There was further misery for Alfreton Town on Saturday as they slipped to their third defeat inside a week, this time on Tyneside against Gateshead.
It was all too easy for the hosts as Josh Kayode gave them a ninth minute lead, but Amari Morgan-Smith came within a whisker of an equaliser with a drilled free-kick that keeper Bradley James managed to tip over on the half hour mark.
Both Kayode and Elliot Forbes contrived to miss the target from close range as Gateshead dominated first half proceedings, but for a spell after the break Alfreton were the team pushing forward.
That pressure was rewarded by Dale Whitham's 56th minute leveller, when he lashed home Nyle Blake's cross that had been flicked on by Morgan-Smith, this moments after Josh Thacker had struck the crossbar from 25 yards.
However, the home side rallied to produce two late goals - a screamer from Jordan Preston on 78 minutes and another from Kayode in added time, but an outstanding goal-line clearance from Nottingham Forest loanee Danny Preston, on his debut for the Reds, had already denied his namesake at the mid-point of the second half.
Reds boss Billy Heath said: “I was disappointed with the first half. We started slowly and conceded an early goal that could easily have been avoided and were really poor.
“I was pleased with the response in the second-half as we got back in the game and were knocking on the door and giving as good as we got, then we conceded another poor goal, although it was a fantastic strike.
“Then things got a bit ragged as we tried to chase things and we got caught in the last minute.
“I’m disappointed but some of the players have got to stand up and fight a bit more now. It’s difficult with the personnel we’ve got available, but it is what it is and we have to start being more difficult to score against as we were earlier in the season.
"We don't seem to be as athletic as we were before and we need to get the basics right off the ball and do the right things on it.”
Alfreton: Atkinson, Thacker, Smith, Qualter, Killock, Preston, Branson, Bennett (Grice 73), Whitham, Blake Clackstone 69, Morgan-Smith. Not used: Lynch, Brough, Unwin-Marris.