By Matty Hewitt
Danny Rowe condemned Gateshead to their first defeat in October, stealing all three points at the very death.
It was a resolute performance on the road where the Heed were the better side for large parts of the game.
The hosts went close early on as Nick Houghton fired a rasping shot from 25-yards towards Aynsley Pears, who palmed his shot into the path of Danny Rowe but linesman Alex Gray raised his flag for offside.
They maintained their early pressure as Zaine Francis-Angol was sent to the byline and cut a shot back to Andy Bond, which Pears gathered at the second attempt.
Gateshead replied instantaneously with a half-chance of their own, good interplay between Greg Olley and Luke Armstrong saw the latter’s shot saved by Jay Lynch.
Referee Joe Hull then waved away the Heed’s protests for a penalty as Steve Rigg went to the floor under pressure at the back post.
In an action packed opening quarter of an hour Olley sent a curling effort inches wide of the Coasters goal after good work down the Heed’s left hand side.
Scott Barrow tried to open his goal scoring account for the season after 25 minutes with a low right footed drive that was held down low by Lynch.
Pears was then called into action moments later to punch Francis-Angol’s cross clear, but he could only clear into the path of Rowe who blazed over from just inside the box.
Barrow went close again after a driving run from Tom White, this time the skippers shot was deflected behind for a Gateshead corner which came to nothing.
White, who appeared to be at the centre of everything going forward for the Heed, danced his way into the Fylde box cutting the ball back to Olley who saw his shot blocked.
Rigg played a smart 1-2 to escape the marking of Neill Byrne, cutting inside and fired a shot down low which was saved by Lynch.
The Heed maintained their pressure as Olley intercepted Haughton’s loose pass, but the former Hull City man could only shoot wide under pressure.
Armstrong then outmuscled Ryan Tunnicliffe before cutting the ball back across to Rigg whose shot cannoned off the crossbar.
The second-half started in a similar fashion, first Barrow’s snapshot was blocked by Arlen Birch before Haughton’s 25-yard effort flew over the bar.
The Heed went close again just after the hour mark, Jack Hunter’s shot from the six yard box was blocked by Lynch following Armstrong’s cross.
Hunter went close again this time his volley whistled just wide of Lynch’s right hand post after quick thinking from a Barrow throw.
The coasters had a half chance with twenty minutes remaining as Serhat Tasdemir’s half volley went well over Pears’ bar.
Rowe then slid in Tasdemir in acres of space on the Heed box, driving into the area but Pears got down well to deny the substitute.
It was a back against the wall end to the game for the Tynesider’s, Fraser Kerr did well to block Joe Cardle’s shot before Pears got down well to the right to deny Haughton.
Substitute Scott Boden had a chance in the final moments before Francis-Angol was slipped in down the left hand side, found Rowe in space who slotted the ball into the bottom right hand corner.
A.F.C. Fylde XI: (4-3-3) Lynch, Francis-Angol, Byrne (C), Tunnicliffe, Bond, Croasdale, Rowe, Philliskirk, Birch (Tasdemir 70), Toure (Cardle 59), Haughton
Subs not used: Burke, Hemmings, Brewitt
Goals: Rowe 90+3
Bookings: Byrne 54
Gateshead XI: (5-3-2) Pears, Tinkler, Kerr, Williamson, Mellish, Barrow(C), White (Molyneux 81), Hunter, Olley, Rigg (Boden 74), Armstrong
Subs not used: Foden, Thomson, O’Donnell,
Bookings: Armstrong 45, Rigg 45
Referee: Joe Hull
Attendance: 1470 (42 Gateshead)
MOTM: Tom White