By Rory Drake
Two late goals from trialist Greg Olley proved the difference as Gateshead beat Newcastle Benfield 3-1 in their opening game of pre season.
Gateshead took the lead in the third minute through trialist Connor Bell but were pegged back before the break with former Heed striker Paul Brayson smashing home.
Olley proved the difference late on, with two stunning strikes to win the game for the Tynesiders.
Gateshead took the lead with the first chance of the game when Bell worked his way into the box and slid the ball past Andrew Grainger.
Brayson had the chance to bring Benfield level but his effort in the 22nd minute didn’t find the target, but Brayson did bring the game level, smashing home from close range after being played in by Scott McCarthy in the 29th minute.
Gateshead came close to retaking the lead after 40 minutes, when a Connor Thompson effort was fumbled by Grainger, but Benfield recovered and cleared.
Moments later the Heed again came close to retaking the lead, but Olley fired over the bar from close range.
Tom White came close to putting Gateshead in front just after the restart but his effort from the edge of the box fizzed just wide.
Alex Nesbitt came close for Benfield in the 55th minute trying his luck from 30 yards out, but Foden did well to turn the ball over.
Lewis Maloney had a chance to put the Heed in front on 70 minutes, but his freekick from just outside the box went just wide.
Benfield then came close with Josh Scott firing a freekick on the right into the side netting.
The game was looking like it was going to finish level, but Gateshead did retake the lead with 10 minutes to play, when Olley found space on the edge of the box and fired a shot low into the bottom corner.
Benfield looked to be tiring as the game went on and Gateshead took full advantage. Olley again found himself just outside the box and fired a curling effort into the top right-hand corner.
Gateshead XI: Foden, Tinkler, O’Donnell, Forbes (Oliver 61’), Kerr (Devitt 50’), Mellish, Thompson, White (Maloney 61’), Bell, Olley, Salkeld (Savitsky 67’)
Subs not used: Clark
Goals: Bell (3’), Olley (79’, 83′)
Newcastle Benfield XI: Grainger; Evans, Martin, Nesbitt (Grieve 66’), Turnbull (Hutchinson 61’), Craig Scott (Studholme), Orrell (McCarthy 28’), Robson, Brayson (Heaney 61’), Hailes (Josh Scott 58’), Holmes (Pearson 58’)
Subs not used: N/A
Goals: Brayson (29)
Referee: Geoff Eltringham