Mike Williamson handed seven players their competitive Gateshead debuts on Saturday afternoon with Brad James, Alex Nicholson, Toby Lees, Connor Oliver, Liam Agnew, Danny Greenfield and Paul Blackett making the starting 11.
Chances were at a premium for much of the opening 45 minutes as both sides attempted to assert themselves on proceedings.
Connor Oliver sent a 30-yard free-kick clear of the crossbar for the Heed, while Southport forward Dion Charles saw an effort comfortably saved by James inside the area.
Gateshead came closest in the first half through Greg Olley after 26 minutes, when the midfielder forced a save at the near post from ex-Heed stopper Dan Hanford after latching onto Connor Thomson’s cross.
Devarn Green proved a threat down the right wing for the Sandgrounders during the first half, throwing up an intriguing tussle between himself and Scott Barrow early on.
It was Green who played Charles through for the best chance of the afternoon thus far, one which James rushed out to thwart as the forward looked certain to put the visitors ahead.
It remained a closely contested affair deep into the second half with the Heed unable to find a way behind the resolute Southport defence, while Charles’ opportunity remained their opponents’ clearest chance.
That changed after 72 minutes when Zehn Mohammed was presented with a golden chance six yards away from goal, and again James was out to block the shot and keep the game goalless.
The Heed struggled to create any clear chances in the second 45, leaving proceedings to draw out to a 0-0 draw in the season opener.
Gateshead XI: James; Nicholson, Barrow, Lees, Williamson; Oliver, Agnew, Greenfield (Forbes, 74’), Thomson (O’Donnell, 62’), Olley; Blackett (Kayode, 53’).
Unused subs: Guthrie, Nelson.
Bookings: Barrow (79’)
Southport XI: Hanford, Mohammed, Ogel, Winnard, Astles, Parry, Green, Morgan, Charles (Correia, 80’), Sampson, Bauress.
Unused subs: Glynn, Homson-Smith, Benjamin, Albinson.
Bookings: Mohammed (79’)
Referee: Richard Aspinall
MOTM: Mike Williamson
Attendance: 879 (88 Southport)