Crewe Alexandra slipped back to the bottom of the table despite teenager George Cooper’s second goal in five games in a 1-1 draw at Crawley Town.
The eighteen-year-old produced a low finish from full debutant James Baillie’s cross to earn the depleted visitors a nineteenth-minute lead.
However, Izale McLeod equalised with his seventh goal of the season midway through the second-half as both sides had to settle for a point.
It was a well-worked goal giving the Railwaymen the early advantage with the promising Cooper swapping passes with Baillie and leaving goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown helpless.
But Ben Garratt was required to deny McLeod on a couple of occasions while opposite number Ashdown turned over from John Guthrie.
Garratt then thwarted Gwion Edwards’ deflected drive and also kept out McLeod again, until the pair combined for a 68th minute equaliser from inside the area.
Both sides continued to look for a winner during the closing stages, with the hosts providing the greater threat – but their opponents remained strong and have now lost only once in five games.
Crawley Town: Ashdown, Oyebanjo, Leacock, Walsh, Sadler, Edwards, Keane, Young, Henderson (Harrold 46), Simpson, McLeod
subs (unused): Jensen, Bradley, Smith, Banya, Bawling, Tomlin
Goals: McLeod (68)
Crewe Alexandra: Garratt, Baillie, Dugdale, Davis, Guthrie, Turton, Atkinson, Leigh, Cooper (Haber 88), Haynes (Jones 76), Brandy (Saunders 88)
subs (unused): Shearer, Johnston, Waters, Ng
Goals: Cooper (19)
Ref: B. Malone
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