WREXHAM have taken over at the top of the National League after beating Gateshead 3-1 at The Racecourse.

The Reds' victory, which extended the unbeaten run to nine games in all competitions, took Sam Ricketts' men to the summit above Salford who drew at Eastleigh.

The starting line-up showed three changes from the side that beat Hartlepool in midweek.

Key midfielder Luke Summerfield, who missed the previous three games through injury, returned in place of Akil Wright.

The other two changes were in attack with Paul Rutherford and Chris Holroyd brought into the front three for Jordan Maguire-Drew and Rekeil Pyke.

Gateshead had a few half chances in the opening 10 minutes, Rob Lainton making a comfortable save from Steve Rigg who also fired wide.

Wrexham's first opportunity of the game came moments later with James Jennings' long range effort comfortably saved by Aynsley Pears.

But the Reds took the lead on 18 minutes following good work by Rutherford.

The winger did well to advance to the by-line and his pull-back was turned into his own net by defender Fraser Kerr.

Wrexham took control of the game without really threatening a second goal, Pears shown a yellow card by referee Gary Parsons after bringing down Holroyd outside the area but the striker was going away from goal.

Holroyd was unable to convert Summerfield's free-kick in added time with a good chance and it remained 1-0 at the break.

Lainton saved from Greg Olley at the start of the second half and the Wrexham goalkeeper made an even better stop to keep out ex-Reds striker Scott Boden's shot after the home defence was carved open.

Substitute Luke Molyneux was also denied by Lainton following patient build-up play but Wrexham, who needed a second goal to give them some breathing space, doubled their tally after 69 minutes.

A corner was cleared but Rutherford sent in a superb cross that was headed past Pears by Brad Walker.

Ricketts made his first change on 71 minutes with Pyke replacing Holroyd and with Gateshead pressing for a goal, Nicky Deverdics came on for Stuart Beavon.

Pyke failed to hit the target in the closing minutes while Wright was a late substitute for Walker.

But Gateshead pulled a goal back two minutes from time following sloppy defending by Wrexham, Luke Armstrong converting.

However, Wrexham regained their two goal lead in added time, Pyke's deflected effort finding the back of the net after he was fed by Luke Young.

Wrexham (4-3-3): Lainton; Roberts, Lawlor, Pearson, Jennings; Summerfield, Walker (Wright 88), Young; Beavon (Beavon 84), Holroyd (Pyke 71), Rutherford. Subs not used: Dibble, Fondop.

Gateshead (4-3-3): Pears; Tinkler, Kerr, Williamson, Barrow; White, Olley, Hunter (Mellish 46); Rigg (Molyneux 59), Armstrong, Boden. Subs not used: Foden, Thomson, O'Donnell.

Referee: Gary Parsons.

Attendance: 4,421 (41 from Gateshead).