Josh Woods scored what he thought was the winner in the sixth minute of added time but Accrington Stanley had to settle for a point at promotion-chasing Crewe Alexandra.
Woods fired home his first goal of the season against the ten-men but Elliott Nevitt blasted home the equaliser with virtually the last kick of the game in the eighth minute of added time – although the Reds were protesting that the final whistle should have been blown.
Stanley moved up to ninth spot but had the majority of chances in the second half, hitting the woodwork twice. However they also lost Rosaire Longelo, Seamus Conneely and Joe Pritchard to injury.
There were three changes from the Doncaster goalless draw last Saturday with Jack Nolan, Pritchard and Josh Woods coming into the starting XI for Shaun Whalley, Tommy Leigh and Josh Andrews, all injured.
It was a lively start with Crewe grabbing the opener when Aaron Rowe got the ball on the edge of the area and turned and fired into the far corner of the net in the fourth minute.
Stanley were level two minutes later when Pritchard nicked the ball on the right wing and squared across the goal with Nolan at the far post for an easy tap into the empty net. It was his fifth goal of the season.
Shilow Tracey was lively for the Railwayman and had a couple of chances as the home side then bossed the game.
Stanley suffered a blow when Longelo limped off on 26 minutes with youngster Alex Henderson coming on, after impressing midweek against Lincoln, for his league debut.
Crewe struck next on 29 minutes when Rio Adebisi’s ball to the far post found Mickey Demetriou who headed home.
Stanley had a great chance to equalise on 33 minutes when a Josh Woods ball in found Ben Woods in the six-yard box but he couldn’t guide his shot on target.
Joe White fired over for Crewe while youngster Henderson could only find the side netting just before half-time.
Stanley started the second half well, without threatening the Crewe keeper Harvey Davies, but it needed a timely tackle from Joe Gubbins to stop Nevitt adding to the score.
The Reds appealed for a penalty – for the second time – when Josh Woods went down in the area but nothing was given.
Stanley lost captain Conneely to injury on 60 minutes with Dan Martin coming on and the Reds pressed for an equaliser.
Matt Lowe had a chance at the far post but he couldn’t make a firm connection to test Liverpool loan stopper Davies.
Henderson headed against the crossbar from a Pritchard cross and it was Pritchard’s last action as, on 67 minutes, he had to go off injured.
Aaron Pickles came on which meant Brad Hills was pushed up front and his first task was to test Davies with a strike.
Crewe captain Luke Offord was then sent off on 80 minutes as he stopped Hills running clean through.
It was all Stanley then and Ben Woods celebrated his first Stanley goal, firing low into the net from 25 yards in the 87th minute.
In added time, Stanley’s Martin had the ball cleared off the line while White rifled over for Crewe in a good position.
Henderson hit the post for the second time with a header in the fifth minute of added time before Josh Woods pounced on a loose ball in the six-yard box.
He thought he had grabbed the winner but there was still time for the late equaliser to keep Crewe in fifth place.
Stanley: Walsh, Shipley, Hills, Gubbins, Lowe, B Woods, Conneely (Martin), Pritchard (Pickes), Nolan, Longelo (Henderson), J Woods
Subs: McIntyre, Mellor, Trickett, O’Brien
Attendance: 4012 (162 from Stanley)