Crewe Alex face an FA Cup replay against Blackburn Rovers after sharing a thrilling a controversial 3-3 draw at Ewood Park on Sunday.
They looked dead and buried against the League One side after just 20 minutes, when Dominic Samuel (2) and Danny Graham put dominant Rovers 3-0 ahead.
But the momentum switched just after the half hour mark when Rekeem Harper was sent off and Chris Porter scored from the penalty spot.
The home side were down to nine men early in the second half when Elliott Bennett also saw red, and the Alex roared back to 3-3 thanks to goals from Eddie Nolan and Porter’s second.
With 25 minutes left to play they had chances to win it through Porter, Chris Dagnall and Jordan Bowery, but Blackburn regained their composure and held on.
HAVING established a three goal lead inside the opening 20 minutes, Rovers were cruising and seemingly set to coast to a spot in round three of the FA Cup.
But having quite literally taken their eye off the ball, they gifted Crewe a way back into the match in what turned out to be a remarkable cup tie in which the officials took centre stage.
From 3-0 up it was the hosts who were content to take a replay having played for almost all of the second half with nine men.
A loss in concentration and subsequent foul by Rekeem Harper saw the West Brom loanee dismissed before a contentious decision led to Elliott Bennett seeing red for an off the ball incident.
Crewe capitalised on their two-man advantage to claw their way back and ensure both teams are in the hat for tonight's third round draw.
League Two strugglers Crewe Alexandra come back from three down inside 20 minutes to earn an FA Cup second-round replay against nine-man Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.
Tony Mowbray's League One side were in complete control after taking the lead on 11 minutes when Dominic Samuel's low right-foot shot beat Dave Richards at his near post.
Samuel then played in Danny Graham to fire home left-footed from 12 yards. And Graham returned the compliment with a magnificent through ball for Samuel to go on and fire his second.
But the game changed on 33 minutes when Rovers defender Rekeem Harper was adjudged to have brought down Chris Porter.
Harper was sent off, a straight red card, and Porter fired home left-footed from the spot.
After Tom Lowery had struck the hosts' woodwork, Rovers were then reduced to nine men when Elliott Bennett was sent off on 56 minutes following a clash with Crewe's Perry Ng - and, within 10 minutes, Crewe were level.
Eddie Nolan headed home on 63 minutes after a corner caused chaos in the box and, just three minutes on, Porter headed in George Cooper's cross to level, with his ninth goal of the season.
But, despite some at times desperate defending, the two sides could not be separated and so both go into Monday's third-round draw