DOVER Athletic left-back Aswad Thomas has fond memories of playing at the Gateshead International Stadium last season.
And so do the 46 Dover fans who made the gruelling 692 mile round trip to Tyneside.
Thomas scored his first goal for Whites in the 3-2 win, a second consecutive victory for boss Chris Kinnear’s side at the venue.
In fact, Dover have a perfect record against the Heed, winning all four games against them since winning promotion to non league’s top-flight a couple of seasons ago.
Gateshead will start the game 11th on the National League ladder, three places and four points behind Whites.
But the hosts have not enjoyed the best of times in front of their home fans of late.
They are winless in their past three home games after a 1-0 defeat against North Ferriby United was followed by goalless draws against Solihull Moors and Torquay United.
*BS*WHAT IS GATESHEAD MANAGER NEIL ASPIN SAYING ABOUT DOVER? *BF*
“Dover are slightly similar to us in the respect that they can also beat anyone on their day, as they’ve shown already this season,” Aspin told doverathletic.com this week.
“They’re a well-managed side with a big man up front and they always make it difficult for their opponents.
“They were beaten heavily at Chester last week but I’m certain that was just a one-off because they quickly bounced back with a good 3-1 win over Sutton on Tuesday, so we’re anticipating a tough match.”
*BS*GATESHEAD’S RECENT FORM *BF*
Gateshead ended a run of four games without a goal courtesy of an impressive 1-0 win at Tranmere Rovers on Tuesday night.
After beginning the campaign in blistering form – including a 6-1 rout of York City on Tyneside – the Heed’s momentum had stalled ahead of their trip to Prenton Park.
Following that thrashing of the Minstermen, Neil Aspin’s side recorded just two wins in their next nine outings, and also equalled the club’s longest barren stretch in front of goal since their return to the National League in 2009.
But, Sam Jones’ 51st-minute strike proved sufficient for Gateshead in midweek, who will now look to end a three-game winless stretch on their own turf.
*BS*RECENT MEETINGS *BF*
29/11/14: Gateshead 1-2 Dover Athletic
21/03/15: Dover Athletic 1-0 Gateshead
03/10/15: Gateshead 2-3 Dover Athletic
13/02/16: Dover Athletic 4-0 Gateshead
Whites’ top scorer in the league this season is Ricky Miller with nine following his double against Sutton United at Crabble on Tuesday.
Miller is just one goal behind the National League’s leading scorer, Dagenham & Redbridge frontman Ollie Hawkins.
The Heed’s leading man is Wes Hall with four.
*BS*DOVER TEAM NEWS *BF*
Whites will be without Sam Magri, who is on international duty with the Malta under 21s.
Richard Orlu (hamstring) and Steve Arnold (ankle) will also be missing.
*BS*DOVER COLOURS *BF*
For Dover fans wanting to show their colours on Tyneside by wearing the matching shirts as the players, Whites will be wearing their blue shirts.
The game starts at 3pm but if you are unable to make the trip, we will have live updates on Twitter – @DAFCLiveText – follow us and get all the news as it happens!
Coverage starts from 2pm.
There will be a Supporters Club coach making the trip to Gateshead for the first time and it’s not too late to get on it.
It leaves Crabble at 6am and the cost is as follows:
Adults Members £40, Adult Non Members £45 and accompanied child (under 16) £15.
Please call or text Andy on 0793 4300335 to book your seat.
*BS*SATURDAY’S OTHER NATIONAL LEAGUE FIXTURES *BF*
Tranmere v Wrexham (12.15pm)
Sutton v Woking
Barrow v Maidstone
Braintree v York
Bromley v Lincoln
Chester v Torquay
Aldershot v Solihull Moors
Guiseley v Southport
Macclesfield v Boreham Wood
North Ferriby United v Forest Green Rovers
Eastleigh v Dagenham & Redbridge
*BS*LOOKING AHEAD *BF*
Dover’s FA Cup campaign starts with a trip to Burgess Hill Town on Saturday, October 15 and there will be a Supporters Club coach running.
It leaves Crabble at 11am and the cost is as follows:
Adults Members £15, Adult Non Members £20 and accompanied child (under 16) £10.
Please call or text Andy on 0793 4300335 to reserve your place.