Luton Town 5-1 Gateshead
Gateshead boss Ian Bogie has urged his side to bounce back at home to in-form Southport on Tuesday after they took a pounding at Kenilworth Road.
The Heed slipped to their heaviest defeat of the season - only their fourth - after having the better of the opening half hour and are now 5th in the table, level on points with Luton.
A Paul Farman error gave the Hatters a leg up in the 34th minute when the Tynesiders keeper picked up a Chris Carruthers back pass.
Jake Howells capitalised and then crucially added a second on the stroke of half-time to leave the cards firmly stacked against Bogie's men.
Three goals in the last 20 minutes sealed Gateshead's feat, Jon Shaw scoring his 14th of the season for the visitors solitary reply.
Midfield man Micky Cummins had earlier struck the underside of the bar with the game goalless and other chances went begging for the Heed.
Josh Gillies, the latest Heed player to suffer a head wound, and Kris Gate spurned early chances and then Craig Baxter cleared off the line at the other end from Robbie Willmott's corner.
Luton suffered a setback when top scorer Amari Morgan-Smith limped off - but they made light of the striker's absence.
Gateshead, however, acquitted themselves well in the opening third of the game, but, unlike Luton, didn't take the chances that came their way.
Baxter fed Shaw whose shot on the turn lacked power and then Cummins was unlucky to see his 26th minute header come back off the bar.
James Curtis had provided the cross and Gillies then had two attempts, without success, to fire home the loose ball.
Farman had had little to do but made fine saves from Curtis Osano and Keith Keane as the action hotted up.
Farman, however, gifted Luton a free kick inside the box which Howells dispatched after the ball had been rolled to him by Stuart Fleetwood.
The Heed had played well and Yemi Odubade had a low drive saved by Tyler after more good work down the left from Carruthers.
Baxter's cross then evaded Odubade but fell invitingly for Shaw inside the box but his downward volley was again saved by Tyler.
Immediately the Hatters counter-attacked through Shane Blackett who then found sub Aaron O'Connor.
The striker then set up the onrushing Howells who again finished well to leave Gateshead with the proverbial mountain to climb.
George Pilkington could have made it three after the break but the defender put his header wide.
Gillies was forced off with a cut to the head that required nine stitches and then Shaw's weak header was easily saved and Gate's goalbound shot blocked.
O'Connor's 70th minute near post header from lively sub John Paul kissock's corner put the game to bed in front of a bumper 6,285 crowd at Kenilworth Road - Luton's second largest of the season.
Shaw replied with a good header from Martin Brittain's free kick to give the Tynesiders some hope with 13 minutes left.
But there was more misery to follow in the closing stages as defensive midfielder Jamie Hand came off the bench to score twice for Luton.
Kissock got the better of Baxter on the right for the first with Keane's dummy allowing Hand to sweep home the Hatters fourth.
Hand, who had been dropped for the first time, then hit a superb volley into the roof of the net in stoppage time to complete a miserable afternoon for Gateshead.
Luton Town: Tyler; Osano, G. Pilkington, Kovacs, Blackett; Willmott (Kissock 60), Keane, Dance, Howells; Morgan-Smith (O'Connor 12) (Hand 76), Fleetwood.
Subs (not used): K.Pilkington (gk), Watkins
Goals: Howells (34, 44), O'Connnor (70), Hand (79, 90+2)
Bookings: O'Connor, Hand
Gateshead: Farman, Baxter, Carruthers, Gate, Curtis, Henderson, Gillies (Fisher 58), Turnbull, Shaw, Odubade(Nix 83) Cummins (Brittain 66)
Subs (not used): Alnwick (gk), Odhiambo
Goal: Shaw (77)
Bookings: Shaw, Turnbull
Referee: Rob Whitton (Essex)
James Curtis and Phil Turnbull
Josh Gillies. Photos by Gareth Owen, LTFC.