Whitley Bay 2-5 Gateshead
Gateshead manager Ian Bogie was delighted with his sides performance at STL Northern League club Whitley Bay which brought a fourth consecutive pre-season friendly win.
The Tynesiders put five goals past the FA Vase hat-trick winners on their own patch and could have scored more after registering 21 attempts at goal.
Bay, outplayed in the first half yet incredibly level after half an hour, had their moments and scored two good goals whilst also rattling the bar late on.
Gateshead led 3-1 at the interval courtesy of Kris Gate's second minute opener and two goals in the last five minutes from Nathan Fisher and James Curtis.
Former Seasider Josh Gillies and striker Yemi Odubade scored after the break after Bogie had made seven changes at half-time against a side four divisions below Gateshead in the non-league pyramid.
"It has been the same story for the last three or four games," said Bogie "and it's sometimes difficult to maintain the momentum when you make wholesale changes at half-time.
"It's difficult to have the same fluency and quality that we've had in the first half but I expect the lads who come on to be the same as those they've replaced and maybe it's a big ask.
"To score five goals was great and If we're honest it could been 10 or 11 as we had a lot of the ball and created a boatload of chances.
"Whitley Bay are a fantastic outfit at their level but we restricted them to very little although I'm disappointed that we conceded two goals from crosses.
"We should have done better defensively but all told I cannot complain and the first half performance in particular was excellent and we played some exceptional football."
Freshly promoted to the Blue Square Premier the last time Gateshead visited Hillheads in 2009 Bogie's men were a soft touch that day which resulted in a 3-2 defeat.
From the minute Nathan Fisher signalled his return to action with a second minute surging run into the box there was never any hint of a pre-season upset.
Fisher squared the ball for Kris Gate to hit a first time right foot shot into the far corner and set up a sparkling 45 minutes as the Heed poured forward and caused mayhem down the flanks.
Gary Mulligan had a great chance from Gate's right side cross, an inspired Fisher ran at goal only to fire over and then set up chances for Mulligan and Gate.
Mulligan was wide following a long ball from Curtis as the one way traffic continued and Whitley Bay chased shadows.
Incredibly, however, the home side levelled out of the blue on the half hour when Craig McFarlane's cross was superbly flicked into the far corner by former Tynesider Damon Robson.
Darren Timmons then had a header from a David Pounder corner saved on the line by Paul Farman before the Heed, well backed in a crowd of 515, hit back.
Phil Turnbull and Eddie Odhiambo combined to set up another chance for Mulligan who got good purchase on the ball only to shoot straight at Kyle Hayes.
Two goals in three minutes, however, gave the half-time score a more realistic look.
Fisher took a short ball from new boy Chris Carruthers and turned sharply to hit a 19 yard shot that dipped over Hayes' and below the bar.
It was a good finish from the livewire Fisher but questionable goalkeeping from Hayes who was soon picking the ball out of the net again.
Carruthers swung in a right side corner that saw the long serving Curtis, a colossus at the back once again, power a header into the roof of the net.
Just as in the previous four friendlies wholesale changes were made at half-time, seven in total, and consequently the second half display was not as convincing as a hugely impressive first 45 minutes.
Odubade nevertheless forced a save out of replacement Bay keeper Graham Pickering after just 35 seconds
Only a fine reaction save from Pickering then prevented Darren Timmons from heading into his own net and then Curtis looped a header over the bar.
Micky Cummins should have made it four from Jon Shaw's deep cross but contrived to head wide from three yards as Gateshead again dictated play.
Odubade soon stretched the lead on the hour after Josh Gillies had ran at the Bay defence, Odubade then cutting inside to fire a great left foot shot from just outside the box past Pickering.
Three minutes later and Gillies headed the fifth after his original header from Moore's pacy run and cross had looped into the air off Pickering.
A misplaced Kyle Nix square pass inside his own half saw Paul Robinson race clear only to shoot wide as Tim Deasy and Ewan Moyes did enough to put the midfielder off.
David Pounder, however, soon sidefooted past Deasy, injured in the collision with team-mate Moyes, and into the bottom corner to reduce the deficit for the hosts.
Moore was impressive on both flanks on his return to Hillheads and more good work from the winger saw Rob Briggs head straight at Pickering.
A great run and cross from Moore then flashed across goal with an under pressure Shaw just unable to provide the finishing touch.
Pounder rattled the bar seven minutes from time for a plucky Bay while Nix and Briggs put inviting free kicks wide as a good game came to a close.
Gateshead now host Sunderland and Newcastle United X1s at home in the space of four days, the Black Cats the first up on Saturday.
Whitley Bay: Hayes, Anderson, McFarlane, Timmons, Gibson, Williams, Ormston, Robson, Chow, Pounder, Robinson
Subs: Downey, Pickering (GK), McMullen, Deagle, Hughes, Rowe, Lee
Gateshead: Farman (Deasy 46), Odhiambo (Baxter 46), Carruthers, Gate (Nix 46), Curtis, Clark (Moyes 46), Fisher (Moore 46), Turnbull (Gillies 46), Mulligan (Shaw 46), Odubade (Briggs 64), Cummins
Nathan Fisher scores for Gateshead
James Curtis scores Gatesheads 3rd
Nathan Fisher takes on former Gateshead trialist David Pounder. Photos by: Steven White www.ImagesBySW.com