Gateshead v Ilkeston Town
Ilkeston Town inflicted a first league defeat of the season on Gateshead with a 2-1 victory at the International Stadium on Saturday.
Gateshead made changes to the side that lost 3-1 to Vauxhall Motors with Bowey, Harwood, Salvin and Baxter all returning to the side.
The home side started the brighter of the two teams and it took just four minutes to break the deadlock as a Steve Bowey ball saw Jamie Harwood make good progress down the right before delivering a ball in to the box where Wayne Phillips was on hand to fire Gatehead in to the lead.
Despite being a goal down, Ilkeston were matching their high-flying opponents and on 17 minutes they were back in the game when Adam Muller was brought down by Peter Keen and the former Sheffield Wednesday striker fired the ball to Keen's right to level at 1-1.
Nine minutes later Keen was on the receiving end as an awful tackle on the Gateshead 'keeper went unpunished with the stopper able to continue after treatment.
With five minutes remaining before the interval, Gateshead had a glorious opportunity to take the lead when a good team move saw Craig Baxter cross to Bowey who saw his effort cleared off the line, only for a penalty to be awarded for a late challenge on the midfielder. Harwood was the man to step up but the winger saw his effort well saved by Ilkeston 'keeper Rene Gilmartin to keep the scores equal at half time.
Half Time 1-1
Gateshead started the second half on top as both Harwood and Davey Southern saw good efforts saved within the first five minutes of the half.
The Tynesiders best chance came from Wayne Phillips who crossed from the left for Harwood, who saw his close-range header look destined for the back of the net only for Gilmartin to expertly tip the ball over the bar for a corner.
As the half progressed, Gateshead began placing the visitors under pressure. However constant possession as well as four successive corners coming to nothing as Ilkeston gained in confidence and looked to exert their authroity on the game.
It was the visitors who performed a smash and grab raid on 72 minutes when a well delievered corner from the right saw Neil Ross power a header home to give the Derbyshire side a shock 2-1 lead.
Gateshead then had a chance to immediately pull level when a cross from the left saw James Curtis head towards goal, however the defender's effort crshed against the bar and cleared.
For all Gateshead's possession, the home side were again under-par throughout the 90 minutes and unable to break Ilkeston town down to fall to their first league defeat of the season and drop to fourth in the Unibond Premier Division with a game in hand over top side Witton Albion.
Gateshead: Keen, Baxter, Curtis, Salvin, Cave, Bowey (Hughes 72mins), McClen, Harwood, Phillips, Southern, Armstrong (Flynn 72).
Not used: Robson.