Striker Dom Telford scored with a late penalty to rescue a point for relegation-threatened Crawley in a 1-1 home draw with Grimsby.
The Mariners looked to be heading towards a deserved victory after a fine first-half goal from Harry Clifton but Crawley struck late to extend their unbeaten run to five games and they are now five points clear of second-bottom Hartlepool.
Grimsby boss Paul Hurst went into the clash urging his men to push on and achieve their highest league finish since 2006, but warned that he felt Crawley would provide a tougher test than their lowly position suggested.
Grimsby’s John McAtee should have worked Crawley keeper Corey Addai in the 12th minute when he dragged a shot wide following Clifton’s cut back.
Crawley struggled for first-half fluency and Aramide Oteh had a low shot saved by keeper Max Crocombe before Otis Khan and Bryn Morris were narrowly off target for the Mariners.
Grimsby deservedly went ahead three minutes before the break when Danny Amos drove forward and slipped the ball to Clifton, who fired his ninth goal of the season into the roof of the net.
Crawley had a big let-off shortly after the interval when George Lloyd surged forward and his fierce shot came back off the inside of the post.
Telford had a shot blocked for the off-song Reds before Crawley keeper Addai went down to keep out a shot by Khan.
Addai came to his side’s rescue again when he saved Clifton’s effort from point-blank range from Lloyd’s cross.
But skipper Telford salvaged a point for the hosts two minutes from time from the penalty spot, despite keeper Crocombe getting a hand to the ball, after Niall Maher brought down substitute Tom Fellows.
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