Gateshead Reserves 3-0 South Shields
Gateshead reserves began their defence of the Durham Challenge Cup with an ultimately comfortable victory over STL Northern League outfit South Shields at the International Stadium.
The Heed, however, were fortunate to lead through Nathan Fisher's quality strike at the interval after the Mariners created a number of gilt-edged chances.
A combination of indecisive finishing and good goalkeeping from Tim Deasy kept the home goal intact.
Shields had been the more committed side and there were some sharp words in the dressing room at half-time from messrs Bryson and Bogie.
The outcome was a much improved second half display which saw left back David Short stretch the lead with Kyle Nix completing the scoring in the last minute.
Nix had to clear a Stephen Ramsay header off the line after ten minutes and then Deasy had to save smartly from Jonny Wightman.
Ramsay then had a great chance to put a lively Shields ahead from Wightman's cross but his close range header hit Deasy in the chest.
Micky Cummins, playing his first game for the reserves, then had a great opportunity from Short's curling cross but his eight yard header hit former reserves keeper Jonny Ball.
Fisher then latched on to a measured ball out of defence from Short to check inside his marker and curl a beauty into the far corner with 11 minutes of the half left.
That was harsh on the Mariners and a lack-lustre Heed were almost punished on the stroke of half-time when Denver Morris put a free header wide at the back post.
Suitably chastened by a few home truths during the interval Gateshead were much more purposeful after the break.
Fisher was narrowly wide from just outside the box and then Martin Brittain had a shot from inside the penalty area parried by Ball.
A neat Chris Moore flick from Nix's through ball then put Rob Briggs in but the Heed captain blazed over the bar.
Gateshead were now bossing proceedings and they doubled their advantage midway through the half.
Short cut in from the left to hit a left foot shot from the edge of the box that found the bottom corner.
A Briggs shot on the turn was tipped over while Lee Bell's free kick had to be tipped past the post by Paul Farman at the other end.
Shields sub keeper Jake Cunningham tipped over a powerful Fisher drive and then denied the same player with his legs.
The lively Fisher had another shot saved before Nix found the bottom corner from 20 yards after a Briggs header had been blocked on the line.
Gateshead Res: Deasy (Farman 46), Doyle (Luke 82), Short, Nix, Moyes, Gilbert, Brittain (Marshall 73), Cummins, Fisher, Briggs, Moore
Subs (not used): Evans, Taggart
Goals: Fisher (34), Short (66), Nix (90)
South Shields: Ball (Cunningham 72), Smith, Talbot, Scope, Bell, Chapim, Morris, Barclay, Ramsey (Gals 60), Burnell, Wightman
Sub (not used): Fitzpatrick
Referee: Tom Rogers (Darlington)
Photos by Michael Riddle.