Crawley boss Richie Barker was quick to highlight the positives after his side's winless league run was extended to four games with a 2-2 draw at home to Walsall.

A late header by Jonathan Forte rescued a point for Crawley, who twice trailed through goals from Febian Brandy and Ashley Hemmings.

Crawley finished with 10 men for the second successive home game with defender Joe Walsh receiving a straight red card for a challenge on Brandy, and Barker acknowledged that plucky Walsall pushed his men all the way.

He said: "The character we showed was the most pleasing part of the game, especially as we finished with 10 men. After 18 games we are still in the play-off places and this shows we are not a million miles away. We'll keep progressing.

"I felt our best spells were immediately after we conceded and this is a bit of a worry as against better sides we could have found ourselves 2-0 or 3-0 down."

Barker reckoned that Walsall had treated his team like a "top-four side" by setting out to get a draw. He added: "When you're a top-six side you get treated with respect. Walsall are a decent side, they may have gone 12 games without a win, but they are certainly not a poor team."

Walsall manager Dean Smith was relieved to take something from the game having been forced to make his own way to the ground following a sickness bug.

Smith said: "From start to finish we were excellent and I can't fault my side for work-rate on a lively pitch. We took it to them and are disappointed not to get the three points we felt we deserved."

Smith, who gave a debut to on-loan Wolves goalkeeper Aaron McCarey, was delighted that striker Brandy marked his first full appearance for Walsall with the opening goal. He said: "Febian was a constant thorn in their side and will be a real threat once he gets his fitness back."

Walsall have not won in 12 league and cup games, but Smith is certain the manner of this display will build confidence and he added: "I was delighted at the way we took the game to Crawley. We are on a run at the moment, but stuck to a gameplan, created a number of chances and played well."