Lincoln City 1-0 Gateshead
Gateshead last met Lincoln City at Sincil Bank three decades ago and suffered a single goal heartbreak.
That was back in 1980, an FA Cup 1st round tie in which Gateshead, bottom of the Northern Premier League, were rank outsiders against their Football League hosts.
Fast forward 31 years and the Heed class of 2011 headed to Lincolnshire on equal playing terms with the fallen Imps.
Not only that but Ian Bogie's men were favourites to extend their lead at the top of the Blue Square Bet Premier against third bottom Lincoln.
Bogie, however, expected a tough night and got exactly that, though both managers acknowledged Gateshead should have got something out of the game.
That they didn't was due to a 77th minute headed winner by Imps midfield man Ali Fuseini as the Tynesiders were consigned to another 1-0 defeat at Sincil Bank.
That left Gateshead in a four way tie at the top of the Blue Square Bet Premier instead of outright leaders.
The result also gave struggling Lincoln City their first home win since March in front of their lowest crowd for a decade.
It was a setback for the Tynesiders who were denied by the woodwork and Imps keeper Joe Anyon in the second half as they failed to score for the first time.
Gateshead defended stoically in the first 45 minutes at Sincil Bank but struggled to work Anyon in the home goal.
Yemi Odubade came closest when he burst into the box past two defenders early on only for Anyon to make a brave save.
With Lincoln matching Gateshead's 4-3-3 formation an open half ensued with the home side having far more attempts at goal without over troubling Paul Farman.
Farman did well to force Gavin McCallum wide, the winger's shot headed clear near the line by long serving defender James Curtis.
The Heed forced three consecutive corners without making a breakthrough, Odubade then off target with an overhead kick.
Farman saved comfortably from Alan Power and Josh Gowling, the shot-shy Imps having scored only two goals in their previous four home games.
The first half ended goalless but it was Gateshead who almost drew first blood straight after the break.
Chris Carruthers' inswinging corner was met by the head of Micky Cummins whose effort came back off the bar.
Jon Shaw's lay-off then found Cummins whose shot, while not lacking power, was straight at Anyon.
Fuseini volleyed well wide for Lincoln after a Power free kick had been cleared before left back Carruthers, already booked, was replaced by Sam Rents.
Gateshead then applied pressure that saw Odubade's shot deflected over, Anyon at full stretch from the resultant corner.
While 15 points and 20 places separated the two sides Lincoln, relegated from League Two last season, were hanging in determinedly.
Only a great save from Anyon denied Josh Gillies, again lively, who checked inside to hammer goalwards only for Anyon to prove an impenetrable last line of defence.
As the Heed searched for a fourth away win they were caught by a sucker punch 13 minutes from time.
John Nutter's cross saw Fuseini rise to head past Farman to give Lincoln the lead against the run of play, Shaw then firing inches over as Gateshead just pulled up short.
The Heed are now locked on 20 points at the head of the table with unbeaten Luton Town, Wrexham, and in-form Fleetwood.
Bogie's men will now look to improve on a record of one point from the last nine at lowly Hayes & Yeading on Saturday.
Lincoln City: Anyon, Sinclair, Hone, Gowling, Nutter, Power, Fuseini, Christophe, Russell, Perry (Smith 67), McCallum (Barraclough 82 )
Subs (not used): Watts, Nicolau, O'Keefe
Goal: Fuseini (77)
Gateshead: Farman, Odhiambo, Carruthers (Rents 60), Gate (Nix 69), Curtis, Clark, Gillies, Turnbull, Shaw, Odubade, Cummins (Mulligan 85)
Subs (not used): Fisher, Alnwick (gk)
Bookings: Carruthers (31), Turnbull (34)
Referee: Mike Bull (Essex)
Yemi Odubade. Photos courtesy of Lincoln City FC.