A Rakish Bingham hat-trick was not enough to prevent Pools from slipping to a disappointing pre-season friendly defeat at Gateshead on Saturday afternoon.
However, it was a sluggish start from Pools and the hosts looked the more settled in the opening exchanges, taking the lead on nine minutes when Jon Shaw prodded in from close range.
Bingham almost offered an immediate response when he robbed a defender but, after wriggling in to space, his shot was held by keeper Sam Russell.
However, the leveller wasn’t long in coming as Nicky Featherstone broke the offside trap and when his low ball across was half cleared, Bingham was there to steer it in to the net.
And the Pools front man soon helped himself to a second goal when he took full advantage of a terrible mix-up between keeper Russell and centre-back James Curtis to slot in to an empty net.
Dan Jones could have put Pools further in front when he got on the end of Brad Walker’s left-wing free kick but somehow headed wide though the linesman’s flag had gone up, presumably for offside.
It looked as though Moore’s men would take their advantage in to the break but on 41 minutes winger Jimmy Phillips cut inside with real determination and finished low past Trevor Carson from the edge of the area.
Five minutes after the break Pools were in front when Bingham completed his treble in fortuitous circumstances – a mishit shot from the edge of the box somehow bobbled past Russell and in to the net via a post to make it 3-2.
Pools then enjoyed a spell of superiority when they should have extended their lead; Harry Worley drilled the best of the chances over the bar after good work from Woods down the left.
But it was all-square again midway through the second period when Phillips was again allowed to dribble inside and this time he teed-up former Pools youngster Danny Johnson to slot home his first Gateshead goal.
A further blow from the goal was that Trevor Carson twisted awkwardly and tweaked a groin meaning former Gateshead keeper Adam Bartlett was afforded a generous reception from the home fans as he came on for Pools.
However, it wasn’t long before the substitute keeper was picking the ball out of his net, beaten by Wilson Neasham’s neat finish after a chipped through ball had done for the Pools defence.
Dan Jones saw a fierce shot tipped on to the cross bar and Worley headed the resultant corner over the bar as Pools searched for an equaliser.
But the defeat was set in stone when the hosts counter-attacked efficiently down the left and Josh Gillies arrived on the edge of the six-yard box to rifle Gateshead’s fifth goal in to the roof of the net.
Full Time: Gateshead 5 Pools 3
Pools: Carson (Bartlett 66), Magnay (Duckworth 75), Harrison, Worley, Jones, Whittle, Woods (Nelson-Addy 75), Featherstone, Walker (Thompson 50), Bingham (Oates 70), Paynter (Fenwick 46).
Subs not used: Richards, Parnaby, Bates, Smith, Oyenuga.