Harrogate 5, Gateshead 1
The five to one scoreline at Harrogate will be seen as harsh by many people at Gateshead, but one where lessons can be learnt just weeks before the new season begins.
A tight first half saw a solid performance from the visitors with captain Steve Bowey and winger Wayne Phillips looking particularly sharp.
The opening goal came in a bizarre fashion where a pinball machine would feel dizzy if it had witnessed the ball hitting both posts and cross bar more than once before Darren Dunning cannoned a shot off the under-side of the bar which hit goal keeper Mark Bell and finally crossed the line.
Gateshead more than deserved their equalising goal on 55 minutes with Graeme Armstrong using his strength to win the ball which enabled him to go head-to-head with Ian Bogie's former team mate, Paul Musselwhite. The new striker placed his shot well to level the score.
Tiredness soon hit Gateshead hard at Wetherby Road and two goals in two minutes knocked confidence. Lee Whittington and Kirk Jackson scored on 68 and 69 minutes and Dave Merris powered a header home on 73 minutes giving Bell no chance.
A final goal, this time by James McGarry ended a good day for the home side, but Gateshead will now hope to bounce back against Newcastle Benfield Bay Plastics next Thursday night.
Gateshead Line-up: Mark Bell, Craig Baxter, Paul Talbot (Michael Smith 62), Steve Bowey, James Curtis, Steve Baker (Richard Flynn h/t), David Southern, Steve Salvin (Chris Hughes h/t), Graeme Armstrong (Paul Thompson 65), Jamie Harwood (Scott Thompson 65), Wayne Phillips.