Gateshead 2-1 Crawley Town
A Daryl Clare and Kris Gate double act saw Gateshead complete the double over Crawley Town - though the Tynesiders left it late.
The depleted Reds, looking for a rare away win, led from the half hour until Gateshead, galvanised by reverting to a more familiar 4-4-2 formation, scored twice in four minutes.
Gate's mazy run provided the 73rd minute equaliser for Clare - the strikers sixth goal in four league games - and Clare returned the compliment when he set up Gate's winner.
It was an important win for Gateshead in their fight to pull away from the relegation zone and manager Ian Bogie believed it was a fully merited three points.
"We started well and had chances but were then set back when Crawley scored in virtually their first real threat on goal. The lads lost a bit of belief and the natives got restless.
"We needed a bit of magic as it wasn't happening for us and we then scored two great goals from Clare and Gate who both had a big say in the game."
"There was a lot of character shown and we played with pace and poise, particularly when we switched the system with half an hour to go."
"It was a real captains performance from Gate and a master class from Clare who held the ball up and played people in brilliantly.
"It was like a cup tie, end to end, but while we left it late there is no doubt we deserved all three points."
Gate could have given Gateshead the lead after just 49 seconds when played in by Peter Winn but Simon Rayner advanced to make a crucial block.
A patched up Crawley weathered the early storm though on loan Blackburn Rovers winger Andy Haworth blazed over from the edge of the box after play had opened up for the 21 year old.
Crawley hadn't shown much but they gave a warning when Lewis killeen's chest down saw Ben Smith's 14 yard drive clip the outside of the post.
It was the Reds first threat and they were in front eight minutes later.
Glenn Wilson's ball in from the right saw Michael Malcolm sidestep Darren Williams to fire into the roof of the net from just inside the box.
Within a minute the lively Gate had another chance from Eddie Hutchinson's miscued clearance but was unable to hit the unguarded goal from distance.
Clare failed to make the most of time and space early in the second half from Craig Baxter's cross when he miscued an attempted sideways volley.
Paul Farman meanwhile had to save well from Malcolm's driven 30 yard free kick at the other end.
Gateshead were struggling to create chances with Clare isolated up front, but they were given extra momentum when the fit again Steven Richardson returned to the fray for the final half hour.
On loan debutant Clark Keltie's volley from the edge of the box from Winn's cross brought a diving save from Rayner - but the equaliser was not long in coming.
A brilliant Gate run took him past several Reds players and, eventually crowded out in the box, he hooked the ball to the unmarked Clare who made no mistake.
A superbly weighted pass from Clare then provided Gate with the 77th minute winner to leave Crawley boss Steve Evans, still serving a touchline ban, infuriated.
"There was only team trying to place in the first half," claimed Evans "but fairplay to Gateshead, they took the chances that came their way."
"Clare's goal was three yards offside and it's hard when decisions like that go against you, but we were without seven players today and it was a fantastic effort."
"Gateshead have beaten Crawley Town reserves. We face a seven hour trip home but have to dust ourselves down to face the leaders, Oxford United, on Tuesday."
Gateshead: Farman, Baxter, Cave, Gate, Curtis, Williams, Haworth, Turnbull (Richardson 64m), Keltie, Clare, Winn (Phillips 72m)
Subs: (not used) Provett (gk), Swailes, One
Referee: Tony Harrington (Durham)
By Jeff Bowron
Daryl Clare scores Gateshead's 73rd minute equaliser against Crawley Town. Photo: Martin Avery
Gateshead captain Kris Gate sinks the Reds with a late winner at the International Stadium. Photo: Martin Avery