Fleet’s final game in the Blue Square Bet Premier ended in defeat at Middlesbrough’s Riverside as Gateshead secured their own survival.
Liam Daish made several changes, with Lucas Menz, Craig Stone, Phil Walsh, Jack Saville and Ashley Carew replacing Preston Edwards, Ryan Blake, Paul Lorraine, Ubay Luzardo and Stefan Payne. The best chance of the opening half hour fell to the home side, James Marwood’s shot held by Menz and the same player teed up Liam Hatch for a golden opportunity shortly before half-time but the former Fleet striker managed to fire wide from six yards.
But the man who saved Fleet from relegation in 2003 made no mistake just three minutes into the second half when he headed home Josh Gillies’ corner. Menz brilliantly kept out Gillies’ shot on the hour and James Brown went close as well. The visitors weren’t without their chances, Nathan Elder and Tom Phipp both testing goalkeeper Adam Bartlett while substitute Moses Ashikodi had a chance for an equaliser late on.
Once that chance went astray, however, Gateshead secured the three points deep into stoppage time, Marwood the provider and Liam Henderson converted.
TEAM: Menz, Stone, Howe, Walsh, Saville, Barrett, Bellamy (Blake 81), Carew (Azeez 77), Phipp, Elder (Ashikodi 81), Enver-Marum. Subs not used: Edwards