By Rory Drake
TEN man Gateshead endured late drama at at the International Stadium to claim a 2-1 win over North East neighbours Hartlepool United.
Luke Armstrong opened the scoring with 13 minutes gone and added his second 20 minutes later.
Tom White saw red with five minutes to go, before Liam Noble pulled a goal back from the spot for Hartlepool.
Hartlepool were awarded a second penalty moments later, but Noble saw his spot kick hit the post and go wide.
Gateshead came into today’s game hoping to extend a run of four home clean sheets in a row and started the brighter side.
With 10 minutes played Luke Armstrong’s thumping header from a Luke Molyneux freekick went just over the bar.
Armstrong did put Gateshead ahead moments later though, with a fierce shot from a tight angle which was too hot for Scott Loach to handle.
Robbie Tinkler came close to making it 2-0 in the 20th minute but saw his effort from 35 yards come crashing back off the bar.
Hartlepool’s first real chance came just after the half-hour mark, with Niko Muir’s shot deflecting just wide.
Gateshead doubled the lead in the 33rd minute, Tom White’s 50-yard pass found Molyneux, who cut back to Scott Barrow, the Welshman’s miss-hit shot deflected into the path of Armstrong, who poked into an empty net.
Hartlepool went straight up the other end and came close to pulling a goal back, Muir’s shot came back off the bar, but fell kindly for Lewis Hawkins, who saw his shot saved by Aynsley Pears.
Neither team came out firing at the start of the second half, but Hartlepool were the first to spring into life. Liam Noble’s 54th minute effort from the edge of the box was straight at Pears.
Noble then came close again moments later, shooting from an almost identical area and with Pears again equal to it.
Gateshead’s first real effort in the second half came with just over 20 minutes to go, Molyneux’s corner found Jon Mellish at the far post, but the centre back headed over.
Steve Rigg then came close for Gateshead, cutting in from the left and beating two players before curling a shot wide.
Hartlepool again came close with 82 minutes gone, Luke James shot from 30 yards looked to be heading for the bottom corner, but Pears tipped it behind.
Gateshead were reduced to 10 men in the 84th minute, after a Tom White challenge on Josh Hawkes on the halfway line.
Hartlepool were then given a penalty in the 86th minute, when Pears brought down James in the box. Noble stepped up and sent Pears the wrong way to make it 2-1.
Hartlepool were awarded another penalty in the 89th minute when Mark Kitching went down under very little contact.
Noble stepped up again, and again sent Pears the wrong way, but this time saw his shot come off the outside of the post and go wide.
Gateshead were now firmly on the back foot but came close to sealing the game off in stoppage time when Armstrong ran down the right and found Rigg in the box, but the forward was crowded out and could only manage a tame effort.
Kenton Richardson then came close to equalising for Hartlepool with a cross which bounced off the bar, but the ball went out on the far side.
Gateshead: Pears; Kerr, Williamson, Mellish; Tinkler, Hunter, Molyneux, White, Barrow © (O’Donnell 51’); Armstrong, Boden (Rigg 65’)
Subs not used: Foden, Thomson, Devitt
Goals: Armstrong (13, 33)
Bookings: Barrow (29)
Sent off: White (84)
Hartlepool: Loach; Richardson, Rodgers, Davies ©, Kitching; Noble, Magnay; Newton (Hawkes 81’), Hawkins (James 51’), Donaldson; Muir
Subs not used: Featherstone, Anderson, McLaughlin
Goals: Noble (87)
Referee: Andrew Miller
MOTM: Luke Armstrong
Attendance: 2678 (1477 away)