Josh Koroma’s first half strike follwed by goals from Ebou Adams and Josh Coulson were not enough to see the O’s through as Danny Johnson and Richard Peniket scored late in the second half to end the tie level.
Head Coach Justin Edinburgh made one change to the side who began the 1-0 victory at Chester on Tuesday night. Matt Harrold came in to partner Macauley Bonne in attack with Dan Holman making way.
Orient’s last meeting with Gateshead came at Brisbane Road in the National League on October 24th, where a Jordan Burrow brace saw the Heed return to Tyneside with all three points.
The hosts got this FA Trophy Quarter-Final underway and it was a quiet start with both sides trying to settle into a rhythm. Gateshead registered the first shot on goal when Scott Barrow curled a left-footed free kick wide of the mark.
With fifteen minutes played, Orient were yet to ask any serious questions of James Montgomery in the Gateshead goal. The visitors had enjoyed a spell on the front foot, but Orient were gradually getting into the match and using the wide areas to good effect.
On 22 minutes, the O’s came close to breaking the deadlock when James Brophy’s corner was met by the head of Craig Clay who saw his effort tipped over by Montgomery. Moments later, Josh Koroma and Jake Caprice combined nicely down the right side however the move came to nothing.
On the half hour mark, Orient carved out their best chance of the game with a quick counter attack. Koroma played the ball through to Bonne who fed Brophy in space on the left, he squared it to Bonne who saw his shot from the centre of the goal denied by a sprawling Montgomery. Then, Joe Widdowson was next to go close firing a fierce half-volley that was well saved by Montgomery once more.
After a decent spell of pressure, Orient succeeded in opening the scoring on 35 minutes. Koroma drove forward before taking aim from range and seeing his shot fly past Montgomery into the bottom left corner to put the O’s 1-0 ahead.
Five minutes later, a confident Koroma went close again when his cross was dropped on the goal line by Montgomery who managed to gather the ball at the second attempt. Orient finished the half in possession taking a narrow lead into the break.
Gateshead got the second half underway but Orient came out of the blocks with purpose as they looked to increase their slender advantage. On 52 minutes, the O’s positive start paid off when they doubled their lead courtesy of Ebou Adams. Caprice produced a delightful turn to evade his marker, before laying the ball into the path of Adams who struck sweetly beyond Montgomery from outside the box.
Four minutes later, the O’s notched a third goal when Koroma’s teasing free kick from the left was nodded home by Josh Coulson inside the six-yard box. In response, Gateshead made a double switch with Danny Johnson and Rees Greenwood coming on for Jordan Burrow and Wes York.
With the wind in their sails, Orient looked hungry for further goals. Koroma picked out Clay with a chipped pass but the latter fired his speculative effort harmlessly wide of the goal. However, on 68 minutes Gateshead pulled a goal back when Barrow’s cross found Johnson at the back post who smashed the ball past Dean Brill to give the visitors a lifeline.
On 72 minutes, Orient made their first change of the afternoon with goal scorer Adams being replaced by Alex Lawless in the centre of midfield. Then, Brill was called into action soon after when he reacted smartly to deny Richard Peniket as Gateshead looked to set up a tense finale.
They succeeded in doing exactly that when Johnson bagged his brace on 78 minutes to make it 3-2. He latched onto a through pass before rolling the ball low beyond Brill into the bottom corner to create a nervous final ten minutes.
Orient quickly made their second change of the match with David Mooney coming on for the impressive Koroma with nine minutes to play. Mooney got in on the action almost immediately when he fed the ball into Bonne who saw his effort saved by Montgomery.
Gateshead saw chances from Peniket and Johnson saved by Dean Brill but the former levelled the scoresin the 90th minute when he headed an early cross in to the back of he net to see the tie end 3-3 and go to a replay.
ORIENT: Brill, Caprice, Widdowson, Bonne, Coulson, Koroma (Mooney 81’), Clay, Harrold, Happe, Brophy, Adams (Lawless 72’).
SUBS: Grainger, Sotiriou, Reynolds.
GOALS: Koroma (35’), Adams (52’), Coulson (56’)
BOOKED: Widdowson (60’)
GATESHEAD: Montgomery, Vassell, Barrow, Kerr, Byrne, Peniket, Burrow (Johnson 57’), Preston, McLaughlin, Penn (McNall 88), York (Greenwood 57’).
SUBS: Hanford, Williams.
GOALS: Johnson (68’, 78’) Peniket (90′)
BOOKED: Johnson (60’), Peniket (90′)
REFEREE: Adrian Quelch
ATTENDANCE: 3,705 (65 Gateshead).