By Jack McGraghan
Scott Boden’s brace – either side of Steve Rigg’s solo screamer – rounded off a comprehensive performance against 10-man Chesterfield to secure a second consecutive away victory for Gateshead.
The Heed made their first-half dominance count as Boden put them ahead after 18 minutes before the lead was doubled by a stunning solo effort from Rigg on the stroke of half-time.
Boden added the third against his former club shortly after Zavon Hines was sent off for the Spireites, ensuring three points returned to Tyneside.
Steve Watson made three changes from last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat against Braintree with Luke Molyneux, Mike Williamson and Olley replacing Cameron Salkeld, Elliot Forbes and JJ O’Donnell.
Gateshead came flying out of the blocks and got themselves on top within the first few minutes as Boden tested Shwan Jalal from Greg Olley’s cross, moments before returning captain Scott Barrow fired low into the goalkeeper’s palms from 25 yards.
The Heed didn’t have to wait long before they opened the scoring with a free-flowing move, starting on the right-wing with Robbie Tinkler and Molyneux before the ball was sent in towards former Spireite Boden who fired high into the net.
Chesterfield were sluggish throughout the opening 45 and gifted possession to their opponents on countless occasions, with Curtis Weston’s wayward 20-yarder their only sight of goal 26 minutes in.
The Heed needed to capitalise on their dominance with a second goal and they did just that on the stroke of half-time through a sensational solo strike from Rigg.
The striker picked up the ball just inside the Spireites’ half on the counter-attack and sped down the left-wing, slowing down only to beat two defenders as he cut inside and blasted into the top-right corner.
Aynsley Pears then ensured the hosts stayed off the scoresheet at half-time, reacting quickly to parry Thomas Denton’s close-range header wide.
Chesterfield made all three substitutes within 12 minutes of the restart in an effort to salvage something from the game, but unfortunately for Hines his appearance lasted just eight minutes before he was shown a straight red for a hefty challenge on Olley.
Boden capitalised on his side’s one-man advantage three minutes later, drifting into the box unmarked before tapping home Tinkler’s low cross to put the result beyond all doubt with his fourth of the season.
Rigg almost grabbed a brace for himself with 10 minutes remaining, beating the defensive line only to see his effort saved by Jalal one-on-one with Olley also seeing a strike from inside the box blocked by the goalkeeper.
Nevertheless, the Heed remained in control to secure a big three points at the Proact as Watson’s men impressed away from home once again.
Chesterfield (4-4-2): Jalal; Binnom-Williams, Nelson, Hollis, Talbot (c) (Weir, 45’); Smith, Reid (Kayode, 45’), Weston, Carter; Denton, Shaw (Hines, 57’).
Subs not used: Muggleton, Maguire.
Bookings: Weir (55’)
Sent off: Hines (65’)
Gateshead (3-5-2): Pears; Tinkler, Kerr, Williamson, Mellish, Barrow (c) (O’Donnell, 80’); White, Olley, Molyneux (Hunter, 56’); Boden, Rigg (Salkeld, 88’).
Subs not used: Foden, Forbes.
Goals: Boden (18’, 68’), Rigg (44’)
Referee: Simon Mather
Attendance: 4210 (99 Gateshead)
MOTM: Robbie Tinkler