Solly March suffered an injury scare for Albion in a 1-1 draw at Crawley tonight which marked the return to action of Andrew Crofts.

March lasted only 19 minutes before he was forced off clutching his right side.

The England under 21 international is likely to be a pivotal figure for the Seagulls under Sami Hyypia this season in a more central attacking midfield role.

Albion were beset by injuries both before and during the match.

New signings Chris O'Grady, Aaron Hughes and Nzuzi Toko all missed out with a variety of minor ailments, together with Lewis Dunk.

Captain Gordon Greer and Inigo Calderon also both required treatment off the pitch in the first half for facial wounds arising from challenges they were unhappy about.

Former Fulham and Dutch international Collins John, on trial with Crawley, capitalised on Greer's absence to give the hosts a 15th minute lead with a fine, twisting header from a corner.

Kazenga LuaLua levelled for Albion on 72 minutes with a thumping free-kick from long range.

Welsh international midfielder Crofts made his comeback moments before from a ruptured cruciate knee ligament sustained against Birmingham at the Amex in January.

Crawley: Jensen (Spiegel 68); Oyebanjo, Leacock (Robson 75), Bradley, Walsh; Young (O’Connor 61), Henderson, Simpson (Smith 81), Edwards (Bawling 74); McLeod (Tomlin 61), John (Marsden 85). Subs not used: Essam, Richefond, Lindsay.

Albion: Walton; Calderon, Greer, Maksimenko, Chicksen; Agustien (Crofts 72), Forster-Caskey, Ince; March (Fenelon 19), LuaLua; Mackail-Smith (Buckley 66). Subs not used: Bruno, Rea, Ankergren.

Referee: Carl Berry.

Attendance: 2,874.