Crawley boss Richie Barker heaped praise on midfielder Josh Simpson after his late goal denied Shrewsbury their first away win in eight months.

Simpson gave the Red Devils the perfect start with the lead in the first minute, but goals from skipper Matt Richards and John Taylor put Shrewsbury in charge until Simpson struck again nine minutes from time to secure a 2-2 draw.

Barker said: "Josh had a fantastic game. his two finishes were excellent. With players like Josh and Hope Akpan you know exactly what you are going to get. When you think those two players weren't regulars in League two last season that speaks volumes of how far we've come. we've made them better players."

Barker admitted it took some stern words at half-time to get his players going on a heavy pitch at the Broadfield Stadium.

He added: "I am usually fairly calm at half-time. But on this occasion I told them what I thought and I think I got a response. It got a little bit scrappy in the second half and we didn't deserve anything less than a point."

Crawley have slipped to 10th having not won in seven league games, but Barker has urged fans not to judge him until he has a proper chance to put his stamp on the team.

"It's hard because you get judged by other people's players," said Barker, who was appointed only a week before the start of the season. "I left a squad at Bury where I had two players for each position. We are a long way from that."

Shrewsbury looked to be heading for their first away win since Good Friday until Simpson rifled home from 15 yards. But Graham Turner's men wasted a glorious opportunity to win in stoppage time when substitute Tom Bradshaw missed from four yards following a cross by Paul parry.

Turner rapped: "He gets no sympathy from me. He is paid to put them in. Sitting in the dressing room 30 minutes after the game the players would have felt heartened by the result.

"But realistically it's more of a feeling of devastation as a late goal that had been conceded and then a great chance to win the match had been wasted. It was a game we should have won."