Gateshead lost their Conference play-off final at Wembley this afternoon 2-1, after Cambridge United had gone two goals up through Hughes after 51 minutes and former Newcastle United youngster Ryan Donaldson after 71 minutes, but Gateshead came back with a goal after 80 minutes through Lester, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough and Cambridge are promoted to League Two.
Gateshead fans before the game today
Gateshead got off to a slow start at Wembley, but as the first half went on they came more and more into the game, but in the second half Cambridge started to take a grip on the game with goals from Hughes and Donaldson.
Cambridge got their first goal after 51 minutes and Ryan Donaldson was the creator, as he crossed the ball from the right, and Hughes headed the ball home from close in.
And Donaldson, who played for Gateshead from 2012–2013, scored Cambridge’s second goal with a terrific 23 yard free kick just outside the box.
But Gateshead came back with a goal from Lester after 80 minutes, when he put the ball home, after goalkeeper Smith could only parry a header from Liam Hutch.
But after a full 10 minutes of stoppage time , Cambridge were the winners and are now promoted to League Two.
But in stoppage time Gateshead had a couple of very decent chances to send the game into extra time.
Liam Hughes of Cambridge and Phil Turnbull of Gateshead in action
One was after six minutes of added time when Liam Hatch’s header from a tight angle just missed, and then a minute or so later a James Curtis missed to the left of the goal with a decent header.
Gateshead are to be applauded for one terrific season, and they failed at the very last hurdle.
But maybe next season they can make the jump to League Two.
Gateshead: Bartlett; Baxter, Curtis, Clark, Magnay; Chandler (Lester, 69), Turnbull, Oster; Larkin (Hatch, 58), Marwood, Maddison (O’Donnell, 58).
Subs not used: Walker, Ramshaw.
Cambridge United: Smith, Roberts, Taylor, Coulson, Miller, Donaldson, Champion, Elliott (Cunnington, 77), Hughes, Berry (Chadwick, 65), Sam-Yorke (Dunk, 46).
Subs not used: Bonner, Chambers.
Goals: Hughes 51, Donaldon 72, Lester 80
Bookings: Maddison 7, Champion 21, Oster 23, Clark 69, Cunnington 88
Referee: Peter Bankes (Merseyside)