GATESHEAD bowed out of the FA Cup in tame fashion as two second-half goals inside ten minutes sealed their feat in Derbyshire.
After an evenly fought first-half, Conference Premier rivals Alfreton took a 55th-minute lead following a big deflection off James Curtis which left Adam Bartlett stranded.
A second from Ben Tomlinson confirmed Alfreton’s second home victory of the campaign as Gateshead winless run stretched to six weeks and eight games.
The Tynesiders were again toothless in front of goal, Alfreton’s on- loan Burnley goalkeeper Jon Stewart having only two shots to save, both from Nathan Fisher.
The loss of Phil Turnbull and Ryan Donaldson through injury at the break and then Jamie Chandler with an ankle injury on the hour, did not help the Tynesiders’ cause.
By the time Chandler hobbled off the damage had been done and Ian Bogie’s side never looked like getting back into the game.
The lack of goals has become a real concern and the number of chances created has dried up. Denied the financial benefits of a cup run – Alfreton picked up £12,500 with another £18,000 at stake in the next round – Bogie’s options are limited.
He said: “It is bitterly disappointing to go out of the FA Cup in our first tie. You cannot underestimate the benefits of doing well in the cup, especially financially.
“We got what we deserved because we didn’t do enough to win the tie or bring Alfreton back to Tyneside for a replay.
“Losing three midfield players to injury during the game was a major setback for us , but I am not going to use that as an excuse.
“We should have had enough on the pitch to get a result but Alfreton had the better openings and deserved to progress into the second round.
“The first goal deflated us, especially the manner of it, but we lacked creativity right through the team and our passing was poor.”
ALFRETON TOWN: Stewart; Law, Kempson, Killock, Franklin; Bradley, Streete, Meadows; Clayton (Worsfold 88),Tomlinson, Arnold. Subs (not used): Barnes (gk), Russell, Taylor, Quinn, Franks.
Goals: Arnold (55), Tomlinson (64).
Booked: Law (76).
GATESHEAD: Bartlett, McGlen, Bush, Chandler (Odubade 62), Curtis, Magnay, Gillies, Turnbull (Fisher 46), Brown, Donaldson (Marwood 46), Cummins. Subs (not used): Boyle, Hatch, Nixon (gk), Wilson.
Booked: Marwood (90).
Referee: Graham Horwood (Luton). Attendance: 338