The Hornets took the lead nine minutes before the break through former Heed striker Graeme Armstrong before Connor Thomson levelled the game up on the stroke of half time.
Armstrong appeared in the box again eight minutes after the restart to head home and restore Hebburn’s lead although Barrow hauled Gateshead level nine minutes later with a 20-yard strike.
Toby Lees’ header put the visitors ahead for the first time on the night before JJ O’Donnell wrapped the game up with a one-on-one finish three minutes from time.
Mike Williamson named a strong starting 11 after fielding a young squad at Consett last Saturday afternoon, with all outfield players contracted while a trialist goalkeeper started between the sticks.
The game’s early stages didn’t do much to warm up the crowd on a gloomy evening at the Energy Check Sports Ground, with chances at a premium for the opening quarter.
The first real opportunity for either side arrived with 26 minutes on the clock as Williamson headed Greg Olley’s corner down towards goal, only for his effort to be cleared from just in front of the line by a Hebburn defender.
JJ O’Donnell came even closer moments later when he had seemingly rounded the goalkeeper after going one-on-one, but the latter managed to smother the midfielder’s shot at the crucial moment.
O’Donnell came inches away from converting Paul Blackett’s driven ball across goal shortly afterwards, before Michael Richardson tested the Heed’s goalkeeper with a 25-yard free-kick.
The hosts took the lead two minutes after their first real taste of goal however, Armstrong converting at the third time of asking from a corner with Gateshead unable to clear their lines.
Hebburn’s lead lasted just six minutes though thanks to Thomson as the forward met Blackett’s ball out wide before placing low into the far corner to level things up heading into the break.
Armstrong proved to be a thorn in his former club’s side on the night however as he popped up at the back post to nod home after the trialist keeper made a smart save from the initial header.
Once again though their lead proved to be short-lived as a move that seemingly came to a halt after Blackett’s cross couldn’t quite reach Thomson was reignited, with Barrow being laid off at the back-post before rifling into the far corner to equalise.
The Heed looked to take the lead for the first time in the game shortly afterwards, with Toby Lees and Liam Agnew both seeing efforts clear the crossbar.
It would be Lees who did just that moments later as the defender rose above all challengers in the box to head Greg Olley’s corner into the top corner of the Hebburn net.
Agnew came mere inches away from doubling Gateshead’s lead shortly afterwards only to see Dan Groves clear his goalbound effort off the line.
O’Donnell did just that three minutes before the final whistle, slotting home from Trialist’s ball into the area to ensure the Heed picked up their first pre-season win.
Hebburn XI: Trialist; Groves, Lough, Storey, Donaghy (Simpson, 79’), Carson, Dibb-Fuller (Robson, 65’), Spence, Armstrong, Richardson (Martin, 67’), Elliott (Suddick, 69’).
Unused subs: none
Goals: Armstrong (36’, 53’)
Bookings: Robson (77’), Storey (81’)
Gateshead XI: Trialist; Barrow, Williamson, Lees; Oliver (Trialist, 45’); O’Donnell, Forbes (Agnew, 58’), Olley, Nicholson (Trialist, 68’); Blackett (Trialist, 68’), Thomson.
Unused subs: Trialist, Trialist.
Goals: Thomson (42’), Barrow (62’), Lees (74’), O’Donnell (87’)