Head coach Dermot Drummy was left to rue James Collins' stoppage-time miss as Crawley and Hartlepool drew 1-1 at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium.
Crawley, who slipped to sixth in the Sky Bet League Two table, could have ended the day just outside the top three if Scott Harrison had not produced a stunning, last-gasp block to deny Collins in time added on.
The forward made no mistake just before that, capping a fine performance by cancelling out Lewis Alessandra's 12th-minute opener.
But Drummy was left frustrated having seen Crawley, who also hit the woodwork three times, thwarted at the death.
"I think we limited them to set-plays in the main and played some great football," he said. "To come here and get a point is impressive, but obviously we could have won it at the end.
"It's one of those things, though. James is a great player who works hard and is worth his weight in gold for us.
"I'm not angry, just a bit rueful as we could have gone away with three points. That would have been nice.
"But the performance was really pleasing and, if we had produced a bit more quality, we could have put the game to bed."
The result extends Hartlepool's unbeaten league run to six games and, like his opposite number, Craig Hignett felt mixed emotions.
"It was a bit of a dull game," he said. "I thought there was nothing in it, especially in the second half.
"I thought we were going to see the game out comfortably, so to not defend the lead when the game seemed dead was disappointing.
"We just switched off. It's fine margins playing in League Two or the Championship but the difference is that at this level, people just switch off.
"All it took was for someone to switch off and that's what we did. But we could have lost it in the end, so I'm pleased we come out of it with our unbeaten run intact.
"It's positive for us that we can get a result against a good side without being at our best."
This was the third occasion in recent weeks that Pools have been denied by a late goal and, despite being hampered by a lengthy injury list, Hignett has urged his men to find a killer instinct.
"If they have belief, they will go places this year," he added. "You have to have that belief. I don't just want to be safe and hang around in mid-table; I believe we can do something."
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