Crawley Town extended their unbeaten run with a well deserved draw on the road at Sheffield Utd.
Playing in front of over 15,000 people at Bramall Lane in one of the most impressive stadia the Reds have ever played at, it was a tough point to get bearing in mind the pressure the opposing manager David Weir would have been under to get a victory to improve their bottom-placed position.
Crawley made the perfect start with an absolutely superb goal in the ninth minute.
A one-two from the corner involving Andy Drury and a backheel by Billy Clarke led to Drury chipping to the far post. The delicate pass fround Jamie Proctor, who was preferred upfront to Emile Sinclair in Reds’ only change to their starting line-up. He rewarded Richie Barker’s faith in him to head home his second goal of the season.
Crawley continued to impress on their travels and could well have added a second goal as Drury supplied Mat Sadler on the left wing who fired narrowly wide with the outside of his foot.
Reds went into the second half still leading 1-0 and it was no surprise that the home side came back strong after the break.
The Blades nearly equalised soon after the restart when Tony McMahon struck the inside of the post from 25 yards but the ball bounced out.
Sheffield equalised in the 63rd minute when Marlon King got on the end of a good ball by Fabian Brandy with a fine finish.
Both sides had chances to grab a winner - substitute Gary Alexander failing to connect with a cross in the area by Nicky Adams, while in another move, Mike Jones put through Billy Clarke only for the effort to be cleared by Utd’s Harry Maguire.
Conor Coady forced a fine save by Crawley keeper Paul Jones in the closing stages while Jamie Murphy had a shot which squirmed under the body of Jones before hitting the side-netting as honours finished even.
REDS: Paul Jones, Mat Sadler, Kyle McFadzean, Billy Clarke, Andy Drury (James Hurst 80), Josh Simpson, Joe Walsh, Jamie Proctor (Gary Alexander 68), Dannie Bulman, Nicky Adams (Sergio Torres 85), Mike Jones.
Unused subs; Mark Connolly, Luke Rooney, Emile Sinclair, Jonathan Maddison.
REF: Paul Tierney