By Dominic Scurr

ROBBIE Tinkler opened his Gateshead account in fine fashion to help his new side claim a 1-1 draw at South Shields on Saturday afternoon. 

Tinkler (Charlie Waugh)
Tinkler (Charlie Waugh)

The Middlesbrough loanee was introduced, along with nine other Gateshead players, at half-time as they trailed 1-0 following former Heed forward Jon Shaw’s third minute opener. And after the break Gateshead put in a strong second half display with Tinkler levelling the score with a fantastic 25-yard strike that flew straight into the top right corner of the goal just before the hour mark.

And Tinkler felt the friendly match at Mariners Park was a proper contest for both sides.

“I’d probably say it’s been our hardest test in pre season because it didn’t really feel like a friendly,” said the 20-year-old.

“There were plenty of fans here and both teams were up for it.

“I thought we could have been a little more physical with them in the first half but it’s pre season so we got our work done and got a draw but in the end that isn’t too important as we’ve all worked hard as a team.

“We know South Shields are a good team and they kept the ball well without offering too much more than that but still they are playing well above the level they are at so it was a good game.”

Tinkler was also pleased to get off the mark for his new club as he became the fifth 20-year-old – alongside Macaulay Langstaff, Kieran Green, Tom White and Danny Burns – to score for the Heed this pre season.

“At the moment I’m just happy to get a good run out on the pitch to be honest,” Tinkler admitted.

“But no I’m delighted to score because that’s what gets you results as a player and I love the feeling of scoring so I’m glad I could chip in.

“I don’t score a great deal of goals, not as many as I should anyway, but when it comes off my foot like it did, I’m obviously very happy.

“The main thing for all of us now is to try and cement our positions in the starting eleven because there is a lot of competition for places in the side and it’s important that we all work together and get ready for the start of the season.”