Preferred XI: Macclesfield Town v Gateshead. (28.2.17)

Goalkeeper – James Montgomery.

Since joining the tynesiders from AFC Telford, this summer, James Montgomery has been headlining the papers for all the right reasons. Although he has made some time-wasting errors resulting in yellow cards in recent weeks, Monty is known to be consistent, week in week out. With a few game changing saves against York on tuesday, Montgomery will inevitably stay in the starting 11 for next weeks fixture against Macclesfield.

Left Back- George Smith.
Smith has become a regular starter in the Gateshead team since joining on loan from Barnsley, last year. After making 27 appearances for the heed, George has picked up 2 yellow cards and just the 1 goal. With his physical presence and incredible pace bombing down the left hand side, Neil Aspin has no choice but to keep him in, which is why we’re pretty confident that Smith will make an another appearance next week.
Centre Back – Liam Hogan (C)

Captain fantastic, Liam Hogan, has been an absolute rock at the back this season after only conceding 36 this season, one of the best defensive records in the league. Hogan is certain to face former club Macclesfield, unless an unlikely move to full back is on the cards. Hogan has been training well in recent weeks, the 28 year old has been featured in every one of Gateshead’s games this season bar one, which he missed through suspension.

Centre Back – Manny Smith.

Manny Smith has been arguably the best player for Gateshead this season after signing from Wrexham in the summer. One standout game was against Dagenham away from home, where not only did he keep a clean sheet, he bagged himself a goal which was his 2nd of the season. Smiths aggresivenature and his ability to bully attackers off the ball, can change the score outcome immensely.

Centre Back – Jamal Fyfield.

A lot like Smith, Fyfield is not afraid to put in a tackle when needed. Not only can he defend terifcally well, but he is good with his feet too, netting 3 already this campaign. Jamal admitted himself in aninterview earlier in the season that he likes running with the ball, as proven by his performances in recent weeks. Is his physical ability on and off the ball proving to be the thing whats keeping this inform team ticking?

Right Back – James Bolton.

Arriving from Halifax Town last year, Bolton has made 30 appearances this season for the tynsiders, grabbing just 4 yellow cards. Pretty impressive if you ask me. He also netted his first goal for Gateshead just 2 weeks ago against Southport; where he also kept a clean sheet. Known well for his key passes and composure on the ball; Bolton has played a pivotal part in the Heed’s recent consecutive wins.

Centre Midfield – Paddy McLaughlin.
Paddy is known for his personality, on and off the pitch. A nice guy in the dressing room, but a tough tackler on the pitch. Paddy has scored 5 goals in 35 appearances for the Heed, his most recent being a penalty in a 3-1 thrashing over his former club, York City. Paddy confidently stepped up to the penalty spot and slotted it home to put Gateshead 2-1 up. McLaughlin will remain in Neil Aspin’s starting line-up next week; proven by his recent performances.

Centre Midfield – Gus Mafuta

Gus is a box-to-box midfielder. A powerhouse and a real brute in the air. He has a powerful presence whilst in possession of the ball, controlling the midfield win in week out. Although Mafuta lacks in goals; he can still string a game changing pass together at any point in the game. After being released from Bristol City last season, Gus made a name for himself in the north east after an successful trail at the end of the 2015/16 campaign.

Left Forward – Danny Johnson.

A prolific year with Guisborough Town, earned Johnson a move to Welsh giants Cardiff City. After finding his opportunities limited in South Wales, he linked up with a move to Gateshead, where he netted 15 goals in his debut season in the north east. Making 30 appearances for the Heed, Danny Johnson has matched his tally of last season netting 15 goals this season. That’s 1 goal every 2 games, a great return if you ask me.

Centre Forward – Jordan Burrow.

Burrow has had a huge impact on the team recently, making 13 appearances and scoring 6 goals throughout. As a striker who has scored goals at League One level with Stevenage, Burrow is a capable striker who reached double figures in both the 2014/15 and 2015/16 campaignswhile at Lincoln City and Halifax Town, respectively. Burrow is a keen striker, constantly causing trouble for the oppositions defence. Will Neil Aspin still have faith in him or will fellow forward Nyal Bell get a start?

Right Forward – Wes York.

Someone who we’re extremely confident about starting against Macclesfield, is heed hero, Wes York. Originally from Leicester, York first made a name for himself at Nuneaton Town, winningpromotion to the National League with them in 2012, before following manager Kevin Wilkin to North Wales. Having made 90 appearences for Wrexham, York made a name for himself by finding the net 18 times. Neil Aspin soon spotted the talent, snapping him uplast season. York is one who is not shy to shoot, netting 2 goals in his last 2 games; whilst getting a few assist along the way.

By ffsheed.

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