Played at Gateshead International Stadium
Gateshead won 2-1
For Gateshead FC it had been 7 months of hurt, November 2012 was the last time that the club had played a game at the International Stadium due to the problems with the pitch. This meant that the home friendly against Darlington had more purpose than just a game of football. A lot of people were wanting to see what the pitch looked like and just how it handled.
I got to the ground early and chatted to a few people in the main reception area after spending about 5 minutes there I headed down to the tunnel to get to pitch side. I must admit it did feel good being back at the stadium and also to know that I wouldn’t have to travel any further for any home games, at least I won’t have to as long as the pitch holds out when the weather starts to get bad.
Whilst at pitch side I got the usual wise cracks from James Marwood and Jamie Chandler (aka Stiffler) mostly about an incident at one of the development taster sessions when a ‘flying’ ball happened to hit me in the head. I have to be honest and say that I love the crack that we have going and long may it continue.
Saturday was also one of the main days for the Sunderland Airshow which meant that every so often there would be aircraft flying overhead as they head towards Seaham. This became a talking point between a few of us before kick off and also resulted in a few photos being taken during the ‘quiet’ spells of the actual match.
Just before the players came out of the tunnel I headed off to get myself in position and waited for kick off. The game overall was a bit lackluster but Gateshead still had plenty of possession it was just the final touch that for the most part was missing. Richard Brodie scored the first goal with a nice little toe punt and I was really happy that I got that in shot. Lately, I had missed quite a few shots that led to goals but I was made up that I got this one.
I did get a lot of photos during the first half and I noticed that I am becoming more aware of when I would be able to get a player in shot with my lens and when I wouldn’t be able to. Also I do try and predict where the ball is going or where a pass may go before it is even attempted. This is so that I don’t miss any shots on goal and is especially more useful for corners. Although when it does come to corners I try to wait until the ball goes past me so that I can see where it is going.
Doing this doesn’t always work but I might just get a great photo from using this technique, as I have done a few times.
For the second half I kept looking to the subs bench to see if there was anything happening, whether it’s Anth Smith trying to motivate the players or some of the players just having a bit of fun with each other.
Doing this did work out well for me as I got a great photo of Anth telling one of the players to push up and also when Rob Ramshaw and James Marwood were about to come on I got a photo of James and Anth Smith seemingly discussing if James’s colouring in was acceptable.
I was even happier in the second half when I also got Adam Boyes heading the ball in the back of the net which meant that I got both Gateshead goals.
Overall, when I went through the photos I was very happy with what I got and I look forward to the next match which for me is Friday 2nd August when the Toon XI come to the International Stadium. I have thought about that I might wear my Newcastle United baseball cap or football shirt but the Heed Army may not forgive me lol. I still hope that it will be a great game as it will be the last pre-season friendly for Gateshead.
Speaking of merchandise, I have thought about buying a Gateshead polo shirt for when I do work for them. As although I am an Independent photographer I am at the games working for Gateshead and I don’t mind promoting that fact, it’s all about professorial courtesy. I also think that it would be appropriate to wear something like that when I am doing the Gateshead FC Development photos.
Equipment used: Nikon D7000, Sigma 170-500mm f5-6.3 lens, velbon monopod, Peli 1510