FIREWORKS were predicted on Tyneside – but this defeat was hardly a spectacle for Garry Hill to behold.
Gateshead were toppled 2-1 at Kingfield earlier this season thanks to goals from Jack Parkinson and Gavin McCallum.
But they got their revenge to end a run of 10 games without a win at the International Stadium on Saturday.
Parkinson’s opener was cancelled out by Josh Gillies’ driven effort and Liam Hatch’s precision header.
Hill had no excuses for his team’s lacklustre showing.
He said: “We knew it would be tough but we got the ideal start with an ideal goal but all of sudden they start to come out.
“They are probably the first team we’ve played this season where the level of fitness showed.
“They looked a little bit stronger, sharper and fitter than us and they had opportunities to completely bury the game which they didn’t take.
“We tried to change it but we can’t have any complaints – it was there day here and our day when we beat them at Kingfield.
“I’m disappointed not to take anything out of the game but if we had it would have been unjust on them.”
The fuse was lit in the opening two minutes when only successive goal line clearances from Adam Newton and Mike Cestor stopped the Heed starting with a bang.
But that scare sparked Woking into life and Parkinson confidently volleyed home Lee Sawyer’s precision cross to give Cards a sixth-minute lead.
The visitors dominated for much of the first-half but were pegged back in the 32nd minute when Gillies rifled past Aaron Howe.
Carl Magnay was stronger into a 50/50 challenge with Cestor and the ball broke for Lee Bullock.
The forward slipped in Gillies down the right and after storming into the area, ripped a low shot just inside the far post.
Gillies should have doubled his tally inside 60 seconds but headed Ryan Donaldson’s cross inches wide.
Donaldson was a thorn in Woking’s side all afternoon and was instrumental as Ian Bogie’s side took the lead right on half time.
The striker rolled in Bullock down the left who stood up a cross at the back stick for the unmarked Hatch.
With all the time in world the returning striker planted a header back across goal and past the stranded Howe.
Cards fizzled out after their restart and rarely pressured the Gateshead goal.
Substitute Nathan Fisher should have scored twice within three minutes of coming on but screwed wide with his first touch before firing harmlessly wide when played through by Gillies.
Howe saved well from Magnay’s header before the same player nodded wide from Paddy Boyle’s corner.
And the Woking keeper made an excellent save from Fisher in the final minute to stop Gateshead extending their lead.