Spennymoor Town 2-2 Gateshead
Gateshead were given an excellent work out in their first warm up game at Northern League champions for the past three years, Spennymoor Town.
The first half was mainly contested in midfield with The Heed having plenty of the ball without opening up the Town defence.
Craig Turns was rarely tested and it was the Moors who twice went close before taking the lead through Mark Davison two minutes from the interval.
Gateshead played a different 11 in each half and they were level through Carl Magnay two minutes after the break.
Former Tynesider Michael Rae soon restored the Moors lead with a great strike and then the influential Josh Gillies restored parity in the 66th minute.
The second half was an all action affair against a strong Spennymoor side who have acquired the winning mentality over the last few years.
Both sides had chances to win the game, Gillies guilty of a bad miss late on, and manager Ian Bogie was pleased to get some game time for his squad.
"Due to all the rain we have only been able to train on the 3G pitch, indoors and on the beach so it's the first time since last season the lads have played on grass," said Bogie.
"I had a bit of a pop at those who played in the first half because we had plenty of the ball but didn't play with any real purpose and didn't work their keeper.
"We mixed and matched and fielded two different sides but there were no square pegs in round holes.
"We were much better going forward in the second half and scored a couple of good goals.
"Pre-season is not all about results but we want to play well in every game and build up a winning mentality.
"There was bound to be a bit of rustiness but we passed the ball well at times and it was a good work out against a Spennymoor side that could play at a higher level.
"They are a very good Northern League outfit with a number of players who have been at Gateshead and they must be a good shout for the FA Vase this season."
Jamie Chandler, James Curtis, Adam Bartlett and former Middlesbrough trainee Lewis Galpin caught the eye for Gateshead in the opening 45 minutes.
Glenn Wilson gave a confident display while another close season capture, James Brown, showed flashes that sugggest he will cause problems in the Conference.
Gateshead (1st half): Bartlett, Wilson, Galpin, Chandler (C), Curtis, Bush, Brown, Ramshaw, Fisher, Cummins, Barton
Summer signing James Brown shot over and Micky Cummins headed over the bar in the opening ten minutes at the Brewery Field.
Former Tynesider Steven Richardson was lively against his hometown side and his 22-yard low snap shot brought a fine one handed save from new keeper Adam Bartlett.
Joe Walton then got the better of another new boy, Chris Bush, on the right side of the box to hit a shot that Bartlett did well to parry.
The Moors, however, took an interval lead when Richardson pulled the ball back from the byline for Davison to sweep home from close range.
Gateshead (2nd half): Nixon, Magnay, Boyle, Roberts, Mole, Clark, Odubade, Turnbull, Hatch, Gillies, Marwood
Two minutes after the resumption of play Magnay headed home Josh Gillies' corner to set up a much livelier second half.
Liam Hatch then had a free header from Yemi Odubade's cross but his effort hit Michael Laws and trickled through to Moors keeper Rob Dean.
Rae restored the home lead on 51 minutes from a tight angle, turning sharply to hit a superb shot into the far corner of the net.
New loan signing Paddy Boyle was impressive in defence and attack but blazed over after being put in by Odubade.
A minute later, however, Gillies, 16 yards out, found the net off the inside of the post from Hatch's lay-off.
Keith Graydon's quick free kick caught out the Heed defence but Neal Hooks could only put his lob over Jordan Nixon past the far post.
Hatch almost won it for Gateshead ten minutes from time when Gillies' ball from the left was allowed to reach the far post.
The big man's first time volley was blocked by Dean and former Tynesider Graydon immediately flashed a 22-yard drive inches wide at the other end.
Chris Lawther was then in but miscued and it was a similar story for Gillies after James Marwood's shot had been parried into his path by Dean.
Gillies was The Heed's main threat in the second half and capped a lively display with the equaliser.
On loan Dunfermline left back Boyle, who only linked up with the squad on Friday, gave an assured display and former Boro trainee Michael Roberts made his mark in midfield.
Hatch gave the attack a focal point, Magnay took his goal well while Marwood was lively and Ben Clark a steady influence at the back..
Spennymoor Town: Turns (Dean 46), Griffiths (Groves 46), Mason, Dodds, Ryan, Laws, Walton (Ruddy 46), Hooks (Graydon 46), Davison (Taylor 46), Richardson (Rae 46), Phillips (Peacock 46)
Gateshead now head for a training camp in the Lakes, training at Kirby Stephen on Monday followed by an activities day on Tuesday.
A second friendly, behind-closed-doors, will take place at League two new boys Fleetwood Town on their way back to the North East on Wednesday.
Nathan Fisher takes on former Tynesider Wayne Phillips
Jamie Chandler runs the show in midfield
Carl Magnay heads Gateshead level
Magnay celebrates his goal as Lee Mole watches on
James Marwood takes on the Spennymoor defence
Josh Gillies levels things up at 2-2 as Adam Bartlett watches on from the stands. Photos by Steven White: imagesbysw.com