So the day had come and Barnet knew that promotion to the Football League and with it, the Conference championship, was completely in their own hands. Martin Allen named the side that had been expected to play and the Bees knew that a win would be enough, irrespective of how Bristol Rovers did at home to Alfreton Town.
After a minute's silence in honour of the 30th anniversary of the Bradford City fire, the game got underway and the Bees had a chance within the first few minutes but Michael Gash was not able to convert. In front of a full house at the Hive, the atmosphere was fantastic, the best that it has been since the club moved here in 2013, but obviously, tension was high and made more so when news filtered through that Nristol Rovers had gone a goal up at home to Alfreton.
On 11 minutes, Andy Yiadom had the ball in the net but the goal was disallowed because of a foul on Gateshead defender, James Curtis. However, the Bees did go ahead midway through the first half. Baxter fouled John Akinde out on the left and conceded a free kick. Sam Togwell flighted over a fine free kick and Mauro VILHETE, probably the smallest man on the pitch, scored with a bullet header into the left hand corner of the net to relieve some of the tension and enable the Hive to erupt.
On 34 minutes, Conor Clifford shot just over from outside the penalty area and a couple of minutes later, Curtis Weston was desperately unlucky not to put the Bees 2-0 up when his ferocious drive from outside the area crashed back off the bar.
Barnet, one felt, needed another goal to feel more comfortable, but, going into half time, they lead just 1-0. Bristol Rovers were leading by 3-0 against Alfreton so it was clear that the Bees needed a win.
HT: Barnet 1 Gateshead 0
The second goal, however, was not long in coming after the restart. On 48 minutes, Sam Togwell's corner was headed goalbound by Gash, but Gateshead's experienced goalkeeper, Adam Bartlett, produced a terrific save to keep the ball out and push it away but the ball fell to that man, Mauro VILHETE who struck it sweetly into the net from close range to give the Bees a 2-0 cushion and send the home fans into raptures.
Gateshead very nearly pulled a goal back just two minutes later, having offered next to nothing the whole game. The lively Kevin Sainte-Luce sent over a fine cross for Carl Finnigan to meet with a fine header but Graham Stack protected Barnet's 2-0 lead with a terrific save.
Just before the hour, Yiadom nearly made it 3-0 with a fine header from another Togwell corner. His header was cleared onto the underside of the bar and away to deny the Bees a goal that would have completely settle the match.
On 66 minutes, a fine Gash cross nearly produced a hat trick for Vilhete but he headed just wide of the post. The Bees had a bit of a scare with four minutes remaining when Jon Shaw netted for Gateshead but the linesman had already ruled offside.
And that really was that, Barnet saw out the last few minutes comfortably. Luisma Villa, Jack Saville and Charlie MacDonald came on as substitutes, the latter two for their last games in a Barnet shirt and ref, Darren England blew the whistle and Barnet were back in the Football League, just two years after being relegated and the Hive had it's first really memorable occasion, one that, I'm sure, all Barnet fans will look back on with great joy. Barnet's new ground, in recent weeks, has finally become a proper home to the club.
Celebrations began and the Conference trophy was presented to Charlie MacDonald and Curtis Weston and the Bees' fans could enjoy the lap of honour that followed. Bristol Rovers had defeated Alfreton Town 7-0 but in the end it was to no avail as the Bees did what was necessary.
FT: Barnet 2 Gateshead 0
Barnet: Stack; Yiadom, N'Gala, Stephens, Johnson; Vilhete (MacDonald 90), Weston, Togwell, Clifford (Saville 82); Akinde (Luisma 90), Gash.
Subs not used: Muggleton, Gambin.