Trophy appearances for the Tigers before joining Gateshead at the start of the 2018/19 season. His first campaign full of regular first-team football was a personal success with eight goals in 41 games from midfield; however, the Heed were demoted to the National League North after financial issues. The next two seasons were interrupted because of the COVID-19 pandemic as the sixth tier saw two successive campaigns brought to a screeching halt. Olley would come back firing for the 2021/22 season though as he created a formidable partnership with strikers Macauley Langstaff and Cedwyn Scott. The 26-year-old scored seven times throughout the course of year as Gateshead won the National League North title.

Greg Olley

Overall Head-to-head Record

P2   W0   D0   L2

The two sides have only played each other twice with both meetings coming in the 2018/19 season. Gateshead came away from the first meeting with a dominant 3-0 victory at the Technique Stadium with former Spireite Scott Boden finding the back of the net twice. The reverse fixture was more of a low-key affair as Steven Rigg scored from the spot to consign Chesterfield a 1-0 defeat.

Played for both – James Montgomery

James Montgomery is familiar with both clubs, with his first spell at Gateshead coming in 2017. The goalkeeper played 46 times for the National League club over the course of two seasons. After stints at Forest Green Rovers and AFC Fylde, he re-joined the Heed ahead of the 2020/21 campaign. Montgomery made seven appearances as the National League North season was curtailed. After a brief loan spell at Southend United, he joined the Spireites in April 2021 on a short-term deal. He played seven times as the Blues made the National League play-offs. The 28-year-old left the Technique Stadium at the end of the season and was without a team until he returned to Gateshead in March 2022.

James Montgomery

*Photos courtesy of Charlie Waugh, Tyler Lopes & Jack McGraghan