Gateshead 2-0 Alfreton Town
Gateshead continue to blaze a trail with Wrexham at the top of the Blue Square Bet Premier after a Kris Gate double gave the unbeaten Tynesiders victory over Alfreton Town at the International Stadium.
Chris Moore's ability to run at defenders and Gate's desire to get into the box proved decisive as Gateshead made it six wins from seven.
Just as against Grimsby Town in the previous home game Gateshead were slow out of the blocks and second best in the opening 45 minutes.
The high flying Heed, however, were again much improved after the break, going on to record another win and clean sheet.
Moore was the spark, creating both goals, as Alfreton paid the price for not making their first half superiority count.
Gateshead had started the game at a high tempo, Dan Lowson saving from Moore in the 2nd minute after the winger had been put in by Micky Cummins.
Cummins then had a shot deflected wide from Moore's cut back and from Moore's resultant corner Jon Shaw got in front of his man only to glance a header wide.
It had been a blistering start but the Reds weathered the storm and had few other anxieties in the opening 45 minutes, though a great ball in from Eddie Odhiambo had to be scrambled clear.
At the other end Nathan Jarman ran on to a ball over the top and rounded Paul Farman but, forced wide, the striker snatched at his shot as defenders got back to cover and miscued horribly wide.
A mix-up between Sam Rents and Ben Clark then saw Leigh Franks' throw in rebound off Rents back to send Chris Senior away on goal.
Senior's shot was saved by Farman at his near post, Franks' corner half cleared to Anton Brown whose shot was deflected just over the bar.
Gateshead were struggling to get their game together and Levi Mackin was next to have a shot at goal before Clark slipped as he shot at the Reds goal and the effort was deflected wide.
Gateshead had inevitably met a red wall when in possession and with the midfield unable to dictate it was left to central defenders Clark and James Curtis to drive forward.
Too often the Heed went long and Alfreton, on the back of good results at Darlington and York, were in the mood to cause another upset and comfortable.
As the rain came down in the second half Franks was lucky not
to receive a straight red just three seconds in for a lunging tackle from behind on Moore, instead receiving a caution.
Senior was then given time and space to shoot wide from 23 yards but it was clear Gateshead had stepped up their play following Ian Bogie's half-time team talk.
Rents' inviting cross just evaded Blue Square Bet Premier Player of the Month Jon Shaw, Yemi Odubade then shooting narrowly wide of the far post.
Alfreton had successfully denied Gateshead space but when they failed to close down Moore they were punished on the hour.
Moore was allowed to run at the heart of the Reds defence and unleashed a 22 yard shot that, while not lacking power, was straight at Lowson.
The former Blyth Spartans keeper, however, fumbled the shot and Gate, who had followed in well, just had time to knock the rebound into the far corner.
A Phil Turnbull foul on Jarman just outside the left side of the box saw Alfreton almost level three minutes later.
Jamie Mullan's free kick came back off the bar and Mullan then had a great chance from Senior's pass but blasted over as Farman advanced.
Odhiambo's run into the right side of the box saw Shaw crowded out before Gate's second of the game nine minutes from time put the game to bed.
Again Moore did the damage, easing past Franks to pull the ball back from the by-line to Gate whose shot thundered into the net off the underside of the bar.
The Heed Army were once again sent home happy, Gateshead keeping another clean sheet and picking up maximum points as they remain level on points at the top with Wrexham.
Gateshead: Farman, Odhiambo, Rents, Gate, Curtis, Clark, Moore, Turnbull, Shaw, Odubade, Cummins
Subs (not used): Deasy (gk), Fisher, Mulligan, Gillies, Carruthers
Goals: Gate (60, 81)
Booking: Odhiambo (90)
Alfreton Town: Lowson, Franklin, Streete, Young, Wilson, Brown (Brogan 55), Senior, Franks, Jarman (Ellison 75), Mackin, Mullan (Holdsworth 83)
Booking: Franks (46)
Referee: Jez Simpson (Lancaster)
Gateshead Celebrate Victory. Photos by Simon Barclay www.sbsportsphotos.com.