Crawley 0 Colchester 0: By Samir Abraham

Crawley gained a point but lost out on two in their fight to stay in the EFL after a tightly contested game ended in a “disappointing” draw against Colchester.

Reds were the better team in the first half, playing their football in opposition territory and creating the better chances.

But Colchester came back strongly in the second, resulting in a draw that puts Crawley three points above the relegation zone.

Manager Scott Lindsey said: “Overriding emotion would be disappointed really. We wanted to win the game tonight, so yeah, I’m disappointed.

“We were really good first half. I thought we were the better side, had the better chances. And then the second half became kind of a difficult evening for us, we didn’t play with the same swagger and confidence.

Despite the dropped points, Crawley had positives to take from the overall game.

Lindsey said: “The players showed real character tonight. Not just in the second half where we had to defend a lot of balls in our box, but I also thought that we really took the game to Colchester.

“Especially in the first half, I thought we were the better side. We controlled the game, were dominant with the ball and created a lot of chances. Second half we showed a different character in terms of our resilience to defend.”

Aramide Oteh and Dom Telford both had shots go wide and caused trouble in the first half for Crawley but couldn’t produce anything clearcut.

Centre-backs Dion Conroy and Harry Ransom were excellent all night fighting the full 90 for a deserved clean sheet.

The best chance of the game fell to Colchester just three minutes in, but Conroy was there for an important goal-line clearance.

Man of the match Anthony Grant said: “Obviously we want to be winning every game but obviously it’s a clean sheet.

"It’s a stepping stone that we kept a clean sheet. We know we’ve got goals in our team so if we can nick a goal, it helps knowing that our back lads and midfield, and to be fair the whole team, can keep a clean sheet.”

The result moves them three points above relegation rivals Hartlepool ahead of their six-pointer in the North East on Saturday.