By Rory Drake
STEVE Rigg’s ninth goal of the season wasn’t enough as Gateshead were denied by a last gasp Wrexham goal at the International Stadium.
Rigg put Gateshead ahead just before half-time with his third goal in two games and the Heed looked like seeing the game out, before Cole Stockton’s late equaliser.
Wrexham came into the game top of the league, but Gateshead came into the game still unbeaten under new manager Ben Clark.
Gateshead started brightly and had an early chance to take the lead when Conor Thomson cut back and found Greg Olley in the box, Olley played in Robbie Tinkler, whose shot from 20-yards was blocked by James Jennings.
10 minutes in, Gateshead came close again. Tinkler’s cross from the right fell for Scott Barrow, who shot from a tight angle and could only find the side netting.
Wrexham’s first real chance came 27 minutes in, Gateshead failed to clear a Luke Young corner and a Rigg miskick saw the ball fall nicely for Wrexham, but Young and Ben Tollitt both went for the ball and Aynsley Pears was alert to claim it.
Gateshead took the lead five minutes before half time when Olley slipped in Rigg, who clipped the ball over Dibble before heading it in.
The second half started at a good tempo, with both teams having good spells, but with neither team managing to create clear cut chances.
Wrexham created an opening 73 minutes in, when Jennings slipped in Paul Rutherford, the winger lifted the ball over Pears from a tight angle but found the roof of the net.
Wrexham came close again moments later, Gateshead again failed to clear a Young corner and the ball fell to Brad Walker, who fired over.
Walker came close again with just under 10 minutes to go, firing a fierce effort from the edge of the box just wide of Pears’ right-hand post.
Luke Young whipped in a dangerous freekick with five minutes to go, but Pears punched the ball to safety.
Moments later, a header from Jon Mellish fell for Jason Oswell, but Tinkler did well to slide in and deny the Wrexham striker.
In added time Holroyd came close to an equaliser but Fraser Kerr blocked his close-range shot, with Pears claiming the corner.
In the dying moments Wrexham got the equaliser they would argue they deserved. Stockton hit the post from close range but followed in to tap home and earn Wrexham a point.
Gateshead: Pears; Kerr, Williamson, Mellish; Tinkler, Forbes, Olley (Hunter 80’), White, Barrow; Thomson (Salkeld 84’), Rigg
Subs not used: Foden, Maloney, Devitt
Goals: Rigg (40)
Bookings: White (86)
Wrexham: Dibble, Carrington (Stockton 78’), Lawlor, Kenedy, Jennings; Walker, Young; Rutherford, Wright (Deverdics 69’), Tollitt (Holroyd 78’); Oswell
Subs not used: Simpson, Tharme
Goals: Stockton (90+3)
Bookings: Wright (64)
Attendance: 1,228 (525 Wrexham)
Referee: Paul Howard
MOTM: Robbie Tinkler