Ebbsfleet United 0-1 Gateshead
Gateshead bounced back from the midweek defeat against promotion rivals Wrexham with victory in Kent to return to the top of the table.
The Tynesiders recorded their first clean sheet for eight games and it was on loan Newcastle United defender Jeff Henderson who was the Heed's goalscoring hero.
The teenager powered home a header from Josh Gillies' 40th minute corner to give Gateshead their 5th away win from seven games on the road.
Courageous fellow centre back James Curtis twice had to leave the field with blood flowing from two separate head wounds, one above each eye.
A bandaged Curtis epitomised the Heed spirit as he returned to the fray, bloodied but unbowed, after ten minutes of treatment in the first half.
Manager Ian Bogie's decision to field a new back four was fully vindicated, and when the Fleet did threaten Paul Farman proved a formidable last line of defence.
Michael West and Craig Stone had two early efforts off target and then Yemi Odubade set up Micky Cummins only for Fleet keeper Preston Edwards to make a smart save.
Cummins' downward header failed to trouble Edwards while West was well wide from distance as Farman back -tracked after his clearance had struck Callum Willock.
It had been a lively opening but the game soon settled down, Gateshead playing the football and lowly Ebbsfleet employing a more direct approach.
It took a timely challenge from Curtis to stop Willock from pulling the trigger on the edge of the box.
With Gateshead temporarily down to ten men Kris Gate fired over from 20 yards from the recalled Craig Baxter's cross.
Still a man light, Farman had to tip a Tom Phipp shot over the bar and then denied the same player with a full length save.
With a bandaged Curtis back in the fold Gateshead grabbed the all important goal five minutes from half-time at Stonebridge Road.
Gillies swung in a corner that saw Magpie Henderson find the net with a header and the Tynesiders protected their lead without too much trouble.
Gillies had a shot deflected wide after the break and Jon Shaw threatened before Fleet captain Paul Lorraine made a brilliant recovery inside the box.
Gate then glanced a header just wide in the 74th minute as Ebbsfleet struggled to create openings against a solid Heed outfit.
The table-topping Tynesiders now have a free week to prepare for their crunch game at big-hitters, and promotion rivals, Luton Town next weekend.
Ebbsfleet United: Edwards Lorraine, Simpemba, Mambo Stone, Marwa (Ginty 72), Phipp, Howe, Herd (Azeez 46), West, Willock
Subs (not used): Welch, Fakinos, Stavrinou
Gateshead: Farman, Baxter, Carruthers, Gate, Curtis, Henderson, Gillies (Fisher 83), Turnbull, Shaw, Odubade (Brittain 90), Cummins
Subs (not used): Alnwick (gk), Odhiambo, Rents
Goal: Henderson (40)
Bookings: Carruthers, Fisher
Referee: Warren Atkin (Sussex)
Paul Farman. Photos by Paul Jarvis.