Gateshead midfielder Owen Bailey has described reaching the FA Trophy final as an “unbelievable achievement” as his side prepare to face Halifax at Wembley on Sunday.
The Heed beat Barnet 4-1 on penalties after drawing 3-3 – the Bees fighting back from 3-0 down after 37 minutes – in a dramatic semi-final last month to reach their first-ever FA Trophy final.
Their cup run has come alongside a fantastic turnaround in the National League, which saw Gateshead lingering above the drop zone in February before recovering to finish 14th.
Relegation fears were eased during a 10-game unbeaten run in all competitions and Bailey praised a “monumental effort” after a resurgence in the second half of the season.
4⃣ teams. 2⃣ finals. 1⃣ day.
Can only mean one thing. Up next:
Isuzu #FAVase final @AscotUnitedFC v @nptfc 12:15PM
Isuzu #FATrophy final @GatesheadFC v @FCHTOnline 4:15PM
Counting down pic.twitter.com/anrA5HGP2v
— Wembley Stadium (@wembleystadium) May 16, 2023
The 24-year-old told the PA news agency: “We brought a few lads in on loan, we had a few lads back from injury, we changed a bit of the shape and the way we played. We simplified everything and we went into so much detail, but we always do that.
“It wasn’t a real surprise to me, just for whatever reason it seemed to finally click and we’re on a really good run which has ultimately kept us in the league.
“It was a massive credit to the management and the players because we all came together and we weren’t going to accept getting relegated, so it was a monumental effort and it’s really positive for next year.”
Gateshead’s attention is now focused on Sunday’s final against a Halifax team who finished two points above them in the National League in 11th.
The Heed’s route to Wembley has been far from comfortable, requiring penalty shoot-outs in both the quarter and semi-finals, but Bailey believes the competition has been hugely beneficial for the team during the rough patches this season.
“The Trophy’s been something we’ve used for momentum to be honest,” he added.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Soccernews.com is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.
You can follow us on Facebook: Facebook.com/soccernews.com or Twitter: @soccernewsfeed.