Gateshead 4 Sunderland XI 3

by Stuart Vose

A late goal saw Sunderland lose out at Gateshead.

Sunderland lost out to a late goal in a topsy-turvy clash with Gateshead on Tyneside.

The Black Cats raced into a two-goal lead early on against the Conference Premier outfit, who kick off their league campaign next week.

Adam Reed and Jordan Laidler both found the net within the first five minutes before Chris Bush struck to reduce the arrears.

Yemi Odubade missed a penalty with 25 minutes to go and that failure to convert sparked a remarkable conclusion to the game.

Ryan McGorrigan and Nathan Fisher turned the game around before Billy Knott made it 3-3.

But McGorrigan had the final say, scoring a dramatic winner just a minute before the end to send the Heed into next week's game at Luton on a high.

Kevin Ball named a young side for the penultimate friendly of the development's squad pre-season, with a trip to newly-promoted York to come.

Just three minutes were on the clock when the visitors went ahead - Reed finding himself unmarked on the edge of the box to score via a deflection off a defender.

And Sunderland doubled their money just two minutes later through Laidler, who added his third goal in two games with a deft finish into the far corner from 12 yards.

But any thoughts the away side might have had of a comfortable victory were dashed as the Heed Army halved the deficit just after the quarter-hour.

A dangerous cross bounced around the Sunderland area and was hooked back across goal for Chris Bush to beat Jordan Pickford with a crisp drive.

The game settled following the early flurry, with the only other chance of the first period falling to Sunderland as Roarie Deacon tested Adam Bartlett down low with a lovely turn and shot after playing a neat one-two with Knott.

Deacon came close again just before the hour, shooting inches wide from the edge of the box after drifting in off the left wing.

But Sunderland didn't have it their own way as left-back Bush - a big threat on the night - drew a fine save from Pickford with a powerful free-kick which bounced awkwardly down by the near post.

Gateshead had a golden chance to level with 25 minutes left when keeper Pickford brought down Odubade, but the striker crashed his penalty against the underside of the crossbar.

The miss seemed to galvanise Gateshead, who pressed and probed at regular intervals with Pickford intervening to save with his feet after sub Fisher sneaked through.

Defender Carl Magnay headed over from a decent position as the hosts turned the screw, and their pressure paid off with an equaliser 18 minutes from time.

A ball across the box caught out the Sunderland defence and sub McGorrigan, released by Newcastle in the summer, reacted quickest to turn the ball past Pickford.

Fisher had a golden chance to win it with just eight minutes remaining when Bush picked him out with a low cross, but the forward spooned his shot wide of the far post from just six yards.

However, he soon recovered from his mistake to fire what looked like the decider, finding the far corner with a fine drive from 25 yards to leave Pickford with no chance.

But there was another twist five minutes from time as Knott drove forward before letting fly with a bullet of a shot into the bottom corner from 20 yards.

The midfielder's fine effort looked to have earned Sunderland a draw - but McGorrigan had the final say when he drilled Fisher's pass beyond Pickford a minute from the end.

Sunderland: Pickford, Oliver, Adams (Gorrin, 63), Laing, Ferguson, Mitchell, Deacon (Joyce, 74), Reed (Callaghan, 62), Knott, Laidler, Lynch (E Robson, 74).

Subs Not Used: Wilson, Dixon.