Stevenage's passage into the second round of the FA Cup ended up being far closer than it should have been - after a hard-fought battle at Gateshead.

Jordan Roberts put Boro ahead midway through the first half and an own goal doubled their advantage before the break.

But the Tynesiders scored twice in nine minutes and it needed a Luke Norris winner 19 minutes from time to spare the blushes and a replay with a 3-2 win.

Roberts went from hero to villain with a petulant kick-out while on the ground following a tackle, the action earning him a straight red eight minutes from time, but the home side couldn't fashion another equaliser.

There were four changes for Stevenage from the draw at Colchester seven days earlier.

Aaron Chapman got the nod in goal ahead of Taye Ashby-Hammond while Saxon Earley, Dean Campbell and Jamie Reid came in for Max Clark, Jake Reeves and Luke Norris.

Mild weather, no wind and just a wet surface had greeted Boro on their arrival at the GIS.

By the time kick-off came round though the rain had started falling again on a gloomy Tyneside afternoon.

It led to a less than comfortable start from the visitors as they looked unsure of their footing on the slick surface.

Dan Ward twice gave them moments of concern in that period, first flashing a low shot from the left across goal and wide and then having another effort deflected behind for a corner.

But once Boro had got used to the conditions, they began to create chance after chance.

Gateshead's goalkeeper, James Montgomery, is a distant relative of Sunderland's 1973 FA Cup final hero Jimmy, he of the famous double save against Leeds, and he showed those genes in the first half with a number of fine saves.

Three times he got down low to palm away Stevenage efforts from Reid, Alex Gilbey and Roberts and then had his body behind the ball to stop another Gilbey attempt from bouncing up and beyond him.

In the end it was a bit of a scuffed shot from Roberts that beat him, bouncing past his left arm and in off the post.

He couldn't do much with the second either.

Campbell clipped in a delightful cross that was aimed for Carl Piergianni on a marauding run forward.

He would have got it too had it not been for Kenton Richardson, the ex-Hartlepool man nodding past his own keeper.

Campbell's deliveries from set-pieces as well as open play had been a feature of the first half, the Scot grabbing his opportunity with both hands.

The opening 45 minutes couldn't have gone much better for Boro and there was little sign of any Gateshead comeback, even with Owen Bailey taking a swing and miss in the first minute of the second half.

Saxon Earley even brought another save out of Montgomery and Roberts and Luther James-Wildin go in a muddle as Boro overloaded the Gateshead defence.

But just minutes later, Will Harris looped a shot over the diving body of Chapman, perhaps with the aid of a deflection, and the Heed Army started to believe.

Belief turned to sheer joy nine minutes later as Kamil Conteh sent another deflected shot from distance wide of the keeper and into the corner.

At that point there looked like there would be only one winner, Chapman needing to kick away an attempted cross after Aaron Martin got round him and then Bailey clipping the roof of the net with a shot over the top.

A mix-up in defence proved costly for their hopes though and allowed Norris to score what turned out to be the winner, a minute after coming on in a triple substitution.

But Roberts' dismissal made that more nervous than it needed to be and the screams and shouts from the Stevenage bench proved that this wasn't the afternoon Evans and his team wanted.


Stevenage: Chapman, James-Wildin, Piergianni, Sweeney, Campbell (Bostwick 68), Roberts, Vancooten, Gilbey, Reid (Reeves 68), Earley, Rose (Norris 68).

Subs (not used): Ashby-Hammond, Clark, Taylor, Read, Amoo.

Goals: Roberts 21, Richardson (og) 33, Norris 72

Booked: Gilbey 79

Sent-off: Roberts 82


Gateshead: Montgomery, Pye, Richardson, Bailey, Olley, Campbell, Ward (Martin 61), Harris (Yussuf 61), Daley, Mills (Hasani 83), Conteh.

Subs (not used): Langley, Willoughby, Elliot.

Goals: Harris 53, Conteh 62

Booked: Mills 82


HT: Gateshead 0 Stevenage 2

Referee: Peter Wright (Southport)

Attendance: 1,059 (139 from Stevenage)