Former Heed striker Jordan Burrow put the hosts ahead after five minutes, before Connor Oliver ensured the sides went into half-time level from the penalty spot.
Chances for both sides in the second half went begging, and they were forced to settle for a point each on a blazing hot day at Bootham Crescent.
Mike Williamson made two changes to the side that were defeated 3-0 by Farsley Celtic on Saturday, bringing himself and Liam Agnew in for Michael Nelson and Elliot Forbes.
Despite an even first few minutes, the Minstermen opened the scoring through a familiar face in Burrow.
David Ferguson’s run down the left-wing created space ahead of him and he delivered a low cross into the six-yard box, where Burrow only had to tap home to find the net against his old club.
Bright spots were few and far between early on with York much the better side, although JJ O’Donnell did test Peter Jameson with a volley from the edge of the box 11 minutes in.
Brad James was forced to parry Alex Kempster’s strike at the near post to prevent the hosts from doubling their advantage, while Nicky Deverdics struck the side netting at the other end.
Gateshead grew into the game as the opening half wore on, although Ferguson provided a reminder of what York were capable of when his cross struck the crossbar with 10 minutes of the half left.
Greg Olley came close to find the net with a curled effort from 20 yards as half-time drew near, but the breakthrough came in added time as Joshua Kayode won a penalty after taking on three defenders and being brought down as he cut into the box.
Oliver ensured the Heed made the most of their second spot-kick in as many games, sending Jameson the wrong way and the ball into the bottom right corner to level things up at the break – becoming the first visiting player to score at Bootham Crescent this season.
The Heed came out to begin the second half in a similar manner to how they finished the first, after withstanding an early spell of York pressure, not content with playing for a draw.
Oliver set his sights on a spectacular second of the afternoon with just over an hour gone, lining up and firing a 35-yard effort that whistled just wide of Jameson’s far post.
Substitute Paul Blackett was the next Gateshead man to get a sight of goal as he forced a save from Jameson with a 20-yard strike after being fed in by Elliot Forbes.
Blackett saw his best chance since his introduction fall 15 minutes before the final whistle as he was allowed in behind via Joe Tait’s slip, but his effort was well-claimed low by Jameson in the York goal.
The hosts enjoyed spells in possession dotted throughout the half, but couldn’t quite make the most of it with Harry Spratt firing over the crossbar from inside the box in their closest opportunity until the last 10 minutes.
Deverdics came inches from putting the Heed ahead with only a few minutes remaining, picking up a loose clearance on the edge of the box before firing just over the crossbar.
Despite late opportunities however, the visitors had to settle for a draw, becoming just the second team to take points off York this season.
York City XI: Jameson; Griffiths, Ferguson, Newton, McNulty (c) (Langstaff, 10’ (York, 81’)), Tait, Moke, Bond, Burrow, Green (Spratt, 65’), Kempster.
Unused subs: Dyer, Whitley.
Goals: Burrow (5’)
Bookings: Bond (84’)
Gateshead XI: James; Nicholson, Lees, Williamson (Forbes, 53’), Barrow (c); Oliver, Agnew; O’Donnell, Olley, Deverdics; Kayode (Blackett, 62’).
Unused subs: Thomson, Guthrie, Tear.
Goals: Oliver (pen) (45+2’)
Referee: John Matthews
MOTM: Connor Oliver
Attendance: 3,157 (306)