Crawley extended their unbeaten run to 15 matches with a draw at 10-man Crewe.
Visiting goalkeeper Scott Shearer had already denied Byron Moore and Shaun Miller before Wes Fletcher put Crewe in front, heading in Byron Moore's cross.
The hosts were reduced to 10 men when striker Miller was shown a straight red card by referee Stuart Attwell for a dangerous tackle on Sergio Torres.
And the League Two leaders soon equalised when Andy Drury's cross was converted by Matt Tubbs.
Attwell, who was recently involved in controversy when he sent off Bolton defender Gary Cahill in their defeat at Tottenham, was rarely out of the limelight, turning down three Crewe penalty claims.
Crawley, who have not lost since 13 September, are now four points clear of Southend and Cheltenham at the top of League Two.
VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Crewe manager Steve Davis told BBC Radio Stoke:
"I'm very proud of the players today. I thought they were exceptional for the 75 minutes that we had to defend.
"When we had 11 men, I fancied us to go two or three goals up because we had two or three great chances early in the game.
"I haven't seen the tackle again. I'll have a look at it but I'm not going to comment on that or the sending off. If it's a bad one, then he deserved it."
Crawley manager Steve Evans told BBC Sussex:
"Fair play to Crewe. They've probably never worked as hard in a game before.
"I'm disappointed with the first 15 minutes. We didn't start like the Crawley Town we know. From there on in, it was waves of attack.
"I can't say to my players 'work harder' but I can say 'work smarter'. We didn't take the chances that came our way, but we go into Christmas Day top of the league, and we'd have taken that in the summer."
Substitution Michael Doughty on for Matthew Tubbs.
The referee blows for offside.
Lee Bell takes a shot. Save made by Scott Shearer. Byron Moore takes a shot. Blocked by David Hunt.
Substitution (Crewe) makes a substitution, with Ajay Leitch-Smith coming on for Nick Powell.
Tyrone Barnett takes a shot. Adam Dugdale gets a block in. Sergio Torres takes a shot. Save by Steve Phillips.
Headed effort from inside the area by John Akinde misses to the left of the goal.
The ball is swung over by Dean Howell.
The ball is delivered by Dean Howell, save by Steve Phillips.
Tyrone Barnett has a headed effort at goal from just inside the penalty area that misses to the left of the goal.
Booking Booking for David Artell for time wasting.
The referee gives a free kick against Andy Drury for handball. Adam Dugdale restarts play with the free kick.
Matthew Tubbs takes a shot. Steve Phillips makes a save.
Substitution (Crawley Town) makes a substitution, with John Akinde coming on for Josh Simpson.
Lee Bell gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Andy Drury. Indirect free kick taken by Andy Drury.
Dannie Bulman challenges Byron Moore unfairly and gives away a free kick. Adam Dugdale restarts play with the free kick.
Short corner worked by Andy Drury. Andy Drury takes the inswinging corner, Andy Drury produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the area and misses to the left of the goal.
Sergio Torres takes a shot. Adam Dugdale gets a block in.
Byron Moore fouled by Pablo Mills, the ref awards a free kick. Shot comes in from Nick Powell from the free kick. Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Nick Powell.
Headed effort from the edge of the area by Tyrone Barnett goes wide of the right-hand upright.
50:00 +3:23 Booking
Booking Adam Dugdale goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Andy Drury by Adam Dugdale. Indirect free kick taken by Dean Howell.
Effort from the edge of the box by Dannie Bulman goes wide of the left-hand post.
The referee gets the second half started.
Substitution Ashley Westwood comes on in place of Wes Fletcher.
45:00 +3:15 Half time
Half Time The referee blows for half time.
Matthew Tubbs takes a shot. Save by Steve Phillips. Foul by Tyrone Barnett on David Artell, free kick awarded. Steve Phillips takes the free kick. David Hunt takes a shot. Save by Steve Phillips.
Corner taken by Andy Drury.
Sergio Torres takes a shot. Save made by Steve Phillips.
Corner taken right-footed by Andy Drury from the right by-line to the near post, Adam Dugdale makes a clearance.
Andy Drury produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses wide left of the target.
Headed effort from inside the area by Matthew Tubbs misses to the right of the target.
Kyle McFadzean takes a shot. Save made by Steve Phillips.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Tyrone Barnett on Adam Dugdale. Steve Phillips takes the free kick.
Adam Dugdale gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Tyrone Barnett. Dean Howell shoots direct from the free kick.
Booking Nick Powell receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
Assist by Andy Drury.
30:14 Goal scored
Goal! - Matthew Tubbs - Crewe 1 - 1 Crawley Matthew Tubbs grabs a headed goal from inside the area. Crewe 1-1 Crawley Town.
Josh Simpson takes a shot. Blocked by Nick Powell.
Andy Drury produces a left-footed shot from outside the box and misses left.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Andy Drury on Byron Moore. Indirect free kick taken by Adam Dugdale.
Substitution Pablo Mills replaces Claude Davis.
Wes Fletcher challenges Kyle McFadzean unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Scott Shearer.
Tyrone Barnett takes a shot. Steve Phillips makes a save.
Foul by Tyrone Barnett on Nick Powell, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Steve Phillips.
Outswinging corner taken by Andy Drury from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance by Adam Dugdale.
Corner taken right-footed by Andy Drury.
Free kick taken by David Hunt.
Dismissal Shaun Miller sent from the field by the ref for violent conduct.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Shaun Miller on Sergio Torres.
Unfair challenge on David Artell by Tyrone Barnett results in a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Nick Powell.
The ball is swung over by David Artell, Adam Dugdale takes a shot. Tyrone Barnett makes a clearance.
Andy Drury gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Byron Moore. Nick Powell restarts play with the free kick.
Byron Moore provided the assist for the goal.
8:23 Goal scored
Goal! - Wes Fletcher - Crewe 1 - 0 Crawley Wes Fletcher scores a headed goal from inside the box. Crewe 1-0 Crawley Town.
Kyle McFadzean concedes a free kick for a foul on Shaun Miller. Free kick taken by Adam Dugdale.
Byron Moore takes a shot. Save made by Scott Shearer. Shaun Miller takes a shot. David Hunt gets a block in. Shaun Miller takes a shot. Scott Shearer makes a save. Corner from left by-line taken by Nick Powell. Effort from outside the penalty box by Nick Powell goes wide right of the goal.
Shot from just outside the area by Sergio Torres misses to the left of the target.
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