Louis Dodds spoiled Crawley's big day with a stoppage-time goal to earn Port Vale a 2-2 draw.
The Football League new boys led twice through goals from Tyrone Barnett and Kyle McFadzean.
But they were reduced to 10 men when John Dempster was booked twice in three minutes and eventually had to settle for a point.
Barnett fired the best chance of the opening stages wide.
But he made no mistake in the 38th minute when Ben Smith's corner was headed on and Barnett got in front of his marker to tap the ball home for Crawley's first league goal.
Vale levelled three minutes later when Marc Richards curled a free-kick around the wall.
Early in the second half defender McFadzean nodded in Sergio Torres' cross to put the visitors back into the lead.
After Dempster saw red, Vale went on the attack and Doug Loft hit the post from 20 yards.
But their pressure paid off 19 seconds into injury time when Town failed to clear their lines and Dodds tucked in the leveller.
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