Haran Naresh sees Woking return to form with an excellent display.
Chigozie Ugwu’s hat-trick gave Woking an important win over Gateshead.
The win took Woking to 19th in the National League table. Ugwu’s ninth minute opener settled any home nerves and led to one of Woking’s best displays of the season.
Gateshead started on the front foot and captain Liam Hogan missed a great opportunity in the fifth minute, heading over after being unmarked from a corner.
Ugwu headed in from Jake Caprice’s right-wing cross to open the scoring.
Joey Jones was booked in the 20th minute for a late tackle on James Bolton, his fifth booking of the season meaning that he will be suspended for Woking’s next game.
Woking began to take control of the game following the goal and created a flurry of chances in quick succession.
Midfielder Fabio Saraiva came close to making it 2-0 for Woking in the 23rd minute, shooting narrowly wide from just outside the penalty area. A minute later, Dennon Lewis over-hit a cross which denied Keiran Murtagh a tap-in.
Gateshead ended the first half strongly with a sustained spell of possession and missed a glorious chance to equalise in the 36th minute.
Woking defender Frazer Shaw’s clearance hit his own team-mate; the ball rebounded to Gateshead striker Danny Johnson who could only hit the post from 10 yards out.
Woking wing-back Jake Caprice was a constant threat down the right-hand side in the first half.
Keiran Murtagh went off with a hamstring injury at half-time and was replaced by Frankie Sutherland. Gateshead also made a half-time substitution, bringing on Wes York for Wes Atkinson.
Gateshead started the second half-strongly and midfielder Sam Jones forced Woking goalkeeper Brandon Hall to make a save following a powerful, rising shot in the 52nd minute.
Woking then scored against the run of play in the 57th minute after a horrible error from Gateshead goalkeeper Dan Hanford.
Hanford attempted to clear the ball but didn’t get a good connection, the ball bobbled to Saraiva whose shot was then saved. Ugwu pounced on the rebound and slotted in his second goal despite the best efforts of a Gateshead defender on the line.
Gateshead missed another opportunity to score in the 65th minute after Johnson played a one-two and was through on goal but his shot was saved by Brandon Hall.
Ugwu secured his hat-trick in the 72nd minute after another Gateshead error, where midfielder Paddy McLaughlin’s tame header fell short of Hanford and Ugwu was there to lob it over the keeper and in to the net.
Gateshead midfielder Mitch Brundle put in a dangerous cross into the Woking area late on but nobody was there to meet it.
Gateshead continued to put Woking under pressure through crosses and set-pieces but the home side defended resolutely to win only their fifth league game of the season.
Woking team: Hall, Shaw, Thomas, Murtagh (Sutherland 45’), Jones (Sam-Yorke 84’), Yakubu, Saah, Caprice, Ugwu, Saraiva, Lewis (Edgar 53’)
Substitutes: Poke, Sam-Yorke, Edgar, Kandi, Sutherland
Gateshead team: Hanford, Bolton, Smith, Hogan, Fyfield, Brundle, Jones, Atkinson (York 45’), Johnson, Penn, McLaughlin
Substitutes: Johnson, Smith, York, Mafuta, Hannant
Referee: Dean Trealeaven