Match report...City boss Danny Cowley made six changes to his starting line-up for this Buildbase FA Trophy Second Round tie at Gateshead as he gave some of his squad a well earned rest ahead of Tuesday's Emirates FA Cup Third Round Replay tie against Ipswich Town at Sincil Bank Stadium.
After a minute's applause in memory of the late, great Graham Taylor, the Imps kicked off and got off to a bright start with a deflected Terry Hawkridge cross almost reaching Adam Marriott but home stopper Dan Hanford came off his line quickly and claimed.
Play switched to the other end and when Gateshead put together their first attack, the ball reached former City striker Jordan Burrow who took a touch before firing past Paul Farman to give the hosts a fourth minute lead.
City looked for a quick reply with Elliott Whitehouse drilling over from the edge of the box and after debutant Joe Ward drew a foul from his marker Sam Habergham saw his free-kick held well by a flying Hanford.
In the 13th minute a quick Gateshead free-kick lead to the first corner of the game but this was cleared at the near post and with a number of decisions going against them the opening quarter hour was probably one to quickly forget.
The first real attempt at goal by City was a bobbling 23rd minute effort by Marriott which was held by Hanford and five minutes later good work by Marriott saw him force a corner which resulted in the ball bobbling around before falling kindly for the hosts.
A good turn and shot by Ward then forced Hanford to push the ball out for a throw-in which ended with Whitehouse firing over and a good spell of pressure by the Imps continued as they forced another corner on the right but Habergham's delivery went just over Raggett.
In the 36th minute there was half a sniff for Marriott after he jinked past his marker but the ball took a nasty bobble in the box and his final effort goes wide. Before play restarted home skipper Liam Hogan was forced to receive treatment following a knock.
Before the half ended a low effort from Gus Mafuta was held well by Farman low to his right whilst at the other end a long range effort by Power went straight at Hanford.
HT: GATESHEAD 1 IMPS 0
Whilst both sides emerged unchanged for the start of the second half there was a change in the middle as Fourth Official Mark Ryan replaces injured referee Scott Oldham.
City started brightly following the restart with Marriott being pulled back just outside the box but Mr Ryan kept his cards in his pocket after he awarded the Imps a free-kick. The hosts were duly punished as up stepped SAM HABERGHAM to drill a low effort into the bottom right corner of Hanford's net
Gateshead's response saw Jamal Fyfield fire a weak free-kick well wide after Hawkridge tripped Luke Hannant whilst at the other end Marriott clipped the outside of the post after Ward pulled a ball back following build-up good play by Muldoon.
Home full-back Fyfield saw yellow in the 56th minute after he picked the ball up before it had gone out for a throw-in and three minutes later Sam Jones replaced Nyal Bell for the Heed.
After a quick City attack ended with Hawkridge winning a corner which the hosts cleared, Bradley Wood replacd Alan Power for the final quarter of the game.
A couple of minutes after this switch Marriott was clearly taken out as he went for a dangerous Habergham cross. Appeals for a penalty were waved away though before the ball went out for a City corner and when Habergham whipped in a low flag-kick justice was done as there was ELLIOTT WHITEHOUSE to fire into the roof of the net to edge the Imps in to a 70th minute lead.
The game was turned on its head four minutes later when City put together a fine move which ended up with the ball at the feet of TERRY HAWKRIDGE who beat his man before curling past a static Hanford to make it 3-1.
Toby Ajala for Luke Hannant was Gateshead's second switch before Alex Woodyard replaced goalscorer Hawkridge for the Imps. And for the final 10 minutes Matt Rhead was given a run out in place of Adam Marriott.
A timely 83rd minute block by Raggett saw him divert a Burrow shot over the bar and the resultant corner ended up with a low effort from range going wide of the City goal.
Shortly afterwards a superb save by Farman saw him get down low to push away a Burrow header following a chipped Fyfield free-kick into the danger area and then a weak effort from Fyfield flew well wide before bouncing on lane eight of the running track.
In the third of the added minutes James Bolton was booked for a hack on Ward and City safely saw out the remaining stages to secure their place in the Third Round.
FT: GATESHEAD 1 IMPS 3
1 Paul FARMAN
3 Sam HABERGHAM
4 Elliott WHITEHOUSE
6 Callum HOWE
7 Jack MULDOON
8 Alan POWER
10 Adam MARRIOTT
11 Terry HAWKRIDGE
12 Sean LONG
25 Sean RAGGETT
38 Joe WARD
2 Bradley WOOD (for POWER 66)
9 Matt RHEAD (for MARRIOTT 80)
24 Jack McMENEMY
27 Jamie McCOMBE
30 Alex WOODYARD (for HAWKRIDGE 76)
GOALS: HABERGHAM (49), WHITEHOUSE (70), HAWKRIDGE (74)
13 Dan HANFORD
2 James BOLTON
4 Manny SMITH
5 Liam HOGAN
6 Jamal FYFIELD
7 Wes YORK
15 Jordan BURROW
18 Nyal BELL
22 Gus MAFUTA
25 Luke HANNANT
26 Paddy McLAUGHLIN
3 George SMITH
9 Danny JOHNSON
10 Sam JONES (for BELL 59)
14 Toby AJALA (for HANNANT 75)
23 Shaun MACDONALD
GOAL: BURROW (4)
BOOKINGS: FYFIELD (56), BOLTON (90+3)
REFEREE: Scott Oldham
ASSISTANTS: Adam Burgess & Alan Hull
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Mark Ryan
ATTENDANCE: 578 (169 City supporters)