If 2013 had been a roller coaster year for Gateshead the new year opened with more fluctuating fortunes as a disastrous opening to the game at Halifax was followed by a storming finish.
Two goals down after just 13 minutes when Lee Gregory notched his 15th and 16th goals of the season, James Brown, in his first start for three months, pulled a goal back in the first minute of the second half.
The Heed were then back to square one when Simon Ainge headed home on the hour, but showed great character to bounce back with two goals in four minutes from Marcus Maddison and James Marwood to level the scores.
Halifax, looking for their 12th home win of the season started in dramatic fashion when Gregory scored twice inside three minutes.
Dan Gardner chipped the ball into the path of the striker, who finished with aplomb, and he then held off Ben Clark’s challenge to instantly double the lead from Matty Pearson’s pass.
Marwood forced a save out of former Carlisle keeper Matt Glennon who was then beaten by Brown’s long-range strike in the first minute of the second half.
Gregory had an effort ruled out for offside and The Heed were staring down the barrel when Ainge headed home Adam Smith’s corner, but a spirited Gateshead refused to accept defeat.
Maddison, who replaced frontman Liam Hatch at the interval,sparked the revival when he neatly chipped Glennon after getting into the box and the equaliser soon followed.
Another substitute, Jamie Chandler, saw his cross parried by Glennon into the path of Marwood, who smashed the ball home off the underside of the bar from six yards.
FC HALIFAX TOWN: Glennon, Maynard, Ainge, Roberts, McManus, Smith (Ironside 77), Pearson, Marshall (Worthington 46), Gardner (Gray 52), Wilson, Gregory.
Subs: (not used) Senior, Anderson
Goals: Gregory (10,13), Ainge (61)
Bookings: Gray (54)
GATESHEAD: Bartlett, Baxter, Magnay, Walker (Cummins 86), Curtis, Clark, Marwood, Turnbull, Hatch (Maddison 46), Oster (Chandler 60), Brown. Subs: (not used) Ramshaw, Sirrell
Goals: Brown (46), Maddison (76), Marwood (82)
Bookings: Walker (36), Curtis (54), Magnay (59), Baxter (71).
Att: 1,624 Ref: Karl Evans (Lancashire).