Ben Rhydding 4 Gateshead 3
Ben Rhydding continued their good run with another North Men's Premier Division victory but they almost paid for letting their rivals claw their way back into the game.
The first half was a dismal affair. Struggling to get out of a tight and aggressive press, Rhydding kept giving the ball back to Gateshead for another go and were camped in their defensive third for the majority of the half.
Their first circle entry did not happen until the 17th minute. Danny Foster seemed to be the only player that had any composure. He was tackling relentlessly and trying to build the play from the back.
Young keeper, Cam Herbert was kept busy and made some excellent saves to keep the score at 0-0.
A tactical change for the second half allowed Rhydding to play their trademark hockey and they spent 20 minutes attacking Gateshead.
Intelligent and selfless running from Ali Jordan was rewarded with a goal from a corner as Rhydding began to find a beautiful rhythm.
Kieran Borrett began to find avenues into the circle and Matty Birch went close with a flick past the post.
It was this pressure that forced Gateshead into reckless defending and a penalty stroke was awarded which Will Musgrave clinically dispatched to stretch the lead to 2-0.
Callum Franks added another goal after finishing an impressive counter attack passage with a slam into the goal from open play.
Gateshead got back in the game after exploiting a goalmouth scramble but Harry Sherlock replied with an absolute screamer of a goal, taken on the half-volley and rocketed into the roof of the net.
At 4-1 up, Ben Rhydding should have felt fairly secure but their 20 minutes of champagne hockey faded and Gateshead came back at them with the bit between their teeth.
A missed recovery from a corner saw Gateshead claw back a goal and they scored their third in the last minute when Herbert was beaten by a lofted strike.
Rhydding have one remaining league game against Alderley Edge at home and are hoping for the win that will help them to secure fourth place.