Chester FC went down 3-2 in a thrilling game at Gateshead International Stadium. A Carl Magnay screamer opened the scoring, with a forty yard effort, before Danny Harrison levelled for the Blues by the break.
Gateshead started the second half well and two goals in two minutes from Jordan Hugill and Colin Larkin put them three-one ahead before a terrific strike from Danny Higginbotham got one back for the Blues, who then saw Kevin McIntyre given his marching orders for a professional foul in the dying stages.
Neil Young opted for a 4-5-1 formation, in hope of keeping it tight but it was undone in the opening 52 seconds.
James Marwood's corner was tamely headed away by George Horan before left back Carl Magnay, winner of Football Icon, and a contract with Chelsea football club in his youth, struck a fourty yard rocket, beating John Danby's outstretched arm, for a stunning opener, much to the dismay of the travelling Chester support.
The only effort that Chester could muster up in the opening twenty minutes was a snap shot from Nathan Turner, which went over the bar, from a Lee Pugh cross.
Chester were back on level terms in the 27th minute though as Michael Kay's ball over the top found Lewis Turner, who cut it behind Seddon and found Danny Harrison, who placed it into the top corner.
The half got livelier as it went on as Colin Larkin picked out James Curtis' head but he couldn't direct his header goalwards before Gareth Seddon picked out Lewis Turner but the ball bounced off his thigh.
Chester began to take control of the game and it was front man, Seddon, who was linking up play brilliantly, first he found himself in behind the defence after a mistake in the Gateshead defence, doing well to pick out Lewis Turner, who's shot was blocked by Carl Magnay.
Moments later he was involved again as the ball was pulled back to him but he couldn't keep his shot down.
Captain George Horan nearly gave the Blues the lead with a minute left in the first half, but his shot was well blocked by Justin Curtis.
Chester's start to the second half was a nightmare, first John Danby punched a corner straight to Phil Turnbull, who moved the ball onto his left foot before forcing Danby to parry the ball straight to Jordan Hugill, on his home debut, who gladly turned it in.
A minute later and it was three, Jame Brown picked out Colin Larkin who coolly lifted it over John Danby and past both Higginbotham and Horan on the line.
Gateshead were well on top in the second half and fully worthy of their lead but Chester were handed a life line with Danny Higginbotham's thunderous strike.
Michael Kay's free kick into the penalty area was chester by Higginbotham before unleashing a fearsome half volley past Bartlett, his first goal for the club.
The game had opened up now and Kay fancied his chances again as a throw came out to him and he curled it just over the bar before Maddison struck an effort low forcing Danby into a save.
In the final few minutes the chances were still coming at either end, first Nathan Turner saw his snapshot just go wide before Marcus Maddison nearly got in at the other end after Kay's header not finding Danby, but he too put it wide.
The night got worse for Chester in injury time as Kevin McIntyre was shown a straight red card for bringing down James Marwood as he was last man.
It almost got even worse from there as Micky Cummins hit the post moments later but Gateshead were able to hold on for a vital three points.
Chester: Danby, Kay, Horan (c), Harrison, L Turner, McIntyre, N Turner, A Williams (Mills 66), Higginbotham, Seddon (Titchiner 61), Pugh (Chippendale 45)
Subs: Linwood, Lindfield
Gateshead: Bartlett, Magnay, Curtis, Clark (c), Larkin, Turnbull, Cummins, Brown (Maddison 61), Marwood, Hugill (Hatch 76), Lelan
Subs: Boyes, Baxter, Ramshaw
Goal Scorers: Gateshead: Magnay (1), Hugill (54), Larkin (56) Chester: Harrison (27), Higginbotham (74)
Bookings: Gateshead: Hugill, Magnay. Chester: Kay
Man of the match: Gateshead: Colin Larkin. Chester: Danny Higginbotham.
Attendance: 610 (140 Chester fans)
Referee: Mr Richard Wigglesworth
Assistant Referee: Mr Gareth Mellor, Mr Andrew Miller
4th Official: Mr Paul Brown
Match Report by Chris Graham
Match Pictures courtesy of Rick Matthews