Spennymoor Town’s experience prevailed as Gateshead exited the Durham Challenge Cup at the first round stage at Gateshead International Stadium.
Ben Clark named a youthful side with Gateshead FC Academy players making up the entirety of the squad on Wednesday night while Spennymoor brought a mix of youth and experience.
The first chance of the night came The Heed’s way as Ben Guneyogullari slotted through Jason Kennedy’s legs before firing narrowly wide of the near post.
Their positive start was undone 13 minutes in however, as Spennymoor took the lead as Dan Smith tapped home a cross from the right with the goal at his mercy.
John Lufudu should have put the visitors two ahead eight minutes later when he met Hindson’s cross at the back post, but somehow sent over the crossbar from point blank range.
Rhys McLeod thought he had hauled Gateshead level with 12 minutes of the first half remaining when he drifted behind the defence and slotted home, only for the assistant referee to flag for offside.
The Moors added a second moments later through Hindson who stayed alert at the back post to convert a pull-back after an initial Spennymoor corner.
The visitors added a third on the stroke of half time through Boucher, who slotted past Josh Wilson after Lufudu had created space with a run towards the penalty area.
Mulhern threatened to net a fourth straight after the restart when he barged his way through the defence and struck the post, but he got a second bite of the cherry from the penalty spot shortly after.
Wilson was judged to have brought Lufudu down with the full-back through on goal and Mulhern slotted into the bottom-right corner from the resulting penalty to leave Gateshead four goals behind.
The Heed looked to spark a comeback late on and a flurry of chances passed them by with Eddie Thomas striking the post before McLeod sent just wide from 20 yards.
Spennymoor punished the hosts with 79 minutes gone as Mulhern netted his second at the far post, ensuring their passage to the second round of the Durham Challenge Cup.
Gateshead XI: Wilson, Nelson, Errington, Leech (c), Oyibo, Chatt, Mcleod, Young (Mackenley, 64’), Thomas, Guneyogullari, Doughty.
Substitutes: Thebe, Nash
Spennymoor Town XI: Flatters, Shevels (Wilkinson, 78’), Mason (c), Kennedy, Short, Hindson (Haynes, 69’), Peterson, Smith (Davidson, 54’), Boucher, Lufudu, Mulhern.
Substitutes: Davidson, Wood, Evans.
Spennymoor Town Goals: Smith (13’), Hindson (36’), Boucher (45+1’), Mulhern (pen, 56’, 79’)