Come On The Heed!

Last updated : 02 May 2014 By Footy Mad - Editor

They drew 1-1 at Grimsby last night, so the play-off tie is looking good for Sunday - 4pm ko.

A year ago, some of Gateshead’s players feared their days in professional football were almost over.

With the Heed forced to play away from their Gateshead International Stadium home due to a pitch problem, and battling relegation from the Conference, players took to looking through the jobs section of newspapers.

Now, though, they are making headlines on the very same pages they scoured 12 months ago.

Gateshead stand on the cusp of history, and take on Grimsby Town on Sunday in the second leg of their play-off semi-final, with a return to the Football League after a 54-year absence in sight.

Their third-placed finish was an incredible success in itself, as Gateshead were hovering just above the relegation zone when Gary Mills took over as manager in September.

South Shields-born midfielder Phil Turnbull says the transformation of the club is “unbelievable”, with some players having considered taking another job a year ago.

Phil Turnbull: “We felt so low this time last year.

“It is unbelievable how much things have changed since then.

“Some lads were looking in the paper for jobs for this season, because it didn’t look good and we were in danger of going down.

“We played home games in seven different grounds because of the problem with the pitch.”

Gateshead’s success this season has put everyone at the Tyneside club on a high, and has captured the imagination of the public.

A crowd of almost 3,000 watched the Heed book their place in the play-offs on Saturday with a 2-0 win over Cambridge United.

And the club is hoping for an even bigger attendance on Sunday for the second leg against Grimsby, with a place in the play-off final at Wembley at stake.

Gateshead are unbeaten in 13 games.