Newcastle United Under-23s were beaten 4-1 by Gateshead at the International Stadium in what will be a learning curve for the youngsters.

The Vanarama National League North side were in an unforgiving mood as player-manager Mike Williamson - now 37 - pulled the strings for the Tynesiders.

With seven former Newcastle players on the pitch, perhaps the home side had a point to prove against their old employers but there could be no argument that the Magpies had been second best in front of a crowd of 833.

After a shaky start for Newcastle's reserve side, Toon old boy Adam Campbell cashed in as he broke into the box and dinked a low shot past Will Brown with United's defence left wanting on 12 minutes.

Gateshead doubled their advantage when Greg Olley managed to squeeze the ball home from a tight angle to beat Brown and the recovering defender on the line after 28 minutes.

And despite one or two breaks from both Matt Bondswell down the left and Tom Allan down the right, Newcastle left the field with plenty of work to do in the second half.

It looked like the Magpies were going to stage some type of comeback as Dylan Stephenson continued his fine form in pre-season with a well taken goal after an attack down the left-hand side just three minutes into the second half.

But within three minutes Gateshead had restored their two-goal cushion when former Toon trial player Cedwyn Scott swept home to beat substitute goalie Max Thompson with a powerful finish into the right-hand corner.

An audacious volley from Campbell almost extended the lead further before the hour mark.

Yet the curse of the former player would continue for Newcastle as sub Paul Blackett was introduced on 64 minutes.

Within 60 seconds another confident finish in the box made it 4-1 and killed off the game as a contest.

Gateshead could have added to their tally while Rodrigo Vilca, the young Peruvian who arrived at United last season, showed some good touches and saw a couple of shots go wide.

However, the day belonged to Gateshead as fans of the Tynesiders applauded their side off the field.

Chris Hogg's side beat Darlington 3-1 last weekend but could have learned more from the defeat at Gateshead in many ways.

They continue their pre-season preparations against Blyth Spartans at Croft Park on Tuesday night.

UNITED: Brown (Thompson 46), Barrett (Scott 60), Bondswell (Oliver 72), Savage (Cross 72), Wiggett (McEntee 60), De Bolle (Thomson 72), Allan (Vilca 60), Young (Brockwell 60), Stephenson (Ferguson 72), White (Flaherty 48), Wilson (Longelo 72).

Attendance: 833

Referee: Martin Coy