A LATE strike from substitute Macauley Langstaff was enough for Gateshead to condemn Guiseley to their ninth National League North defeat of the season, meaning they remain out of the relegation zone on goal difference only in 20th.

Second-bottom Alfreton Town had their game postponed, while 19th-placed Darlington were in FA Trophy action, meaning Guiseley had the opportunity to capitalise and pull away from danger, facing a Gateshead side who hadn’t won in their last four matches.

Guiseley boasted three new debutants, with Bailey Thompson, Reece Kendall and Liam Tongue all making their first starts for the club.

Tongue's signing was only confirmed on the morning of the game.

The enterprising midfielder has joined from Hyde United, having scored 16 goals and made 10 assists in 45 appearances there.

He joined a Lions side that hadn’t been in action for almost two weeks, as their home match the previous weekend against Curzon Ashton had been cancelled due to a positive Covid-19 test within the Nash ranks.

Despite their recent blip in form, Gateshead have ambitions of a play-off finish and the win here means they now sit just one point off seventh-placed York City.

But it was Guiseley who nearly took the lead within the opening three minutes, as a long throw from Kendall was blasted over by Matty Gillam from close range, to the relief of former Lion James Montgomery in goal.

The Lions' dominant start continued and they nearly found the breakthrough, as Montgomery was called into action following shots from Thompson, Hamza Bencherif and Prince Ekpolo.

Gateshead then came within inches of taking the lead, as Nicky Deverdics' through ball to Paul Blackett was squared, but Greg Olley couldn’t quite poke the ball home.

Heading into the second half, and Brad Wade was tested for the first time. Olley latched on to a poor clearance but his effort was parried by the Rochdale loanee.

Kallum Griffiths looked to find the opener in the final 20 minutes, but his half-volley was comfortably off-target - a let-off for Guiseley, who hadn’t got going in the second half.

Guiseley looked to nab a late winner through substitute Kaine Felix, but he was blindsided by the defender and his strike went harmlessly wide.

Gateshead’s rampant second half performance was finally rewarded, as they snatched the three points with the final kick of the game.

Griffiths blitzed past his man on the wing and delivered a teasing ball into the box, where the unmarked Langstaff was waiting to calmly slot the ball past a helpless Wade.

This defeat was Guiseley’s third consecutive 1-0 loss on the road, and the Lions are now winless in five.

Guiseley are next in action this Saturday, in a crucial match against fellow strugglers Alfreton at Nethermoor, with the loser guaranteed to be in the relegation zone at full-time.