Gateshead strenghthened their grip on a Skrill Premier play-off spot with a much-needed victory against Kidderminster Harriers at a very windy International Stadium.
The Tynesiders were unbeaten in eight but without a win in three following successive draws.
Kidderminster had dropped out of the top five and fell to a 1-0 defeat against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in the FA Cup last weekend.
After a goalless first-half, experienced midfielder John Oster broke the deadlock before James Marwood and Marcus Maddison completed the scoring for the Heed.
“It is a massive, massive three points for us against a team who could have gone above us if they had beat us,” said Gary Mills.
“I felt they (Kidderminster) didn’t come and press us first-half, which delighted me I have to be honest.
“It is nice to win and it was a big win for us so we are really pleased. We have got that bit between our teeth now and we want to achieve something this season.
“It has been hard work to get to where we have got to but you don’t get anywhere if you don’t work hard and we will continue to work hard and play the way we play – even in these conditions.”
The Tynesiders had to battle the strong winds during the first-half, and it was the visitors who looked the more dangerous, although it was goalless by the half-time interval.
Andy Thorn’s men also created the first chance of the second-half as Gittings pounced on a Lewis Sirrell error but his ball was wasted by Gash.
The Tynesiders, playing with the wind, grew in confidence and broke the deadlock eight minutes into the second period when Colin Larkin and Oster were allowed too much time on the edge of the box and after exchanging passes, the ex-Sunderland man fired a low drive home.
Heed’s leading goalscorer Marwood then doubled the lead in fortuitous circumstances as his left-wing cross curled its way into the corner.
Maddison added the Tynesiders’ third seven minutes later as Ryan Noble supplied the winger, who produced a clinical finish into the bottom corner.
Marvin Johnson did net a late consolation for the visitors, capitalising on poor defending.