Gatesehad 2-1 Salisbury City
Gateshead fans went home happy for the first time this season after a maiden win on home soil was achieved against Salisbury City.
After a string of disappointing performances and results there was much more purpose from a new look line up which involved a switch to a 4-3-3 formation in the first half.
Manager Ian Bogie switched it again tactically at half-time with Wayne Phillips introduced to add more width at the expense of Christoph Ascherl.
The much needed win took Gateshead out of the bottom four ahead of Tuesday's trip to Chester City and lifted the gloom at the International Stadium.
"It was a very important win," said Bogie "we created plenty of chances and defended much better, but the main thing was to get the three points.
"It was a good reaction from the players after the poor display at Kettering in midweek, and we've now got to go to Chester and get something.
"I sensed the players had the bit between their teeth before the game. We scored two cracking goals and the win is a weight off our shoulders.
"At 2-1 the game was on a knife edge but we would have scored more goals but for the brilliance of Salisbury keeper James Bittner and the woodwork."
Gateshead started with real purpose and took an 8th minute lead through captain Kris Gate who finished off a well worked move.
Michael Mackay found Richardson on the right and the Gateshead-born front man skipped past Darrell Clarke to whip in a low ball that Gate flicked into the bottom corner.
One of several measured long balls from Phil Turnbull then saw Richardson cut inside to curl a shot inches past the far post from a tight angle.
Only a crucial tackle from James Curtis prevented a goalscoring opportunity for Robbie Sinclair at the other end as Salisbury hit back.
Danny Webb, later to be sent off, then rose above Stephane Pelonde to head just wide as both sides attacked at will in an open game.
Armand One headed a hanging Mark Robinson cross over the bar, while a ball over the top from Gate saw Bittner race out of his penalty area to deny Mackay.
The clearance however only went as far as Richardson whose first time 35 yard shot from out wide was well off target with the goal unguarded.
Richardson was not to be denied and when Gate's cross was only half cleared the 23 year old drilled a powerful left foot drive from outside the box into the bottom corner.
It was a stunning strike, Richardson's first of the season, and Phillips and One had half chances to stretch the lead further early in the second half.
In between, Pelonde's header sent Mackay clear but Bittner threw himself to his right to tip the ball past the post, and within two minutes the Whites were back in the game.
A free kick into the box saw stand in central defender Pelonde handle and Matt Tubbs gave Jim Provett no chance from the penalty spot.
Gate then made an excellent block from Clarke's goalbound shot, and a surging run from Chris Flood was only ended by a trip from Phil Turnbull.
Before that only another top drawer save from Bittner kept Gateshead at bay as Curtis' header from Turnbull's corner was heading towards the top corner.
One then exchanged passes with Gate but was denied his first goal for Gateshead when Bittner spread himself to save at the near post.
Webb was sent off for a second yellow in the 76th minute after catching Pelonde in the face and Gateshead almost made it three when Craig Baxter's deflected free kick crashed against the bar.
It had been a much improved display from the Tynesiders - one they must now build on - and Salisbury's Geordie coach Tommy Widdrington had no complaints.
"It was an excellent surface and good conditions so we can have no excuse," said Widdrington "we didn't show enough and were beaten fair and square on the day.
"The damage was done early on. Not many players did their job, Gateshead were better than us and showed us how to play football."
Gateshead: Provett, Baxter, Robinson, Gate, Curtis, Pelonde 7, Ascherl (Phillips 45m), Turnbull (McDermott 84m), One (Armstrong 78), Richardson, Mackay
Subs; (not used) Farman (gk), Francis
By Jeff Bowron
Captain Kris Gate fires Gateshead ahead after eight minutes against Salisbury City at the International Stadium. Pic. by Martin Avery.