GATESHEAD face a replay four days before Christmas at Haig Avenue after they failed to beat Conference strugglers Southport at the first attempt.
The Tynesiders were well below par but came from behind to lead, only to concede a disputed late penalty.
The first half provided little in the way of entertainment for a sparse crowd as Southport went long and Gateshead struggled to get their passing game going. Kris Gate was well wide from 25 yards and then a better first touch from Andy Ferrell’s cross would have produced a clear chance for the schemer.
With Jon Shaw a periphary figure, it was left to strike partner Gary Mulligan to carry the Tynsiders attacking threat.
Another Ferrell cross saw Mulligan head wide of the near post and then Mulligan flashed an inviting centre across the face of goal.
Gateshead had the better of the final 20 minutes of the half but were almost undone by Kevin Lee’s long ball.
Steve Daly was the recipient but the striker’s volley from the left side of the box flew past the angle. Any hopes of Gateshead upping the ante after the break soon dissipated as a catalogue of errors handed Southport a 56th-minute lead. Misplaced passes from Carl Jones, a second half replacement for Paul Heckingbottom, and Ferrell were compounded by Phil Turnbull’s poor touch.
Turnbull, in attempting to retrieve the situation, succeeded only in sliding the ball into the path of Daly who shot past Farman.
Paul Barratt could have doubled the lead before Gateshead, finally stung into action, hit back with two goals in three minutes.
Shaw’s measured cross from the byline was headed home by veteran defender Alan White. Shaw then headed Gateshead in front with a near post header from Brittain’s corner. However, a controversial 83rd-minute penalty when Ben Clark was judged to have pulled down Earl Davis saw Southport earn a replay.
Matty McGinn sent Farman the wrong way from the spot and Gateshead’s frustration was complete when Gate was sent off for two bookings in three minutes.
GATESHEAD: Farman, Baxter, Heckingbottom Jones 46), Gate, White, Clark, Brittain, Turnbull, Shaw, Mulligan, Ferrell (Nelthorpe 63). Subs: (not used) Deasy (gk), Allan, Wake.
Goals: Shaw 71, White 74.
SOUTHPORT: McMillan, Lee, Flynn, Davis, Howell, Moogan, Daly (Simm 69), McGinn, Barratt, Williams, McNeil (s.Gray 69) Subs: (not used) T.Gray, Morley, Dickinson
Goals: Daly 56, McGinn 83 pen.
Referee: Richard Wigglesworh (Doncaster)