Gateshead 1 - 2 Hartlepool United

Gateshead lost their first pre-season friendly, and Hartlepool United recorded their first warm up win, after a low key friendly at the International Stadium.

A monsoon before kick-off left the pitch once again saturated but the surface held up well - which is more than can be said for the floodlights!

The two pylons at the River End malfunctioned leaving half the pitch in gloom in the latter stages of the game.

Gateshead were unable to call upon the services of a trio of players; Darren Forsyth, Neale McDermott and Christoph Ascherl due to international clearance not being received, while Jamie Harwood was injured.

The Tynesiders had the majority of the ball in the first half and had more efforts on goal but lacked a cutting edge.

Wayne Phillips caused Pools problems all night while Phil Turnbull was impressive in midfield against his former club.

Another former Poolie, Mark Robinson, gave another assured performance at left back while James Curtis was a rock at the back.

Curtis went close with an early header and Phillips cut inside to test Scott Flinders before the visitors took a 20th minute lead.

Antony Sweeney was allowed to cross from near the corner flag and Andy Monkhouse rose at the back post to head home.

It was a soft goal to concede but Gateshead hit back with Richardson heading a Phillips cross just over the bar and Flinders holding on to a 25 yard Graeme Armstrong strike.

Kris Gate then had a good chance when given time and space 16 yards out but failed to hit the target with his volley.

Gateshead were rendered toothless up front after the break when Armstrong failed to reappear due to illness.

Pools duly stretched their lead nine minutes into the second period when the Gateshead defence again failed to deal with a high ball into the box.

New Irish striker Denis Behan was this time the beneficiary when he powered a ten yard header into the roof of the net from Jonny Rowell's corner.

Steven Richardson, again a threat up front, almost put Gateshead back in the game but he was unable to hit the target after rounding Flinders.

As the gloom descended second half substitute James Brown tested former Pools keeper Jim Provett with a well struck effort as play was mainly confined to midfield.

Richardson then had a shot blocked before Phillips was denied by the woodwork when his 86th minute shot came back off the bar.

Gateshead however did pull a goal back in the last minute when teenager Alex Francis curled a 22 yard shot into the bottom corner for his fourth goal in pre-season.

Gateshead: Provett, Baxter (Pelonde 66), Robinson (Cave 77), Gate, Curtis (Swailes 59), Jones, Brittain, Turnbull, Armstrong (Francis 45), Richardson, Phillips

Sub (not used) Farman (gk)
Att: 406

By Jeff Bowron