Gateshead FC vs Partick Thistle 6th July 2013
It seemed like it had been years since I was last at a football match but in fact it had only been a couple of months. I was happy that on Saturday morning I checked my battery level as it certainly needed to be charged up. I also took this time to clean the lens and make some final checks.
I had been to Durham’s New Feren’s Park a couple of times before one of which when the Gateshead reserves played there back in February (which by the way was really cold) I knew what the ground was like. However, the big difference between then and Saturday was the weather. The game against Durham City was on a really cold February night and the pre-season match against Partick Thistle was (as we all know) very hot and very sunny. This is great for the fans but for the photographers we have to take into account exactly where the sun is as we don’t want it ruining the photos with sun glare.
As soon as i got to the ground I spotted Martin Avery (club photographer) and his friend Charlie (who also takes photos at the matches), I had a quick chat with them to catch up on what’s been going on since I last saw them then we went into the club. There was already a good amount of fans at the ground and it seemed like most of the Partick Thistle fans were out the front enjoying a few pints. After having a quick walk around the outside of the pitch I set myself up ready for the first half, I took the gamble that Gateshead were going to be kicking towards where I was sat. They did.
You had to be fully ready for the first half because Gateshead scored within about the first 5 minutes, it was a good shot from Robbie Briggs. I didn’t quite get him kicking the ball but I did get a good photo just before he took the shot.
I was happy to see my little mate James Marwood playing, in fact I had to do a double take as at first I thought there couldn’t be two of him. Very early on he looked a bit out of place but that was very early on as he certainly picked up his game and he did score what is already being hailed as the goal of the season. To me that was the goal that he should have scored on the final day of last season against Ebbsfleet United. If your a regular reader of my blogs then you will remember that I said ‘I probably couldn’t have done better than him, well apart from actually putting the ball in the back of the net’. Well I suppose I have to give the devil his due as I don’t think that I could have scored that goal!
For me it was also good to have a chance to see some of the new players and have a chance to get photos of them. The one problem I sometimes suffer with is trying to identify people especially if all I have to go off is an old photograph for reference. Luckily I recognised Richard Brodie, although never seem him before, but it was because he is a big lad. I know that over the period of the season I will get to know the rest of the new signings.
Second half was all change for Gateshead as the players were only getting 45 minutes each, this gave a chance for the other new players to have a chance. I had already got myself set up at the other end during the half time but I stayed in the shade until kick off. For me there isn’t much to do at half time apart from taking in some water and checking Facebook and Twitter.
Just after kick off James Marwood and Carl Magnay were doing a cool down or warm down and they came toward me. Straight away James asked if I had a good summer which I said I had with my 40th birthday and beer festival down south. He then made a comment which I believe was “beer festival? Certainly looks like it”. Naturally I had to say that it’s what I’m good at. Which really it is, these lads may be good at football but with my ‘physique’ I’m good, no great, at drinking it’s just the way it is. It’s this sort of crack that I enjoyed last season with James and hope it continues this season.
The second half brought more chances for Gateshead and James Brown certainly had some good control of the ball. Unfortunately though Gateshead couldn’t take advantage of those chances and then a bad back pass by Phil Turnbull 8 minutes from the final whistle led Partick to an easy goal.
All in all it was a good first pre-season game for Gateshead and I’m sure that they will all be relaxing at the training camp they have gone to.
Equipment used: Nikon D7000, Sigma 170-500mm f5-6.3 lens, velbon monopod, Peli 1510