Bath City 4-2 Gateshead
Gateshead's play-off hopes in the Blue Square Bet Premier were sunk at already relegated Bath City.
What should have been the first of three 'cup finals' ended up more like an extra preliminary round tie as the Romans romped into a three goal lead inside 13 minutes.
Bottom of the table since August beleaguered Bath couldn't believe their luck as Gateshead capitulated in spectacular fashion.
The Heed had hoped to take their promotion campaign into the final week but their play-off dreams are now in tatters.
Wins in the last two games, however, will earn a creditable 7th place finish.
Bath added a fourth goal early in the second half before Gateshead rallied to pull two goals back late in the game through Micky Cummins and sub Liam Hatch.
Manager Ian Bogie could not hide his disappointment after the Romans had romped to a shock win and a rare success at Twerton Park.
"Bath scored in their first three attacks," said Bogie "poor defending cost us and it was a bitterly disappointing performance.
"Everything that could go wrong went wrong. We won the second half but it was too little too late and it was nowhere near good enough.
"Bath may be relegated but they deserved to win the game, and could have done so by a bigger margin. To be three down after 13 minutes finished the game.
"We've now got to put this behind us and finish the season on a high note with wins over Luton and Telford."
Bath had lost eight of their previous nine home games but unbelievably produced a stunning three card trick to leave The Heed shell-shocked.
Jon Shaw had an early back post header deflected wide but after that it was all Bath in the first half as the Romans laid siege on the Gateshead goal.
Adam Connolly volleyed into the ground for the opening goal and then captain Ben Clark hauled back Marley Watkins inside the box.
Marc Canham drilled home the spot kick and it was three when an Andy Gallinagh rocket beat Tim Deasy for a third time.
Sean Canham should have made it four when left one-on-one with Deasy but shot into the side netting.
Yemi Odubade's driven cross just evaded Josh Gillies before Bogie replaced the youngster and Craig Baxter before the half hour.
Scott Murray was almost in on goal following a ball over the top as Bath again threatened before Hatch headed across goal.
Shaw elected to lay the ball off for Alan O'Brien rather than shoot and the winger shot over the bar.
Gateshead's shell-shocked players were sent back out for the second half early after a few choice words from Bogie.
Murray's deflected shot was saved by Deasy before the winger's cross was headed home by Sean Canham to increase the misery for the travelling Heed Army, many in fancy dress.
Shaw's scissor kick lacked the power to beat City keeper Glyn Garner but with O'Brien becoming influential the Heed were at last on the front foot.
It was O'Brien whose low cross was dispatched by Cummins on 72 minutes, the midfielder's 12th goal of the season.
It was 4-2 nine minutes later when Hatch slid home another O'Brien cross as Gateshead built up a head of steam.
Unfortunately it was not enough and Bogie will now look to lift his side for the visit of play-off chasing Luton Town on Tuesday.
Bath City: Garner, Simpson, Jones (Rollo 52), Preece, Gallinagh, Murray (Hogg 80), Connolly, M.Canham, Watkins, Russell, S.Canham (Smith 61)
Subs (not used): Stonehouse, Cook
Goals: Connolly (4), M.Canham-pen (7), Gallinagh (13), S.Canham (55)
Gateshead: Deasy, Baxter (Odhiambo 27), Rents, Gate, Dummett, Clark, O'Brien, Gillies (Hatch 27), Shaw, Odubade, Cummins
Subs (not used): Farman, Marwood
Goals: Cummins (72), Hatch (79)
Referee: Steve Bratt (Walsall)
Gateshead question the penalty decision
Tim Deasy is beaten from the spot. Photos by Simon Howe.