This intriguing FA Cup first-round tie was only taken to a replay thanks to a blush-saving 90th-minute equaliser from Oxford’s Daniel Rose, but as good as the League Two leaders have been on the road this season, conference side Gateshead’s form makes them the bet for an upset.
Gateshead are invitingly priced at 2/1 to overcome Oxford at the International Stadium, as the U’s make the trip north unsure about the future of their manager Chris Wilder, who has been cleared for talks with Portsmouth over their vacant manager position.
Added to this uncertainty, the 13/10 for an away win inside the 90 minutes looks more vulnerable as the U’s will be without defensive fixture Asa Hall, who is ineligible.
Those who see this tie going the distance again may settle for the 12/5 on a draw, however a flick through the Gateshead form book suggest the Tynesiders should be taken to advance to the second round to face Wrexham, without the need for extra time.
Three straight wins, with eight goals plundered in the process, have preceded this replay for Heed, while manager Gary Mills has only overseen a single defeat in the last 11 games contested.
Tellingly, five of those have been home wins and under the gaze of BT Sport’s TV cameras this represents a gilt-edged opportunity for the Tynsesiders to cause a mini shock.
If there is one Heed player who has what it takes to turn the tide the way of the underdogs then it’s one of the scorers from the first game at Oxford, James Marwood.
Marwood’s latest goal in the rout of Hednesford Town in the FA Trophy win, represented his seventh net-bulger in just nine appearances.
The 23-year-old is a toe-warming 3/1 shot to score anytime, but an absolute roaring fire of a price at 9/1 to open the scoring.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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