Colchester United held on to frustrate struggling Hartlepool United and earn a point despite playing with 10 men for nearly 50 minutes at Victoria Park.
The hosts needed to win to close the eight-point gap between the sides, but they were unable to find a breakthrough despite the U's having Jabo Ibehre sent off for a lunge on Neil Austin.
Pools dominated possession and piled forward after the interval.
But the closest they came was when a 20-yard James Poole volley hit the bar.
Pools are third from bottom in League One, seven points from safety.
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Colchester United manager Joe Dunne told BBC Essex:
"I'll be appealing it (Jabo Ibehre's red card) straight away.
"I felt It was a fair challenge, there was no studs showing when he's actually made the tackle.
"I think everybody around there felt the red was harsh, maybe the angle the referee had made it difficult, I thought he had a difficult game tonight."
"As a team we defended exceptionally well, the discipline and attitude was great especially in the second half.
"We came away with a lot of credit, overall, it's a wonderful point."