Wrexham 2-1 Gateshead
Micky Cummins marked his return to the side after injury with a first half goal at Wrexham but it wasn't enough to avoid a narrow defeat in North Wales.
Cummins' 20th minute header cancelled out Mathias Pogba's early opener but Danny Wright scored the winner ten minutes from half-time.
Gateshead, who incredibly scored seven goals on their last visit to the Racecourse Ground in February, dominated possession after the break but couldn't find an equaliser.
The Tynesiders forced two corners in the first 90 seconds of the game but then found themselves behind in the 3rd minute.
Eddie Odhiambo deflected a Joe Clarke pass into the path of Pogba and the Frenchman made the most of his good fortune.
Wright could have made it two but headed a Clarke cross straight at Tim Deasy and then Lee Fowler was just wide as the Red Dragons piled on the pressure.
It was The Heed, however, who were next to score when Ben Clark swung a ball to the back post where Cummins scored a good header from a tight angle.
It was the first goal Wrexham had conceded from open play in the league since the beginning of October when Kris Gate breached the meanest defence in the Conference.
James Curtis headed wide from a Josh Gillies corner while a Neil Ashton corner at the other end was just scrambled away.
Pogba headed over in another home raid while Jon Shaw shot straight at Joslain Mayebi as both sides were a threat going forward.
The match winning goal ten minutes from the break was set up by Curtis Obeng who went past Sam Rents on the right.
The full back's cross to the back post picked out Jake Speight who headed back across goal for Wright to stoop and score from close in.
Kris Gate fizzed a long range effort just wide with Mayebi struggling and Gateshead kept their table-topping hosts on the back foot for much of the second period.
However, the precautionary withdrawal of Shaw at the break with a groin complaint was a big blow to hopes of getting back into the game.
Gary Mulligan deputised and Martin Brittain and James Marwood were soon introduced in an attempt to give the side more potency out wide.
Gate was one of those replaced after he took a knock on the ankle following a heavy challenge in midfield, Gillies the other.
Gillies had an early effort deflected over the bar and Chris Moore's free kick from distance was well struck but straight at Mayebi.
Wrexham offered little and were content to sit on their lead though another Ashton corner caused problems in the Heed defence.
Clark was just wide from outside the box as Gateshead applied pressure without ever really testing Mayebi.
Clark and Curtis were rocks at the back while Phil Turnbull pulled the strings in midfield but the Tynesiders were disappointing out wide and too often the final ball was lacking.
As Bogie's men pushed on they left themselves exposed at the back and the Red Dragons could have added a third late on.
Jay Harris fired over from Obeng's lay-off while Jamie Tolley's corner was flicked on and Deasy had to pull off a fine reaction save from Clarke.
A Brittain corner in injury time caused consternation in the home ranks but the Welshmen held on to claim the victory they needed to remain top at Christmas.
It also stretched Andy Morrell's side's unbeaten run in the Conference to 12 games despite having only 40% of possession against a plucky Gateshead.
Wrexham: Mayebi, Obeng, Knight-Percival, Creighton, Ashton, Harris, Clarke, Fowler (Tolley 58), Wright, Speight (Cieslewicz 76), Pogba.
Subs (not used): Maxwell (gk), Little, Westwood.
Goals: Pogba (3), Wright (35)
Gateshead: Deasy, Odhiambo, Rents, Gate (Marwood 64), Curtis, Clark, Moore, Turnbull, Shaw (Mulligan 46), Gillies (Brittain 61), Cummins.
Subs (not used): Alnwick (gk), Baxter
Goal: Cummins (20)
Referee: Jez Simpson (Lancaster)
Ben Clark defends
Gateshead celebrate Micky Cummins goal
Sam Rents defends against Curtis Obeng
James Curtis and Ben Clark appeal for a penalty
Tim Deasy and James Marwood look to clear the ball. Photos by Les Evans / Wrexham FC.