FC Halifax Town played to a 1-1 draw against Southend United in the Vanarama National League.
Yet, it was the visitors who seemed formidable in the opening minute, as Jack Bridge took an early shot that went high and wide.
Town quickly retaliated, with Rob Harker receiving a long pass from midfield. However, a heavy touch allowed Southend’s goalkeeper, Collin Andeng-Ndi, to gather the ball.
On the other end, there was a moment of concern for the Shaymen as Sam Johnson was involved in a collision while clearing a throw-in. The home fans breathed a sigh of relief when the Town goalkeeper was able to continue.
Referee Paul Marsden courted controversy in the first 20 minutes by ignoring an obvious handball, which left the home fans fuming.
Both teams appeared to be deadlocked, but Southend seemed to have the best chance of the first half with a dangerous cross from the right-hand side finding the head of Ollie Kensdale. However, the effort veered wide of the far post.
Andrew Oluwabori looked to initiate a counter-attack for the Shaymen but was brought down by Southend midfielder Cavanagh Miley in the 32nd minute. He became the first player booked in the game after a reckless challenge on the Town winger. Jack Hunter joined him in the referee’s book a few minutes later, in the 35th minute.
The momentum swung back in favour of the away side as they earned a corner in the dying minutes of the first half. However, the Shaymen displayed resolute defending to nullify the threat.
Southend looked menacing in the early minutes of the second half, with Wesley Fonguck breaking the deadlock in the 51st minute.
The visitors sought to double their lead shortly after, but Cummings exhibited brilliant defending to thwart a second goal.
Town found themselves down to 10 men in a peculiar incident, as referee Paul Marsden sent off Luke Summerfield despite him being the one contacted on the face by the Town midfielder.
Chris Millington promptly made a substitution, bringing on Jack Evans for Oluwabori in the 56th minute.
Jack Hunter attempted an audacious overhead kick to level the game, but he hardly troubled Andeng-Ndi.
Southend replaced Nathan Ralph with Jason Demetriou in the 70th minute. Town also brought on Aaron Cosgrave in the 73rd minute, replacing Tylor Golden.
Moments later, Alli produced the best chance for the Shaymen with a long-range effort that was tipped out for a corner. Town seized the opportunity, as Stott’s low cross met Adam Senior at the back post to tap in the equaliser, reinvigorating The Shay in the 74th minute.
Nevertheless, Harry Cardwell tried to reclaim the lead with a cross to Callum Powell, who fired over from close range.
Southend made two changes in the final 15 minutes, with goal-scorer Fonguck being substituted for Dan Mooney in the 76th minute, and Jack Wood being brought on in the 85th minute, as both sides hunted for a late winner. Eight minutes were added to the 90.
Cosgrave tried to initiate a counter-attack in stoppage time but ended up receiving a booking instead. Town made their final substitution, with Jimiel Chikukwa coming on for Rob Harker.
However, the final whistle blew, and both sides left The Shay with a share of the points. After appearing down and out following the bizarre red card, Town demonstrated their fighting spirit to snatch a point.