LEE NOVAK has the chance to sign off in style for Gateshead after firing them into a Conference North play-off final showdown with AFC Telford.
The 20-year-old Town striker grabbed a crucial 28th goal of the season for the North-Easterners as they drew 1-1 at home to Southport to clinch a 2-1 aggregate semi-final win.
Gateshead’s International Stadium, where Town will play a friendly on Saturday, July 11, will be the venue for the Telford showdown.
And Gateshead boss Ian Bogie, who transferred Novak to Town in January but then brought him back on loan, wants the Tyneside public to get behind his team.
“We have had two great seasons and are just one game away from standing shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Luton, Wrexham and Oxford next season,” he said.
“We play good football and score lots of goals and deserve a big crowd, which will make all the difference to the players.
“The Gateshead public need to back us and turn out in force and I’m hoping a lot of Newcastle fans will also come along.”
Gateshead have not lost at home in the Conference North since September – a run of 13 wins and four draws.
“We have made our stadium a fortress,” added former Preston and Port Vale player Bogie, who signed Novak from UniBond League Newcastle Blue Star in September.
Telford reached the final with a tense 5-4 aggregate win over Alfreton.
Meanwhile Wakefield FC manager Ronnie Glavin says it’s unlikely the UniBond League club will have teenage Town striker Tom Denton back next season.
The 6ft 5in frontman returned to College Grove on loan in March having joined Town from Wakefield at the start of the campaign.
Unable to make the breakthrough at first-team level, he also had a loan spell at Woking before renewing his link with Glavin, whose side will also host a Town XI on July 11 (the same day as the Gateshead friendly).
Denton’s goals helped lift Wakefield, who also took Town defender Dan Codman on loan, to a final position of ninth in the UniBond First Division North.Related content
“I don’t think we’ll get Tom back next season,” said Glavin.
“I’d love to have him again but I think Huddersfield want him back.”