Stanley were ruing missed opportunities as they had to settle for a goalless draw at promotion rivals Crawley Town.

The Reds had two efforts cleared off the line and winger John O’Sullivan hit the post in a game which saw Stanley boss John Coleman sent to the stands in the second half after questioning a Matty Pearson booking on the stroke of half-time.

Stanley just couldn’t find their goalscoring boots but remain among the play-off  pack after the clash at the Checkatrade Stadium.

Crawley had the first chance on five minutes when James Collins raced onto Enzio Boldewijn’s cross with Elliot Parish producing a superb save to deny him an early opener.

However Stanley came back and, two minutes later, Sean McConville’s ball to the far post found Terry Gornell with this time Crawley keeper Glenn Morris the saviour for his team.

Stanley felt they should have had a penalty in the 14th minute when Andre Blackman appeared to catch Gornell in the area but referee Brendan Malone was having none of it much to Coleman’s frustration on the touchline.

It was a lively start with Boldewijn scooping over in a good position for Crawley while Scott Brown’s long distance effort was easy for Morris.

Stanley got more on top as the half wore on, with a number of goalmouth scrambles, but Bobson Bawling was a threat on the left wing and his breakaway on 33 minutes led to Collins firing goalwards but Parish was again there.

At the other end winger Jordan Clark’s strike was superbly pushed out by Morris as it was all-square at half-time.

Crawley started the second half the better side with Boldewijn’s cross-shot sneaking just wide of the far post.

However Stanley were so close to the opening goal on the hour when McConville’s corner found the head of Omar Beckles and Jimmy Smith headed it off the line – with some Stanley players claiming the ball had gone over.

Then one minute later, the Reds should have taken the lead as the ball bobbled around the six yard box with Paddy Lacey and O’Sullivan seeing efforts hit the post, cleared off the line and somehow, eventually, scrambled away as they just couldn’t force the ball home.

Stanley’s double hero from the Blackpool game Rommy Boco came on in the 70th minute and defender Matty Pearson almost scored a wonder goal with 10 minutes left when he raced into the area but fired inches wide of the far post.

Beckles had another goalbound effort which Morris caught with six minutes to go as Stanley just couldn’t find the breakthrough.