By Rory Drake
A Scott Boden strike helped Gateshead pick up an unlikely first point of 2019, as Ben Clark started life as Gateshead manager with a draw at Salford.
Salford took the lead midway through the first half with Danny Lloyd scoring from the spot, but Scott Boden leveled for Gateshead just before half time.
Gateshead were under pressure for most of the second half but allowed Salford few chances and held on to take a point.
Gateshead came into the game having lost three in a row, but it was Clark’s side who created the first opening.
The first real chance came Gateshead’s way, with Robbie Tinkler unleashing an effort from 30 yards which failed to hit the target.
Salford’s first real chance came 14 minutes in, after Lloyd played in Matt Green on the edge of the box. Green’s deflected effort went behind for a corner.
Gateshead cleared, but only as far as Ibou Touray, whose cross was headed by Boden, just past his own post and out for another corner.
Salford were controlling the game, with the ball spending a lot of time in Gateshead’s half without the hosts creating many chances.
The Ammies did come close 24 minutes in, with a Tom Walker cross finding Green, who headed just wide.
Salford were awarded a penalty with 27 minutes played, when Green’s run into the box was halted by Aynsley Pears.
Danny Lloyd stepped up and sent Pears the wrong way to give Salford the lead.
Gateshead responded well and came close to an equaliser within minutes, Lewis Maloney’s 25-yard effort looked to be heading for the top corner, but Chris Neal was equal to it.
Scott Barrow had the chance to equalise 10 minutes before half time, after cutting in from the left-hand side, but blazed his shot well over.
Moments later Maloney again tried his luck from range, but was unable to replicate his earlier effort, and failed to hit the target.
Gateshead equalised with 44 minutes played. Maloney fizzed a cross into the box, which Boden met at the near post to poke home.
After a slow start to the second half, Salford came close to retaking the lead just after the hour mark when Liam Nolan payed the ball to Lloyd in acres of space on the left, but Lloyd couldn’t find the target.
At the other end, Maloney then tried another shot from long range but again failed to hit the target.
Gateshead created an unlikely opening with 20 minutes to play when Maloney picked up the ball in the box following a short back pass, Maloney pulled back but couldn’t find a Gateshead player with his ball across.
Salford continued playing long spells in Gateshead’s half, but were restricted to mainly whipping in crosses that were caught by Pears.
Salford applied a lot of late pressure and nearly snatched it with the last kick of the game, when a deep freekick found Nolan, but his shot was blocked by Fraser Kerr.
Shortly after, the full-time whistle blew to confirm the Heed’s first point of 2019.
Salford: Neal; Hogan, Pond (Rooney 69’), Piergianni; Wiseman, Nolan, Lloyd (Glynn 80’), Walker, Touray; Green, Gaffney (Rodney 86’)
Unused subs: Crocombe, Muscatt
Goals: Lloyd (28)
Gateshead: Pears; Kerr, Williamson, Mellish; Tinkler, Hunter, Maloney, White, Barrow; Rigg (Salkeld 82’), Boden
Unused subs: Foden, Thomson, Forbes, Devitt
Goals: Boden (44)
Bookings: White (55), Maloney (75), (Barrow 90+5)
Attendance: 2,055 (111 Gateshead)
MOTM: Lewis Maloney
Referee: Peter Gibbons