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Football: Bogie's squad proves a point; UniBond League Premier Division.

Byline: By JEFF BOWRON

GATESHEAD ended leaders Witton Albion's 100% home record - but had to settle for a point in a pulsating top-three clash at Wincham Park.

Goals for strike pair Graeme Armstrong and David Southern gave the Tynesiders a 2-1 half-time lead, only for Witton's top scorer Adam Warlow to level after the break.

It proved to be an unlucky 13 for Albion, who had won all of their previous 12 league games at home - and Gateshead boss Ian Bogie saluted his side's efforts. He said: "We probably needed to win to have a chance of the title, but we are on a fantastic run and the players have been magnificent.

"We had won our last eight games and, just like the previous week when we won at Witton in the UniBond League Cup, we could have been two or three ahead at half-time."

"We scored two great goals and Steve Bowey and Paul Brayson both had good chances, but Witton are a good side and they came back well in the second half.

"It was important we were solid and kept it tight for the first 15 minutes as we expected an onslaught, but unfortunately we conceded after just three minutes.

"It was a game of two halves and a draw was about right, although we nearly nicked it late on when James Curtis had a header tipped on to the bar."

Gateshead are on their travels again on Wednesday at Prescot Cables before hosting second-top Fleetwood Town in a massive game on Saturday.

Bogie added: "We have only lost two away games in the league this season and hopefully we will avoid defeat at Prescot, which will set up the crunch rematch with Fleetwood this weekend."

With Wayne Phillips injured and Kris Gate on trial in Sweden, on loan York City, schemer Phil Turnbull was handed his first start.

However, it was the recalled Southern who stole the show, creating the opener for Armstrong and then producing a bullet header from Craig Baxter's cross for Gateshead's second.

Ex-Crewe striker Warlow, however, twice levelled in front of a bumper 703 crowd swollen by Northwich and Fleetwood fans whose games had been postponed due to the weather.

CAPTION(S):

ON TARGET: Armstrong; ON TARGET: David Southern
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 18, 2008
Words:377
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