Cheltenham Town and Crewe Alexandra played out a 1-1 draw in Sky Bet League Two on Saturday in a tight, tense top of the table battle.
Gavin Reilly scored a scruffy opener from a corner kick in the opening exchanges to send the Robins top of the league as it stood.
Crewe forward Chris Porter grabbed the equaliser in first half stoppage time as the away side grew into the game.
Both sides had chances to win it in the second half, most notably Ryan Broom, who had space in the area in the 87th minute but hit a low shot straight at Will Jaskelainen.
The game started evenly and on ninth Chris Hussey’s deflected cross caused problems for Crewe ‘keeper Will Jaaskelainen.
From the resulting corner, Cheltenham opened the scoring. Hussey’s delivery was headed by Jacob Greaves and scrambled home by Reilly on the goal line.
The 1887 Red Army reacted with chants of ‘we’re top of the league!’.
Cheltenham dominated after the breakthrough and their high pressing was suffocating the away side into their own area.
Reilly could have added to his goal 10 minutes later when he raced through on goal, but he was denied by a Nicky Hunt challenge.
It was an intensely close first half an hour, and birthday boy Luke Varney came close when a corner-kick routine found him in space 12 yards out, but his low drive was blocked.
Crewe, who came into the game one spot above their hosts in the table, nearly equalised through Chris Porter but the big forward saw his header bobble wide.
Alexandra equalised right on the stroke of half time when Porter was slid through on goal by Harry Pickering and the forward swept the ball past Flinders at his near post.
Cheltenham seemed rattled and Daniel Nolan saw a shot from the right side of the area trickle wide just moments later.
Crewe were putting the pressure on early in the second period and Hussey was forced into a rash challenge on Charlie Kirk, which brought him a yellow card.
Luke Varney missed a quilt-edged chance on the hour-mark when he was found by Sean Long just six-yards out in the box but his shot rolled harmlessly wide.
Moments later danger man Kirk had a great chance to curl one into the far corner inside the Cheltenham box, but his mis-controlled touch led to a wayward shot.
Cheltenham responded with a spell of possession which led to Hussey finding Reilly in the box, but his shot on the turn span just wide of the far post.
Crewe were reduced to ten men with 20 minutes to go when referee Lee Swabey dismissed the visitors captain, Perry Ng, for a second bookable offence.
Substitute striker Alex Addai came off the bench and almost flicked home a winner after a driving run and cross from defence by Jacob Greaves.
Addai was close to providing the winner when he raced forward and found Broom in space in the box only for the Welshman to fire straight down Jaaskelainen’s throat.
CHELTENHAM XI: Flinders, Long, Raglan, Tozer, Greaves, Hussey, Thomas, Doyle-Hayes (Clements, 78’), Broom, Reilly (Addai, 71’), Varney (Lloyd, 90’).
Subs not used: Lovett, Campbell, Boyle.
CREWE XI: Jaaskelainen, Ng, Hunt, Nolan, Pickering, Wintle, Powell (Dale, 57’), Jones, Porter (Anene 78’), Kirk (Lancashire 71’), Lowery.
Subs not used: Ainsley, Richards, Finney, Lundstram.
Referee: Lee Swabey
Attendance: 3,549 (440 away)