Gateshead 3-0 Eastbourne Borough
A first half brace from striker Graeme Armstrong and a late goal from Phil Turnbull gave Gateshead an emphatic, and deserved victory over Eastbourne Borough at the International Stadium.
A scintillating opening half hour in which Gateshead had 11 attempts at goal, scored twice and tore the Borough defence apart was enough to clinch a second home win.
Eastbourne hit back after the break forcing Gateshead to abandon their passing game in favour of the long ball, but Paul Farman's goal was well protected.
Turnbull's strike six minutes from time was the home side's first effort at goal in the second half and the midfielder almost made it four on the whistle with an angled shot that was curled inches wide of the far post..
With their five nearest rivals in distress all losing, four of them heavily, Gateshead moved out of the bottom four ahead of Saturday's home game against rock bottom Chester City.
"After the disappointment of having a point docked for the non-completion of the game against Hayes & Yeading last month, this was the perfect response," said manager Ian Bogie.
"We were excellent in the first half and Eastbourne could have had no complaint if they had been three or four down at the interval.
"Armstrong was rewarded for his hard work and endeavour with two goals and we were a constant threat as we poured forward.
"We were unable to maintain that tempo after the break but defended very well. The result was all important and with other results going our way it has been a good day."
"It is important we now build on this result with another win against Chester on Saturday."
The opening half hour was a return to the swashbuckling style witnessed during the past two promotion seasons, and south coast visitors Eastbourne had no answer.
Phil Cave had already had a shot from outside the box turned past the post by Michael Jordan when Gateshead scored twice in four minutes.
Armstrong broke the deadlock in the 13th minute when he drilled a low shot into the net from a Craig Baxter cross, despite the attention of two defenders.
The front man then converted a Michael Mackay cross four minutes later with a first time shot that bounced on the ground to loop over Jordan.
Only a flying Jordan save kept out a powerful Chris Swailes header from a Baxter free kick as Gateshead threatened to put the game to bed.
Eastbourne rarely threatened, though Jamie Taylor might have made more of time and space on the left side of the box just before the interval.
Gateshead spent long periods in their own half after the restart but generally kept Borough at arms length.
Dan Smith had a shot deflected narrowly wide while central defender Gary Elphick had a header ruled out for climbing on a defender in the 64th minute.
The only goal of the half went to Gateshead when Wayne Phillips and captain Kris Gate combined for Turnbull to find the far bottom corner.
Substitute Darren Forsyth then shot wide from the edge of the box and then Turnbull then curled an angled drive inches wide in the last minute
Gateshead: Farman, Williams, Cave, Gate, Curtis, Swailes, Baxter (Francis 68m), Turnbull, Armstrong (Forsyth 75m), Mackay (McDermott 88m), Phillips
Subs (not used): Provett (gk), Robinson
Goals: (Armstrong (13,17), Turnbull (84)
Referee: Matt Joyce (Middlesbrough)
By Jeff Bowron