Gateshead travel to Dunston UTS in our first friendly open to spectators on Tuesday, July 12 (7:30pm kick off).
Mike Williamson’s men have faced two tests already in pre-season, playing Sunderland and Newcastle United behind closed doors, with the former being a 60-minute training exercise.
The Heed lost 5-1 against Eddie Howe’s Magpies at the weekend, with Paul Blackett netting the first goal of pre-season after latching onto Greg Olley’s pass and rounded the goalkeeper.
Gateshead have enjoyed several pre-season trips to The UTS Stadium across the years, including last season when Eddie Thomas scored the winner in a 2-1 victory.
The sides memorably battled it out against each other in the Emirates FA Cup fourth round qualifying in October 2018, where Gateshead ran out 4-0 winners in front of a capacity crowd.
Dunston, who will get their pre-season programme underway on Tuesday, could feature Heed legends Craig Baxter and Phil Turnbull on Tuesday night.
“We’re going to mix a few elevens,” Williamson said following Saturday’s game at Newcastle.
“We want to be to the right levels when the season comes, everyone is going to be fresh and ready to go, so there will be games where we’ll mix young lads with the first-team.
“There’ll be games where we really focus on the patterns and the way we want to play, and the emphasis is on making sure the first-team are ready.”
Tuesday’s friendly is pay on the gate at The UTS Stadium, with turnstiles and the clubhouse open from 6pm.
Adult – £6
Concession – £4
Gateshead fell to a 2-1 defeat at Dunston UTS in the third game of pre-season.
Richard Coulson and Liam Thear struck in the opening 45 to put Dunston two ahead at the break, before Dan Ward halved the deficit three minutes into the second half, but the hosts held out despite second half pressure.
Mike Williamson named a youthful side to face Chris Swailes’ men at the UTS Stadium, with three academy players and three trialists named in the starting 11.
Connor Pani forced James Anderson into a save with a 30-yard drive early on, while at the other end Jake Jensen headed over the bar as the two sides tried to establish control.
It was the hosts who struck first to take the advantage after 10 minutes when Coulson prodded past James Montgomery to put Dunston ahead.
Dunston enjoyed a period of possession after taking the lead and pushed forward in search of a second, with Liam Thear testing Montgomery’s reflexes at his near post.
Montgomery was called upon moments later to keep the score at one, pulling off a smart double save from close range to deny the hosts a second goal.
Dunston’s pressure paid off 28 minutes in however, as Thear’s 20-yard effort made its way under Montgomery to make it two for the hosts.
Pani came closest to putting Gateshead on the scoresheet two minutes before the break with a 30-yard free kick, which flew inches over Anderson’s crossbar.
Six changes at the break for The Heed produced a goal within three minutes as Ward beat his man on the edge of the box before curling into the far corner to reduce the deficit to one.
Those changes saw Gateshead dominate possession in the second 45 with almost a full squad of established first team names taking control of proceedings.
Tom Allan came inches away from bringing The Heed level 73 minutes in when he latched onto Paul Blackett’s knock-down, but the winger placed just wide of the far post.
Ward sent an effort just to the wrong side of the far post from a tight angle moments later, and saw a shot saved from close range after Allan’s mazy run down the right.
Robbie Tinkler, Trialist and Blackett all saw chances go begging late into the evening as The Heed’s pressure couldn’t provide a second goal, with Dunston holding out for a pre-season win.
Gateshead: Montgomery, Wilson (Olley, 46’), Magnay (Richardson, 46’), Tinkler, Wombwell, Pani (Bailey, 46’), Trialist, Trialist, Trialist (Ward, 46’), Magalhaes (Allan, 46’), Willoughby (Blackett, 46’).
Substitutes: Langley, Williamson.
Goals: Ward (48’)
Dunston UTS: Anderson, Baxter, Turnbull, Shaw (Trialist, 61’), Galbrait, Thear, Kenson, Fowler, Coulson, Elliott (Djalo, 61’).
Substitutes: Swailes, Asikaogu, Djalo, Gaffney, Walsh, Trialist.
Goals: Coulson (10’), Thear (28’)