Bradford City Reserves 4-1 Gateshead Reserves
Gateshead reserves put up a spirited performance at Bradford City but were denied a point when the Bantams scored three goals late in the game.
The home side forged ahead for the first time with 14 minutes left, added a third in the 87th minute and then another two minutes into stoppage time.
It was harsh on a Gateshead side that lost central defender Ewan Moyes in the opening ten minutes through injury in his last game for the club.
Former Bantam Kyle Nix and striker Gary Mulligan were also on duty for the last time, Mulligan marking the occasion by getting on the scoresheet, his 5th goal for the reserves.
Gateshead gave a trial to 22-year-old Bristol Rovers midfielder Ben Swallow while captain Rob Briggs returned after a spell on loan at Blyth Spartans.
The Tynesiders created the first opening of the game when the returning Robbie Threlfall was forced to head Chris Carruthers' goal-bound header off the line from Martin Brittain's near post corner.
Moyes had to be replaced by Luke Gilbert shortly afterwards but it was The Heed who made the breakthrough on the quarter hour mark.
James Marwood was the provider as he picked out Mulligan whose low drive from close range bear Matt Duke.
Mulligan then set up a chance for Swallow but the Welshmen miscued well wide.
Jak Alnwick's reaction save with his legs kept out Luke O'Brien's deflected volley from just outside the area.
It proved to be only a stay of execution as Mark Stewart rounded the on loan Magpie inside the area to pull the ball back for Adam Baker, whose shot was blocked by Gilbert.
David Syers, however, pounced onto the loose ball to find the net from just outside the box.
Gateshead continued to hold their own after the break despite not matching their first half display with Nix having a long rage effort saved by Duke.
A double substitution in the 74th minute saw City take the lead for the first time two minutes later when Syers set up Stewart who scored from a narrow angle.
Darren Stephenson confirmed victory three minutes from time when he converted captain Andrew Burns' cross, sub Forrayah Bass then heading home in injury time.
Bradford City Res: Duke, Burns, Threlfall (Bass 74), Dean, Overson, Bullock, Baker, Syers, Stewart, Stephenson, O'Brien
Subs (not used): Tongue (gk), Brown
Goals: Syers (40), Stewart (76), Stephenson (87), Bass (90+2)
Gateshead Res: Alnwick, Baxter, Carruthers, Thackray, Moyes (Gilbert 9), Briggs, Brittain, Nix (Marshall 84), Mulligan, Marwood, Swallow
Subs (not used): Jameson (gk), Brown
Goal: Mulligan (50)
Craig Baxter and Rob Briggs
Luke Gilbert. Photos by Kevin Smith – www.kevinsmith-photographer.co.uk