By Jack McGraghan
GATESHEAD picked up their first victory of the National League season with a 1-0 triumph over Guiseley at the International Stadium.
Captain Neill Byrne’s first goal for the club 53 minutes in proved enough to secure three points for Neil Aspin’s side.
The hosts made two changes to the side that lost at Woking on Saturday as Robbie Tinkler and new signing Callum Williams came in for Scott Barrow and Fraser Kerr.
Guiseley also made two changes to the side that drew 2-2 at home to Ebbsfleet United, with James Wesolowski and Raul Correia making way for Will Hatfield and Alex Purver.
The wet conditions contributed to a cagey opening 10 minutes at the Gateshead International Stadium as both sides looked to get a foothold on proceedings.
It took 12 minutes for Heed to have their first sight of goal as debutant Williams’ cross from the right-hand side was headed over by Jordan Burrow.
The Lions endeavoured to overcome their slow start to the game, and they thought they had done just that 14 minutes in when striker Reece Thompson turned in Connor Brown’s low cross only to see his goal disallowed for offside.
Jordan Preston emerged as Heed’s main threat in the latter stages of the opening 45 and perhaps should have opened the scoring after finding himself free on the right side of the box, but he could only volley into the side netting.
At the other end, Thompson found himself through on goal thanks to an awkward bounce on the wet surface, but similarly to Preston lacked composure and sliced his shot wide leaving the game goalless heading into the break.
The hosts’ early second-half pressure paid off as Paddy McLaughlin’s corner was headed into the top-right corner of Jonny Maxted’s net by summer signing Byrne, giving Heed the lead in a game where the first goal was always going to be crucial.
Adam Lockwood’s men went on the offensive after going a goal down and would have found an equaliser but for Theo Vassell’s crucial block at the far post midway through the second-half.
Gateshead substitute Richard Peniket almost doubled his side’s lead with five minutes to go only for a point-blank save from Maxted to stop his header from going in.
Guiseley threw on all three subs during the second period in an attempt to salvage a point but were unable to find their cutting edge and Heed secured their first win of the season.
Gateshead now go into Saturday’s home match against Torquay looking for another three points.
Gateshead: Montgomery; Vassell, Byrne (C), Williams, Fyfield (Mellish 69’), Tinkler, Penn, McLaughlin, Johnson (Peniket 77’), Burrow, Preston
Subs not used: Horsfall, Green, Harford (GK)
Goals: Byrne (53’)
Bookings: Fyfield (23’), Tinkler (40’)
Guiseley: Maxted; Brown, Lowe (C), Lawlor, Hurst (Mulhearn 59’), Hatfield, Thompson, Rooney (McFadzean 80’), Molyneux, Purver (Correia 72’), Williams
Subs not used: East, Atkinson
Bookings: Thompson (24’), Molyneux (82’), Lawlor (85’)
Referee: Glen Hart
Attendance: 629 (67 Guiseley)