Connor Thomson was pleased to get back into the swing of things last night as Gateshead fell to defeat in their pre-season opener against Middlesbrough.

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The Heed went a goal down on the stroke of half-time through Jonny Howson’s 25-yard effort but managed to draw level shortly after the break, as Thomson slotted home from the penalty spot following an infringement from Brad James.

The Championship side regained the advantage through Ashley Fletcher after 66 minutes, before Marvin Johnson’s 25-yarder crashed in off the post to hand the visitors their first pre-season victory.

Speaking to, Thomson spoke of his thoughts on his side’s performance against strong opposition, saying: “It was always going to be tough, they’re a Championship side with a strong team.

“I think we did very well considering we have a brand new squad and nobody really knows each other on the pitch yet, but I think we looked good overall.

“It just gives you a better chance of showing where you should be in possession because they were just pinging it about and we had to move, so it was good overall for the shape of the team.”

The 23-year-old, who scored once in the National League last season as he found himself in an unfamiliar role as a striker, started the game and was brought off just after the hour mark as Mike Williamson made wholesale changes.

He was glad to get his name on the scoresheet and draw his side level in the pre-season opener, adding: “That’s what I want to do, I want to score and get assists.

“If a penalty is there to be taken then it obviously gets the confidence going straight away.

“It’s obviously been a long period off and we just want to get straight back into the games and look to improve every week so we’re flying into the season.”