Gateshead 2 - 0 Buxton
Gateshead ensured they will play their football in the Conference North next season with a 2-0 win over Buxton at the International Stadium on Saturday.
Second half goals from Kris Gate and Paul Brayson were enough to see Gateshead promoted after a fantastic campaign that saw the club win eleven out of their last twelve games.
In a tense opening to the game it was clear that Buxton were going to provide a much sterner test than the previous two encounters however it was the hosts that created the first chance of note on 19 minutes when a Davey Southern freekick from the right found captain Steve Bowey in the area however the midfielder saw his shot sail just over the bar.
Two minutes later it was Phil Cave's turn to go close as he found space thirty yards from goal and hit an ambitious shot that was gathered at the second attempt by Hartley in the Buxton goal.
In a game where Gateshead were having the better of the possession and play Buxton were however showing resilience and organization that had been so lacking in the previous two recent meetings between the sides.
Seven minutes before the break Gateshead nearly took the lead when a James Curtis ball found Brayson in the box and the striker did brilliantly to turn two defenders and pick out Southern at the back post however the forward's header was deflected wide at the last possible moment to ensure the score remained goalless at the interval.
Half time: 0-0
Gateshead were out of the blocks a lot quicker after half time and nearly got off to the best possible start in the opening moments when a Southern freekick saw defender Carl Jones in the area and the former York City man saw his header cleared off the line.
Four minutes later and Gateshead were ahead when Jones found space and ran the length of the Buxton half before playing the ball to Kris Gate who showed quick feet to dribble past two players and slot home to give the Tynesiders the advantage.
Buxton were showing little as an attacking threat but could have equalized on 68 minutes when substitute Mark Lees found himself free in the box but his shot was well parried by Paul Musselwhite and cleared to safety by Curtis.
On 75 minutes Steve Salvin replaced the excellent Phil Tunrbull and his impact was almost instantaneous as a 79th minute interception and ball upfield was pounced upon by Brayson who found himself one on one before cooly slotting the ball in to the roof of the net to put Gateshead on the brink.
With eight minutes to go Gateshead could have sealed the win when a Southern curler looked destined for the top corner only for Hartley to pull off a terrific save.
Gateshead should have made it thee in the dying moments when good work from Brayson and Gate saw substitute Wayne Phillips through on goal however the winger's shot was too tame to threaten the goal.
Following four minutes of injury time the referee finally blew his whistle to begin scenes of jubilation for the majority in the stadium as Ian Bogie's men deservedly achieved promotion to the Conference North.
Full time: 2-0
Gateshead: Musselwhite, Baxter, Cave, Jones, Curtis, Bowey, Gate, Turnbull (Salvin 75mins), Southern (Harwood 86mins), Armstrong (Phillips 68mins), Brayson