By Rory Drake
A late Scott Boden penalty and a first clean sheet of the season helped Gateshead to a 1-0 win against Maidstone to end a run of four games without a win.
Boden missed a penalty for Gateshead early on but redeemed himself when given a second attempt in the final moments of normal time.
Blair Turgott and JJ O’Donnell were both sent for an off the ball incident in the run up to the second penalty, O’Donnell being shown a second yellow.
Gateshead came into the game looking to bounce back from defeat at Halifax last weekend and nearly took the lead just seven minutes into the game when JJ O’Donnell crossed to find Steve Rigg at the far post, but his header was well tipped over by Lee Worgan in the Maidstone goal.
Moments later O’Donnell then weaved his way into the box and was went down under the challenge from Michee Efete. The referee pointed to the spot.
Boden stepped up and hit a shot low towards the bottom right hand corner, but Worgan guessed correctly and got down well to keep it out.
Gateshead remained on top and Rigg again came close to putting the Heed in front, creating an opening in the box before firing straight at the keeper.
Maidstone’s first real chance came 20 minutes into the game. Blair Turgott played in George McLennan on the left-hand side, but his shot was easy for Aynsley Pears to deal with.
Gateshead were still controlling the game and created another great opportunity in the 24th minute with Boden latching onto a loose ball, but he was unable to test Worgan, with the angle always against him.
Greg Olley then came close to giving Gateshead the lead. His freekick from the left went across the face of goal but was just missing a vital touch.
Tom White was next to try his luck for the Heed, cutting in from the left and fizzing a shot which Worgan fumbled, but the Maidstone keeper recovered just in time to deny Boden.
The second half took a while to really get going with neither team managing to create any real chances. Ollie Muldoon and Robbie Tinkler both tried their luck from range, but neither were able to find the target.
White had a chance to break the deadlock after 73 minutes but couldn’t find the target with his shot from close range.
Turgott then fired a scuffed effort from the edge of the box which went harmlessly wide.
Gateshead created the best chance of the half with White crossing to Boden at the far post, but the striker couldn’t direct his header past Worgan.
Tinkler then had the chance to put the Heed in front, but his header was straight at Worgan.
Gateshead were given a second penalty of the game in the 86th minute when Will de Haviland brought down Rigg in the box.
After the decision, Turgott and O’Donnell came together off the ball with both being dismissed.
Boden stepped up for the second time, but this time made no mistake and fired into the bottom left-hand corner.
The result saw Gateshead move up to 8th in the National League table, three points off leaders Wrexham going into Tuesday nigjnig match at home to fellow high flyers Harrogate.
Gateshead XI: Pears; Kerr, Tinkler ©, Mellish; Salkeld (Devitt 89), Hunter (Forbes 66), Olley, White, O’Donnell; Rigg, Boden
Subs not used: Foden, Thomson, Maloney
Goals: Boden (88)
Bookings: O’Donnell (52), Mellish (80)
Sendings Off: O’Donnell (87)
Maidstone United XI: Worgan ©, Efete (Loza 90+2), McLennan (Coker 63), de Haviland, Finney, Paxman (Quigley 89), Turgott, Mullings, Twumasi, Muldoon, Phillips
Subs not used: Wynter, Funnell
Bookings: Muldoon (31), Paxman (52), Finney (54)
Sendings Off: Turgott (87)
Referee: Daniel Middleton
Attendance: 564 (46 Maidstone)