Match report: Gateshead 1 AFC Fylde 2

Jordan Tunnicliffe climbs highest for Fylde at Gateshead
Jordan Tunnicliffe climbs highest for Fylde at Gateshead

Fylde returned to winning ways and to the National League play-off zone with a comfortable victory on Tyneside.

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Two more strikes by the league's top scorer Danny Rowe settled the issue in the first half, Richard Peniket bagging a consolation strike in the final seconds.
Manager Dave Challinor made three changes from the side held 2-2 by Eastleigh seven days earlier as Simon Grand and Sam Finley were recalled with Henry Jones, making his first start for close to three months, while Sam Stubbs, Callum Chettle and Jonny Smith stepped down.
The Coasters carved out a glorious opportunity inside the opening five minutes, when Jones picked out Rowe but his first-time effort was uncharacteristically tame and straight at goalkeeper James Montgomery.
Fylde should have had the opener that their lively start deserved moments later. Finley sent Jack Muldoon racing clean through on goal, but the frontman had almost too much time and as he hesitated Montgomery claimed the ball at his feet.
The breakthrough duly arrived on 16 minutes, when Muldoon fired in an inviting cross from the right that was parried by Montgomery straight into the path of Rowe, who was more than happy to roll the ball into the open net.
Gateshead fired their first warning shot midway through the half, when Ben Fox engineered space in the box but keeper Jay Lynch clawed the winger’s fierce strike away from the top corner.
The hosts' pressure was starting to build and Fox was again denied by Lynch, this time seeing a header palmed around the post.
Rowe doubled up on 37 minutes to take his league tally to 18 and put the Coasters firmly in control.
The prolific forward beat his man impressively on the left side of the box before lashing a low strike between Montgomery’s legs and into the far corner.
Wes York went clean through for the home side shortly before the interval but Lynch saved smartly with his legs.
As in the first half, the Coasters made a bright start to the second period and Montgomery was soon sent scampering across his line to keep out Muldoon’s long-range drive.
Gateshead weren’t without chances of their own and Fylde's Jordan Tunnicliffe had to be alert to divert Paddy McLaughlin’s strike around the post, then Lewis Montrose did likewise from midfielder Peniket's effort.
Fylde almost put the game to bed with 20 minutes to go but Tunnicliffe's powerful header was saved on the line by Montgomery.
The visitors rarely needed to get out of second gear against their lacklustre hosts but Lynch was forced into a sensational near-post save to deny York.
Two Fylde substitutes combined as the final whistle approached, Jonny Smith playing a delightful ball across the face of goal that was inches beyond James Hardy’s reach.
Gateshead scored in the fourth minute of stoppage time, when Peniket nodded home from close range, but it was too late to prevent the Coasters climbing two places to seventh.
Gateshead: Montgomery, Barrow, Kerr, Byrne (Vassell 46), Fyfield, York, Peniket, Burrow (McNall 63), McLaughlin, Penn (Preston 68), Fox; not used: Hanford, Williams.
AFC Fylde: Lynch, Bond, Burke, Tunnicliffe, Grand, Francis-Angol, Finley (Hardy 82), Montrose, Jones (Taylor 62), Rowe (Smith 76), Muldoon; not used: Chettle, Stubbs.
Ref: Peter Gibbons
Att: 725