Reds had to settle for a point after Morecambe grabbed a late equaliser at The People’s Pension Stadium in Saturday's Sky Bet League 2 clash.
Top scorer Bez Lubala gave Reds the lead from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time, with the hosts spending most of the second-half probing for a second goal.
But they couldn’t make their chances count, and Morecambe grabbed a valuable point late on when Cole Stockton made up for a bad miss in the first half, converting a cross to give Derek Adams a point in his first league match in charge of the Shrimps.
Crawley were unchanged from last Saturday’s FA Cup triumph over Scunthorpe, with scorers Ashley Nadesan and Reece Grego-Cox leading the hunt for Reds' first league win in five matches.
Morecambe had the first big chance when a cushioned header found Stockton unmarked in the box with only keeper Glenn Morris to beat, but he clipped the outside of the post - a let-off for the home side.
Crawley had chances of their own and came close when Lubala whipped a free-kick towards the bottom corner, which was pushed away by Morecambe keeper Mark Halstead. The Shrimps looked dangerous again when Luke Conlan surged forward from wide left, before checking inside and getting a shot on goal, which was beaten away by Morris.
But with not long to go before half-time, Reds' growing pressure was rewarded when David Sesay charged into the box and was brought down by Tom Brewitt. It was Lubala who stepped up from the penalty spot and calmly rolled the ball into the bottom corner to break the deadlock on the 44th minute with his ninth goal of the season.
Crawley’s dominance continued into the second half as Morecambe struggled to get out of their own half, and Nathan Ferguson had a good chance to make it 2-0 when a miscued clearance fell kindly to him just inside the box, but he sliced his volley well wide.
But the feeling that Crawley would be punished for not killing the game with a second goal was realised when the Shrimps snatched an equaliser as Stockton made up for his earlier miss when he was found six yards out after losing his marker to turn in Brewitt’s cross.
The Reds missed a great chance to win it when Nathaniel-George’s low cross came all the way to the back post, where both Dannie Bulman and Grego-Cox left the ball for one another. Moments later Nathaniel-George cut in and saw his low effort palmed behind by Halstead.
Crawley Town: Morris, Young, Dallison, Grego-Cox, Nadesan (Palmer 66), Ferguson (Bloomfield 83), Sesay, Tunnicliffe, Bulman, Camara, Lubala (Nathaniel-George 61). Unused subs: Luyambula, Francomb, Sendles-White, Galach.
Attendance: 2079 (98 Morecambe)
Pictured: Bez Lubala celebrates after scoring his ninth goal of the season