South Shields' pre-season campaign came to a close with a 3-1 home defeat to Gateshead.
The Mariners went into the break 1-0 to the good thanks to an early first half goal from Joao Gomes. However, Gateshead took control in the second half and came away with the victory.
Shields goalkeeper Myles Boney was tested in the second minute as Adam Campbell played a one-two with Marcus Dinanga before Campbell unleashed a shot at goal which Boney tipped over the bar for a corner.
The Heed continued to pressure as Dinanga was involved again. This time Greg Olley played a ball to Dinanga at the edge of the box, however, Boney comfortably saved his low strike towards the right of goal.
An error between ex-Mariner Louis Storey and goalkeeper Archie Mair allowed Gomes to tap in from close range in the seventh minute. Defender Storey attempted a pass across the six-yard box to Mair, but the Heed ‘keeper was unable to control it and Gomes pounced to make it 1-0 to Shields.
Gateshead looked to bounce back when in the 13th minute, Stephen Wearne took the ball down the left, cut inside and unleashed a curler from the corner of the box which went just wide to Boney’s left.
Minutes later, there was another defensive mix-up in the Gateshead back line, and again Gomes found himself with the ball this time at the edge of the box. He got a shot off but this time Mair was able to save comfortably.
On 21 minutes there was a defensive mix up involving Shields and Gary Liddle this time, resulting in a low effort from Dinanga which Boney was able to save.
Two minutes later, Shields fashioned a chance as Jordy Mongoy ended up with the ball just inside the box. He twisted and turned Gateshead defenders before finding Martin Smith, whose attempt was blocked.
On 27 minutes, Gateshead had their best chance so far as Ed Francis looped a ball in the box to Olley who attempted to lob Boney, with his effort going just over the bar.
From then on Gateshead started to increase the pressure on Shields, with the Mariners soaking up the relentless attacks.
On 36 minutes, Regan Booty crossed in deep from the left and found the head of Dinanga, but he was unable to get much on the cross as he was underneath the ball when it came in, and Boney was able to comfortably nullify that threat.
The last decent chance of the first half came on 39 minutes when Francis found himself down the middle in space and unleashed a low shot from the edge of the box which Boney saved at his left post.
Gateshead continued to pressure Shields as the second half began. That pressure paid dividends early when another ex-Mariner, Jordan Hunter, played a one-two with Olley just inside the box. Hunter then found Dinanga, who fired low to Boney’s right for a 49th minute equaliser.
Shields had their own period of pressure from the 61st minute when right-back John Lufudu turned two Heed players and took off past midfield, leading to another effort from Gomes which resulted in a Mariners corner.
One minute later, substitute Robert Briggs played a ball over the top into Jordy Mongoy, and his effort was deflected for another corner. Briggs duly took it and his dangerous cross nearly found Gomes in the six-yard box.
Shields continued to pressure as this time Gomes won the ball in midfield and played the ball to a trialist who played Mongoy in. His shot went just past the left post.
Two minutes later, Gateshead started to control the game again as Campbell headed onto substitute Aidan Rutledge, who nodded the ball forward and found himself in space, However, Boney was quick off the line to clear.
Then on 69 minutes another Heed sub, Lirak Hasani, found Booty down the left and he played a dangerous low ball across the six-yard box which no-one could get on the end of.
Gateshead took the lead on 73 minutes. A cross came in from the right and Rutledge was able to loop a header over Boney.
Shields substitute Will Jenkins won the ball in midfield before Gomes found the trialist, who shot just wide to the right of Mair’s goal on 83 minutes.
A minute later after a bit of pinball, Jenkins found himself on the edge of the box, and his low shot to the left was parried out for a corner.
However, on 85 minutes Gateshead made victory certain as a ball from the left found Rutledge. He then found a trialist, who unleashed a low shot into the far corner to make it 3-1 to the Heed.
Shields open their Vanarama National League North campaign on Saturday, August 5th when they host Alfreton Town at 1st Cloud Arena.
South Shields: Boney, Lufudu, Adams, Liddle, Morse, Broadbent (Marriott 20), Smith (Jenkins 74), McGowan (Briggs 60), James (Trialist 60), Gomes, Mongoy (Mottley-Henry 74). Subs not used: Dobson, Hodgson, Heaney, McGeorge.
Goal: Gomes (7).
Image: Kev Wilson.