Ryan Haines’ stunner gave the Exiles an early opener, which was cancelled out by Micky Demetriou’s unfortunate own-goal.
The second-half saw Tarryn Allarakhia dismissed, as Crawley withstood the Newport pressure for a valuable point.
John Yems made one change to the Crawley side that beat Leyton Orient a week ago, with Ashley Nadesan coming in for Sam Matthews, as the Reds faced League Two’s Christmas number ones.
Crawley got off to the worst possible start, as Newport County led early on when Scott Twine carried the ball forward, finding Ryan Haines who checked inside before curling a brilliant effort past Glenn Morris to give the Exiles an early lead after only 5 minutes.
Tristan Abrahams took a good chance early, but Morris was equal to it, before Haines fired a venomous first-time strike into the side netting.
Despite being under pressure in the first-half, Crawley equalised in bizarre fashion as Jack Powell’s searching pass caused a defensive mix-up between goalkeeper Nick Townsend and Micky Demetriou, as Demetriou headed the ball past Townsend in an attempted back-pass, which bounced into an empty net. An unfortunate own goal, which saw the Reds level in the 32nd minute.
Despite an improved second-half showing Crawley were dealt a major blow when Tarryn Allarakhia was shown a straight red-card for an alleged studs-up challenge on Liam Shepherd on the 59th minute.
Matt Dolan fired a wild effort over from distance as the Exiles probed the 10-men of Crawley for a winner.
Haines was so close to recreating his opener, as he was found by Twine, before cutting inside, past George Francomb, but his right-footed effort was inches over the top corner.
Josh Sheehan tried his luck from distance, and was kept out by a great low fingertip save from Morris.
Twine also had a shot well held by Morris, as Newport were camped outside Crawley’s box, but the Reds defended well to see out a well-earned point against top of the league Newport.
Crawley: Morris, Dallison, Powell, Nadesan (Hesketh 62’), Allarakhia, Davies (Francomb 84’), Nichols, Tunnicliffe, Craig, Watters (Matthews 45’), Hessenthaler
Newport: Townsend (King 45’), Haines, Cooper, Dolan, Sheehan, Abrahams (Proctor 60’), Bennett (Wilmot 74’), Twine, Collins (Amond 74’), Demetriou, Shephard