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Men's Football Gateshead's caretaker manager Ben Clark impressed by side’s battling spirit in draw against Salford City

NEW Gateshead manager Ben Clark was full of praise for his side after their 1-1 draw against Salford City in the National League. 

The 35-year-old took over as caretaker manager following the shock departure of Steve Watson — who left to take over at York City — and on Saturday he was in the dugout at Moor Lane, as the Heed earned an impressive point against the promotion contenders.

“It was excellent,” said Clark. “I really enjoyed it. But it’s a bit more stressful being on the sidelines. And that’s the style I want to bring to the football club: being brave, getting stuck in. Whoever finishes above Salford will win the league. To come here and earn a point, I’m delighted.”

Gateshead looked like the brightest in the opening half hour, but then goalkeeper Aynsley Pears took down Matt Green inside the box in what was a clear-cut penalty case. 

Danny Lloyd put the home side ahead from the spot on 28 minutes. 

But right before half-time, Scott Boden levelled for the visitors from close range. The Ammies pressed in the second half, truly turning on the heat in the final 10 minutes, but Gateshead shut them out and earned themselves a well-deserved point. 

After his inaugural game as manager, Clark stressed the importance of having good support behind the team, as he looked ahead to Gateshead’s important upcoming league clash against Boreham Wood. 

“We have a massive game next Saturday. We’ll debrief on Monday morning and go through the positives and negatives, looking at what we can do better. 

“I hope the public get behind the players because they’re a great bunch of lads. Hopefully, together we can achieve something. What people want is an honest team working hard. We’re going to have a right good go at it.”

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