A last gasp Nathan Blissett goal sent Macclesfield Town back to the top of the National League table, as the Silkmen defeated Gateshead 1-0 at the Moss Rose.
Throughout the game, Macclesfield were the dominant side but the Silkmen attack was thwarted by Gateshead keeper James Montgomery numerous times.
But the winner came on 89 minutes when Nathan Blissett popped up at the back post to steer the ball into the net after a goalmouth melee and give John Askey’s side a deserved win.
Askey started the evening by making two changes to his starting line-up. Callum Evans and Kieran Kennedy both dropped to the bench for Tyrone Marsh and George Pilkington respectively.
With Sutton regaining top spot over the weekend, the pressure was on Macclesfield to earn three points to send Askey’s men back to the summit.
However, in the first half, the Silkmen showed no signs of showing any pressure.
Five minutes into the game, Marsh was denied the opening goal by two spectacular James Montgomery saves. Firstly, his close-range header was parried behind by the Gateshead shot-stopper and seconds later Montgomery tipped behind the striker’s low drive.
Although the Silkmen came closest just before the twenty-minute mark. Nathan Blissett stung the hands of Montgomery from the edge of the box and the follow up fell to Mitch Hancox but he couldn’t steer the ball home.
Seconds later there was a barrage on the Gateshead goal as Macc tried to assert their first-half dominance with a goal.
Elliott Durrell firstly shot over the bar from the edge of the box and soon after two corners nearly resulted in goals. Russ Penn blocked a Marsh effort off the line and after the resulting corner Keith Lowe suffered the same fate.
Although, an injury to Elliott Durrell unfortunately saw the Macclesfield man substituted off for Callum Evans in the closing embers of the half.
Jared Hodgkiss tried his luck from range, but his shot flew just wide of the mark and the score stayed 0-0 at half-time.
Three minutes after the restart, Shwan Jalal was tested for the first time. Scott Barrow took aim from outside the box but the Macc number one was equal to the effort.
Once again, there was a raid on the Gateshead goal on fifty-two minutes. Tyrone Marsh’s neat footwork opened the space for a shot on the edge of the box, but Montgomery parried it away. After the loose ball was picked up the Silkmen worked the ball to Danny Whitaker but the veteran midfielder hit his shot just over the bar.
Just like the first-half, Macclesfield were on top. Danny Whitehead tested the goalkeeper from the edge of the box, but Montgomery seemed to be having the game of his career in between the sticks.
As the half ticked on, both teams started to crank up the pressure. Wes York forced Shwan Jalal to palm away his shot on seventy-five minutes but down at the other end Montgomery once again denied the lively Hancox.
Ten minutes from time Gateshead almost snatched a lead against the run of play. However, Jalal saved well with his feet to keep the attack at bay before Hancox cleared a second effort from Wes York off the line.
However, Good things come to those who wait and in the 89th minute, the Silkmen’s dominance paid off. Montgomery was caught off guard for the first time in the match and Nathan Blissett followed the ball at the far post and bundled the ball home to break the deadlock.
That's the way it stayed and Macclesfield returned to the top of the National League.
Attendance: 1,537 (18 Gateshead)
Macclesfield Starting XI: Jalal, Hodgkiss, Fitzpatrick, Lowe, Pilkington, Durrell (Evans 37’), Marsh (Wilson 82’), Blissett, Hancox, Whitehead, Whitaker
Subs Not Used: Ramsbottom, Kennedy, Burgess
Goalscorers: Blissett 89’
Gateshead Starting XI: Montgomery, Barrow, Kerr, Byrne, Fyfield, Peniket, Johnson (Green 61’), Burrow, Preston (York 70’), McLaughlin, Penn
Subs Not Used: Vassell, McNall, Hanford