By Jack McGraghan
Gateshead fell to a 3-1 defeat at the Peninsula Stadium as Devante Rodney’s late double saw the Heed exit the FA Trophy in the first round.
The Ammies took the lead 10 minutes before the break through Mani Deseruvwe’s header to put themselves in the driving seat at half time.
Despite a good amount of pressure from Gateshead in the second half, substitute Rodney’s late double ensured Salford progressed to the second round despite a late Luke Armstrong consolation.
Steve Watson made two changes to the side that recorded a 2-0 win over Bromley 10 days ago as Jon Mellish and Aynsley Pears made way for JJ O’Donnell and Mark Foden – with the latter making his competitive debut for the first-team.
Proceedings got off to a cagey start on a frosty evening at the Peninsula Stadium, with former Heed man Gus Mafuta seeing an effort comfortably saved before Jack Hunter headed wide from a corner inside the first 10 minutes.
Dennis Politic forced Foden into a reaction save from the edge of the area 20 minutes in, before Danny Lloyd headed wide at the near post when he perhaps should have hit the target.
It took 35 minutes for the deadlock to be broken, and unfortunately it was the hosts who did it as another former Heed man Liam Hogan headed a deep cross back into the middle for Dieseruvwe to nod into the far corner.
Gateshead looked to push on and find an equaliser before the half-time whistle, and came closest inside added time only for Steve Rigg’s left-sided cross to evade Luke Armstrong’s run into the box by mere yards.
The Heed had Foden to thank for keeping the score at one, as he rushed out to block Lloyd’s close-range effort after he found himself in behind the defence.
With the game beginning to open up more with each passing minute, both sides were keen to get efforts away and O’Donnell may have given goalkeeper Max Crocombe something to think about if his 20-yard volley hadn’t been blocked.
The Heed came inches away from levelling things up with just over 20 minutes remaining as substitute Greg Olley slid Armstrong in behind before the striker’s initial shot was saved, only for him to play back across goal and hit the post via Danny Whitehead’s deflection.
Salford still posed a threat despite being put under pressure by Gateshead in the second half and came close to doubling their lead through Devante Rodney, but he turned Politic’s through ball wide under pressure from Foden.
The Ammies grabbed the all-important second goal to all but wrap things up nine minutes from time as substitute Rodney headed Tom Walker’s corner into the far corner, just out of Foden’s reach.
Rodney added a third two minutes later with Gateshead throwing everyone forward in search of a way back into the game, converting Rory Gaffney’s low cross from six yards out.
Armstrong did give the travelling fans something to celebrate with one minute to go as he followed up Robbie Tinkler’s initial shot to head past Crocombe from point-blank range.
Salford City (4-2-3-1): Crocombe; Brockbank, Touray, Mafuta (Whitehead, 66’), Hogan (c), Piergianni, Lloyd (Rodney, 71’), Nolan, Walker, Politic, Dieseruvwe (Gaffney, 45’).
Subs not used: Neal, Wiseman.
Goals: Dieseruvwe (35’), Rodney (81’)
Bookings: Rodney (89’)
Gateshead (3-5-2): Foden; Barrow (c), Kerr, Williamson; Tinkler, White (Olley, 57’), Hunter, Molyneux (Boden, 63’), O’Donnell (Devitt, 78’); Armstrong, Rigg.
Subs not used: Pears, Thomson.
Goals: Armstrong (89’)
Bookings: Tinkler (69’)
Referee: Gareth Rhodes
Attendance: 380 (15 Gateshead)