Middlesbrough Reserves 4-1 Gateshead Reserves
Gateshead captain Ben Clark came through an hour of his comeback game from injury while Chris Moore, out for ten games, played the full 90 minutes.
Goalkeeper Tim Deasy also got in his first 45 minutes since a knee operation.
Those were the three major plusses from an otherwise disappointing defeat against a young Middlesbrough side at Hurworth.
Already light up front, Nathan Fisher took a blow to the head in the first half which forced the former Boro youth player off before half-time.
Boro were three up before Gateshead captain Rob Briggs found the bottom corner with a good strike from just outside the box.
Former Darlington striker Curtis Main then scored his second of the afternoon after the break with the Teesiders also twice denied by the bar.
Gateshead went close on a couple of occasions but this Central League game fizzled out in the second half.
Boro's young guns were ahead after 15 minutes when a slick move saw Main's flick put Andy Halliday in and the striker made no mistake.
Martin Brittain's angled shot from the left of the box forced James Montgomery into a diving save but Boro made it two on 20 minutes.
A sweeping ball from the right saw Luke Williams find Main in the left side of the box.
The front man beat Ewan Moyes' attempt to block as he hit a powerful shot from a narrow angle that beat Paul Farman at his near post.
Fisher, ploughing a lone furrow up front, had a shot deflected into Montgomery's arms while Farman was at full stretch to tip Williams' 24 yard shot past the post.
The Heed were then opened up again as Main cut in from the left. His well struck shot was parried by Farman only for Williams to knock home the rebound.
Tamo Kink eased past Sam Rents in the box to force another save from Farman as Gateshead struggled.
With Fisher replaced by Jonny Evans Gateshead pulled a goal back when Briggs finished well to open his seasonal account.
Deasy replaced Farman at half-time and was soon diving to his right to prevent Middlesbrough from increasing their lead.
Moyes headed a Brittain free kick into the side netting
and then a great ball from Briggs saw Evans blaze over from inside the box.
It was Boro, however, who completed the scoring just past the hour when Main was given time and space inside the box to head home Bruno Palitos' cross.
It was another poor goal to concede and Boro twice hit the bar before the end, Williams 25 yards out thumping against the woodwork with Deasy beaten.
Middlesbrough Res: Montgomery, Pilatos, Reach, Dolan (Brobbel 63), Hines, Atkinson, Williams, Smallwood, Main, Halliday(Wyke 71), Kink (Weldon 63)
Sub (not used): Bland (gk)
Gateshead Res: Farman (Deasy 46), Doyle, Rents, Briggs, Clark (Gilbert 60), Moyes, Brittain, Short, Fisher (Evans 42), Marshall, Moore
Sub (not used): Cox
Referee: Graeme Fyvie
Ben Clark makes his comeback from injury at Middlesbrough's training ground
Chris Moore also makes his first appearance since injury
Ewan Moyes challenges for a high ball
Martin Brittain takes on the Middlesbrough defence. Photos by Paul Reece.