SLOPPY Doncaster did not have it all their own way against the whipping boys of Championship One.
Rock bottom Thunder have yet to register a league win this season and have found themselves on the end of some heavy beatings.
But the North East side were just one score behind the Dons for the majority of a closely fought clash, before two late tries from Michael Coady and Nev Morrison saved the visitors’ blushes.
Scott Spaven converted his own try after just six minutes to get Tony Miller’s side off to the perfect start.
But Danny Wilson’s touchdown for Gateshead on 12 minutes kept the home side very much in the game.
Ryan Clarke then kicked a penalty in the last minute of the first half to send the sides in level at 6-6 - and Thunder were sensing their first scalp of the season as Doncaster struggled for any sort of fluency.
Chris Spurr’s 49th minute try edged the Dons ahead but it was not until 20 minutes later that Coady went over to give the visitors some breathing space, and Spaven converted.
In the final minute Morrison added a fourth try for good measure – again converted by Spaven – to earn Doncaster a third straight victory and deny plucky Gateshead a losing bonus point.