John Sheridan’s side hadn’t tasted defeat since the beginning of March when they squandered two leads to lose 3-2 at home to Eastleigh.
Steven Rigg’s first-half penalty was just the third goal Sheridan’s charges have conceded in their last six games.
After a quiet start to the game, the Spireites conceded a penalty in the 26th minute after Steven Rigg was hauled down into the box.
Ending their disappointing seven-match winless streak has left the hosts with an outside chance of reaching the play-offs - with four points between them and seventh with two games to go.
Shwan Jalal was hopeless from the resultant spot-kick as Rigg slotted it straight down the middle to hand the hosts the lead.
Down the other end Marc-Antoine Fortune had a great chance to level with Aynsley Pears pulling off a decent stop.
Sheridan’s side were fortunate not to find themselves two behind with Jalal doing well to deny Rigg, before Connor Thomson fired the rebound against the post.
After the break Laurence Maguire could only nod Kyel Reid’s corner straight at Pears.
Ten minutes after the interval Charlie Carter’s header was well saved by Pears after being expertly found by Bradley Barry’s cross.
The Spireites huffed and puffed to grab an equaliser but struggled to break down a resolute Gateshead backline.
Substitue Tom Denton had a decent chance to level late on.
The towering centre-forward was picked out by Ellis Chapman, but could only head straight at Pears as the Spireites continued to be frustrated.
Chesterfield will be bidding to get back to winning ways when they hosts Boreham Wood next time out.
Gateshead: Pears, Tinkler, Devitt, Williamson, Mellish, Barrow, White, Olley, Forbes (Hunter, 34), Thomson, Rigg. Unused subs: Foden, Maloney, O’Donnell, Salkeld.
Chesterfield: Jalal, Barry, Evans, Hollis, Carter (Kiwomya, 63), Maguire (Chapman, 76), Weir, Smith, Reid, Fortune (Denton, 58), Boden. Unused subs: McKay, Shaw.
Referee: Matthew Dicicco.
Attendance: 1,208 (650).