James Brown's late goal saw Gateshead continue their march up the league table with victory at 10-man Dartford.
Josh Walker put a early header wide from a Colin Larkin cross on as Gateshead began brightly.
But midway through the second half Lee Noble was sent off for violent conduct after appearing to hit Jamie Chandler.
And in the 89th minute substitute Brown headed home Lewis Sirrell's left-wing cross to give the Heed a sixth victory in their last eight league matches.
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Dartford manager Tony Burman told BBC Radio Kent:
"It's just cruel.
"To get a player sent off when things are going OK, it's a bitter pill to swallow.
"The first glimpse of it on a small screen is the referee has got it wrong. Lee has not elbowed someone, and the ref says he's hit him in the face.
"There's been a bit of stick flying about but the crowd was excellent - it's a really difficult period. It's tough and today was one of those games we could have got a point out of it."
Dartford 29 Smith 04 Sterling 05 Clark 12 Essam Booked 20 Burns 15 Collier 10 Bradbrook 17 Martin Booked 08 Noble Dismissed 16 Birchall (Prior - 87' ) 11 Harris Substitutes 06 Cornhill 22 Forecast 14 Mitchell-King 09 Prior 30 Woodyard Gateshead 01 Bartlett 06 Clark Booked 05 Curtis 22 Sirrell 16 Baxter 04 Chandler (Maddison - 76' ) 08 Turnbull 18 Marwood 17 Walker (Brown - 76' ) 29 Oster 07 Larkin Substitutes 25 Maddison 02 Magnay 14 Brown 15 Tait 11 Cummins
Ref: Richard Wigglesworth