Gateshead condemned Aldershot Town to a first defeat in five games after goals from Greg Olley, Scott Boden and Tom White saw them cruise to a 3-0 victory at the International Stadium.
Gary Waddock made two changes to the side that beat Kettering Town in the FA Cup last week with Adam May returning to league action after being made unavailable for cup games by his parent club and Jake Gallagher also returning to the starting line-up in place of Luke Howell and Shamir Fenelon who both returned to the bench.
In a game void of many clear-cut chances it was the Shots who went close early on with captain Scott Rendell getting a toe on May’s low free-kick delivery, the effort was on target but the Heed’s loanee keeper Aynsley Pears was equal to it to react well and hold.
Gateshead offered a little warning before going ahead when Boden headed over from a Scott Barrow cross.
They went ahead through former-Hull City midfielder Olley, he burst forward with the ball in the middle, his initial effort was blocked by Gabe Osho but he nestled the rebound comfortably past his former Tigers team-mate Will Mannion in the Shots goal.
The hosts then doubled their lead, a corner was played short and delivered to defender Fraser Kerr, he fluffed his initial effort but the ball worked its way back into the box for Boden to dispatch past Mannion at the second attempt.
Aldershot responded well between then and the half time break, with May crossing deep for Adam McDonnell, he headed back across to the penalty spot to Gallagher but his shot was expertly tipped round the post by Pears.
From the resulting corner, McDonnell saw a deflected effort just trickle wide of the goal and Marvin McCoy also had a wayward cross drift goalward for Pears to tip over the bar just before half time.
The second half lacked chances from either side with the hosts happy to see the game out, and it took until the 67th minute for an effort of any note to be considered when Olley’s free kick on the edge of the box beat the Shots wall only to smash into the side-netting.
The Heed extended their lead on 77 minutes when Olley played the ball into Luke Armstrong in the box, he held off George Fowler and laid it back to White who slotted past Mannion to seal the game.
Shots finally responded with second half chances of their own through Matt McClure, May and Shamir Fenelon but it was too little, too late as the hosts moved into the play-off places and prevented the Shots from moving just six points from them.
Aldershot are back in action next week when we host Braintree Town at the EBB Stadium. 3PM Kick Off. Tickets can be purchased in advance here.
ALDERSHOT TOWN: Mannion, McCoy, Osho, Fowler, Kinsella, Gallagher (Wanadio 60), Booty (Fenelon 60), May, McDonnell, Rendell, McClure.
Subs not used: Cole, Howell, Lelan.
By Chris Woods