GATESHEAD have tightened up defensively over the past three games but have been limited to one goal in each of their last four outings.
While that was enough to earn narrow wins over Bath City and Cambridge United The Heed had to settle for a point at Tamworth.
The Midlanders had been Gateshead’s nemesis in the FA Cup when they scored a last minute winner on Tyneside in December to earn a plum third round tie at Everton.
There was no such drama in this Conference Premier rematch as both sides struggled to create openings on a hot spring afternoon.
Since their victory on Tyneside Tamworth had won just three of their next 21 games and had not scored in their last five run outs.
Another draw was therefore hardly unpredictable and while it was a good away point Heed boss Ian Bogie acknowledged neither side deserved to win.
“It was a scrappy affair, not a good game at all,” admitted Bogie “we had no rhythm to our game in terms of passing and lacked creativity in midfield.
“We weren’t at our best but Tamworth is never an easy place to go to and it was a good point on our travels.
“If we had gone in at half-time ahead instead of conceding late on we would have won 1-0 again as Tamworth didn’t open us up.
“Their equaliser on the stroke of half-time has come from the penalty spot, and it is doubtful whether a penalty should have been awarded.
“Defensively we were solid again and we are one of a clutch of clubs with play-off ambitions as we head into the final month.”
Jon Shaw’s 34th goal of a memorable campaign for the former Sheffield Wednesday striker put Gateshead in front on the half hour.
Shaw headed home an accurate Martin Brittain cross but the Tynesiders were caught by a sucker punch in the 44th minute.
A quickly taken free kick saw Jean-Paul Marna go down under the challenge of Heed goalkeeper Paul Farman.
Marna duly sent Farman the wrong way from the resultant penalty and Scott Barrow later hit the woodwork as Tamworth edged the second half.
If Gateshead can get the balance right between scoring goals and keeping them out they can stay on the play-off trail.
TAMWORTH: Hedge; Tait, Francis, Green, Habergham, Thomas, Nix, Baldock (McDonald 79), Barrow (Grayson 84), Marna, Collins (Patterson 71). Subs (not used): Connor Taylor, Gudger.
Booked: Barrow, Green.
Goal: Marna 44 pen.
GATESHEAD: Farman; Chandler, Curtis, Clark, Carruthers, Brittain (Moore 78), Baxter, Gate, Cummins (Marwood 67), Shaw, Hatch (Gillies 89). Subs (not used): Deasy, Dummett.
Booked: Hatch, Carruthers.
Goal: Shaw 27.
Referee: Charles Breakspear (Surrey).