By Rory Drake
A late Luke Armstrong strike wasn’t enough for Gateshead as they fell to a 3-1 defeat at the Racecourse Ground.
Mike Williamson’s own goal put Wrexham ahead inside the opening 20 minutes of the first half and the hosts never looked troubled as they took their lead into half-time.
Gateshead struggled to create anything clear cut and were made to pay for it when Wrexham doubled their lead through Brad Walker with 20 minutes to go.
Armstrong gave Gateshead hope with a late goal, but it was Wrexham who had the final say, with Rekeil Pyke putting the game beyond doubt.
Gateshead started the game with a changed 4-3-3 formation and looked to catch the hosts off guard, starting the game on top.
The game’s first opportunity fell the way of Scott Boden who, from 25 yards, unleashed a fierce effort, but he couldn’t find the target.
Moments later Steve Rigg cut in from the left-hand side and was unfortunate to see his shot take a deflection, which took the sting out of it and made it easy for Rob Lainton.
Wrexham then started to grow into the game, with both James Jennings and Luke Young trying their luck from distance, Jennings managed to force a save from Aynsley Pears, but Young’s effort skewed out for a throw-in.
But the hosts were ahead before long, in the 19th minute Paul Rutherford cut in from the right-hand side and played a ball across goal, which deflected off Williamson and past Pears.
Chances were few and far between for the rest of the half, but the hosts came close to doubling their lead on the stroke of half-time. Luke Summerfield’s free-kick was met by Chris Holroyd, but the striker couldn’t find the target.
Within a minute of the second half starting, Gateshead created their best chance of the game, Greg Olley firing from a tight angle on the left, but Lainton was equal to it.
Boden then came close for Gateshead, beating the offside trap and then running into the box, but his angled effort was saved by Lainton.
Luke Molyneux was next to try his luck, with 65 minutes gone, shooting on the turn from 25 yards but his shot lacked power.
Wrexham had looked comfortable despite not creating chances, but with 20 minutes to go the hosts doubled their lead. Jennings’ cross was perfect for Walker, whose thumping header beat Pears.
Wrexham could have made it three with just under 10 minutes to go, Pyke received the ball on the edge of the box, turned and fired a fierce effort just wide.
Gateshead pulled one back in the dying moments, Molyneux twice saw efforts blocked, but Armstrong reacted to poke the ball home from close range.
But Wrexham went straight up the other end, with Pyke firing in a deflected effort to kill the game off.
Wrexham (4-3-3): Lainton; Roberts, Pearson ©, Lawlor Jennings; Young, Summerfield, Walker (Wright 88’); Beavon (Deverdics 84’), Holroyd (Pyke 71’), Rutherford
Unused subs: Dibble, Fondop
Goals: Williamson O.G. (18), Walker (69), (Pyke 90+1)
Gateshead (4-3-3): Pears; Tinkler, Williamson, Kerr, Barrow ©; Hunter (Mellish 45’), Olley, White; Armstrong, Rigg (Molyneux 58’), Boden
Unused subs: Foden, Thomson, O’Donnell
Goals: Armstrong (88)
Bookings: Pears (35)
Referee: Gary Parsons
MOTM: Luke Armstrong
Attendance: 4421 (48 Gateshead)