Southport manager Liam Watson admitted that Gateshead’s pressure ultimately paid off after they let a two goal lead slip to draw 3-3.
The Yellows were leading 3-1 as the entered the dying embers of the game but Mike Williamson’s side ramped up their efforts for an equaliser and salvaged a draw thanks to a remarkable strike with the last kick of the game from Macauley Langstaff.
Marcus Carver, Niall Watson and Josh Hmani scored for the Port as Watson praised the efforts of his goalkeeper Cam Mason who made a number of saves which proved crucial in the end.
The draw was Southport’s third point of the season as the search for their first win continues but for the Sandgrounder’s manager is happy with his sides showing despite the complexion of the table.
“I think you always look at things in real life and do I believe we should’ve won the game? No I don’t, do I think we deserved to get something out of the game? 100% I do,” Watson told Off The Park.
“They’re probably as good a team I’ve come across in terms of the Conference North for passing, they never stopped.
“All over the pitch they just passed you so it was always going to be a game possession-based by them and counter attacking by us. Our ‘keepers had a great game, but we’ve also missed really good chances so 3-3 always conceding that late, 10 seconds to go yeah it sticks in your throat, granted. But as I said, these things happen.
“I think Gateshead’s pressure paid off. Gateshead deserved to get something out of the game, they were relentless, they ended up with lots of people – in fact they started with three up front and the full-backs were that pushed on.
“They play a bit like Liverpool you know where Liverpool strangle teams and it’s wave after wave because the full-backs are that high but it leaves them vulnerable the other way and we capitalised on quite a few of them things.
“On the balance of play, over the 90 minutes, we could’ve won, we could’ve lost but a point is a fair result. Must’ve been a fantastic game to watch as a neutral, so pleased it was a really good promising performance but as you said the run of games at the start of the season has been treacherous but you’ve just got to get through them.
“We’ve got really good flair in the team, we’ve got pace, athleticism, youth, we’ve got certain assets. But all in all, I keep saying I like this squad, I like this group of players.
“So where we are, I think this team has an awful lot of scope and growing into a good team.”
The draw sees the Yellows just a point above the relegation zone, but Watson praised his sides character after bouncing back from a number of unlucky decisions in their opening games.
“I think the big thing about football a lot of the time it’s about character. People talk about it, we’ve got kicked in the proverbial’s against Spennymoor, a really poor decision against us.
“Then you’re worried go into the next game, seven minutes down against Kidderminster they get awarded a penalty and you think pfft, but the lads just bounce back.
“We got robbed against Fylde, we scored a perfectly good goal and it wasn’t given. Then obviously we conceded in the last 10 seconds on Saturday so we’ve had a lot of little slaps in the first five games, a lot of little slaps, but you’ve just got to keep on riding it haven’t you.
“If we do, it’ll tell you what kind of group they are but they seem that they just turn up and put on a performance.”