Colchester United held on to frustrate struggling Hartlepool United and earn a point despite playing with 10 men for nearly 50 minutes at Victoria Park.
The hosts needed to win to close the eight-point gap between the sides, but they were unable to find a breakthrough despite the U's having Jabo Ibehre sent off for a lunge on Neil Austin.
Pools dominated possession and piled forward after the interval.
But the closest they came was when a 20-yard James Poole volley hit the bar.
Pools are third from bottom in League One, seven points from safety.
VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Colchester United manager Joe Dunne told BBC Essex:
"I'll be appealing it (Jabo Ibehre's red card) straight away.
"I felt It was a fair challenge, there was no studs showing when he's actually made the tackle.
"I think everybody around there felt the red was harsh, maybe the angle the referee had made it difficult, I thought he had a difficult game tonight."
"As a team we defended exceptionally well, the discipline and attitude was great especially in the second half.
"We came away with a lot of credit, overall, it's a wonderful point."
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Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee brings the game to a close.90:00 +3:55
Sam Walker takes the direct free kick.90:00 +3:55 Booking
Booking Booking for Ritchie Humphreys for unsporting behaviour.90:00 +3:43
Ritchie Humphreys challenges Gavin Massey unfairly and gives away a free kick.90:00 +2:41
Corner taken by Evan Horwood from the left by-line, Sam Collins challenges Andy Bond unfairly and gives away a free kick. Sam Walker takes the free kick.90:00 +2:28
Nathan Luscombe takes a shot. Save made by Sam Walker.90:00 +1:26
The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Sam Walker.90:00 +0:32 Substitution
Substitution Antony Sweeney replaces Simon Walton.89:37
The referee blows for offside. Sam Walker takes the free kick.87:15 Booking
Booking Simon Walton receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.87:05
Simon Walton gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on John White. Sam Walker restarts play with the free kick.86:32
Corner taken left-footed by Evan Horwood from the left by-line, Tom Eastman makes a clearance.86:09
Evan Horwood takes the outswinging corner, Tom Eastman makes a clearance.85:48
Corner from the right by-line taken by Evan Horwood, clearance by Bradley Garmston.85:38
Neil Austin produces a cross, Magnus Okuonghae makes a clearance.84:23
Shot by James Poole from 25 yards. Save by Sam Walker.83:44 Booking
Booking Brian Wilson is given a yellow card.82:04
Free kick awarded for a foul by Charlie Wyke on Magnus Okuonghae. Free kick taken by Sam Walker.81:34
Free kick awarded for a foul by Freddie Ladapo on Neil Austin. Free kick taken by Scott Flinders.80:53
Evan Horwood takes the inswinging corner, clearance by Gavin Massey.
Substitution John White on for Billy Clifford.79:48 Substitution
Substitution Steve Howard replaces Jonathan Franks.79:38
Evan Horwood sends in a cross, Bradley Garmston makes a clearance.77:22
Corner taken left-footed by Evan Horwood from the right by-line, clearance by Tom Eastman.77:10
Evan Horwood produces a cross, clearance made by Brian Wilson.76:13
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Billy Clifford from the right by-line, clearance made by Neil Austin.73:48
The free kick is delivered left-footed by Simon Walton from left channel.73:48 Substitution
Substitution George Porter leaves the field to be replaced by Josh Thompson.73:48
Nathan Luscombe fouled by Billy Clifford, the ref awards a free kick.73:22
The ball is swung over by James Poole, clearance by Gavin Massey.70:47
James Poole crosses the ball, save by Sam Walker.69:51
Simon Walton fouled by Freddie Ladapo, the ref awards a free kick. Simon Walton restarts play with the free kick.69:14
Neil Austin crosses the ball, Headed effort from inside the area by Nathan Luscombe misses to the right of the target.68:56
Effort from 20 yards by James Poole. Save by Sam Walker.67:59
Jonathan Franks sends in a cross, James Poole takes a shot. Sam Walker makes a save.67:03
Shot by Peter Hartley from 12 yards. Blocked by Magnus Okuonghae.66:32
Evan Horwood takes the outswinging corner, Magnus Okuonghae makes a clearance.65:22 Substitution
Substitution Freddie Ladapo on for Clinton Morrison.64:50
Clinton Morrison gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ritchie Humphreys. Direct free kick taken by Simon Walton.63:16
Clearance by Magnus Okuonghae.63:16 Booking
Booking George Porter is shown a yellow card.62:54
Corner taken by Evan Horwood,62:02
Unfair challenge on Ritchie Humphreys by George Porter results in a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Evan Horwood from left wing, clearance made by Andy Bond.59:25
Free kick awarded for a foul by Gavin Massey on Simon Walton. Free kick crossed by Evan Horwood.58:02
Effort from 20 yards by Jonathan Franks. Blocked by Charlie Wyke.56:58
Corner taken right-footed by Simon Walton from the right by-line, Gavin Massey makes a clearance.56:08
Nathan Luscombe delivers the ball, save by Sam Walker.54:45
The ball is swung over by Jonathan Franks.53:54
Centre by Bradley Garmston.48:40
Shot from just outside the area by James Poole goes over the bar.46:42
Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Billy Clifford, clearance by Ritchie Humphreys.46:25
George Porter takes a shot. Blocked by Simon Walton.45:23
Andy Bond fouled by Ritchie Humphreys, the ref awards a free kick. Billy Clifford takes the direct free kick.45:01
The referee gets the second half underway.45:00 +4:06 Half time
Half Time It is the end of the first-half.45:00 +2:29
Evan Horwood delivers the ball, Tom Eastman manages to make a clearance.45:00 +1:56
Corner taken left-footed by Evan Horwood, Clinton Morrison makes a clearance.44:05 Booking
Booking The referee cautions Clinton Morrison for dissent.43:31
Free kick taken by Neil Austin.43:31 Dismissal
Dismissal Jabo Ibehre sent from the field by the ref for serious foul play.43:19
Jabo Ibehre concedes a free kick for a foul on Neil Austin.40:58
Unfair challenge on Jabo Ibehre by Charlie Wyke results in a free kick. Billy Clifford restarts play with the free kick.39:54
The official flags Jabo Ibehre offside. Evan Horwood takes the free kick.39:00
The offside flag is raised against Jabo Ibehre. Scott Flinders takes the free kick.38:18
Simon Walton challenges Jabo Ibehre unfairly and gives away a free kick. Billy Clifford crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, Nathan Luscombe manages to make a clearance.37:36
The ball is crossed by Evan Horwood, Charlie Wyke concedes a free kick for a foul on Bradley Garmston. Direct free kick taken by Sam Walker.36:50
Tom Eastman concedes a free kick for a foul on Simon Walton. Scott Flinders takes the free kick.36:16
Free kick awarded for a foul by Peter Hartley on Clinton Morrison. Free kick taken by Billy Clifford.34:15
The assistant referee flags for offside against Jonathan Franks. Sam Walker restarts play with the free kick.33:15
Charlie Wyke gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Tom Eastman. Direct free kick taken by Sam Walker.32:42
Jabo Ibehre gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Simon Walton. Direct free kick taken by Simon Walton.30:17 Substitution
Substitution Jack Baldwin goes off and Nathan Luscombe comes on.26:18
James Poole gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Bradley Garmston. Free kick crossed right-footed by Billy Clifford from left wing.25:20
Gavin Massey is ruled offside. Neil Austin restarts play with the free kick.24:39
Jonathan Franks produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses right.24:11
Jack Baldwin has an effort at goal. Save by Sam Walker.23:19
George Porter concedes a free kick for a foul on Simon Walton. Evan Horwood takes the free kick.22:56
Corner taken left-footed by Evan Horwood, clearance made by Jabo Ibehre.21:33
Brian Wilson concedes a free kick for a foul on Jack Baldwin. Direct free kick taken by Peter Hartley.21:18
George Porter takes a shot. Sam Collins gets a block in.19:53
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Charlie Wyke by Brian Wilson. Direct free kick taken by Evan Horwood.18:52
Jonathan Franks produces a right-footed shot from long range that goes harmlessly over the bar.17:59
The ball is crossed by James Poole, George Porter makes a clearance.16:02
Jabo Ibehre challenges Neil Austin unfairly and gives away a free kick. Scott Flinders restarts play with the free kick.14:49
Magnus Okuonghae concedes a free kick for a foul on Charlie Wyke. Free kick crossed by Evan Horwood.10:18
Unfair challenge on George Porter by Simon Walton results in a free kick. Tom Eastman takes the direct free kick.5:43
The ball is crossed by Jonathan Franks, Effort on goal by James Poole from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.4:24
George Porter takes a shot. Save by Scott Flinders.3:55
The offside flag is raised against Jabo Ibehre. Scott Flinders takes the free kick.1:18
The ball is crossed by Bradley Garmston, Shot from deep inside the area by Gavin Massey clears the bar.0:00
The ref blows the whistle to start the match.
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