A spirited fightback wasn’t enough for Stanley as they were beaten 3-2 at home by Crawley Town in the final home game of 2017.
Stanley made a disastrous start and found themselves two goals down inside the opening 10 minutes, after Jordan Clark turned the ball into his own net and Enzio Boldewijn scored following a stinging counter-attack.
Three minutes before the break the visitors scored their third, Boldewijn slamming home his second of the afternoon before Billy Kee’s stoppage time penalty gave his side hope.
The Reds were rampant at the start of the second-half, substitute Ben Richards-Everton scoring their second, but despite a huge effort from the home side, Crawley held out to take all three points.
Stanley made the worst possible as Clark turned a hopeful Lewis Young cross into his own net in just the ninth minute.
It got worse immediately from the restart, as Stanley surrendered possession and were stung by a rapid counter attack that ended with Boldewijn firing beyond Chapman to make it 0-2 inside 10 minutes.
The Reds improved as the half went on and should have halved the deficit only for a superb goal line block to deny Seamus Conneely’s rasping half-volley.
However they were struck a hammer blow in the 42nd minute when, following a prolonged spell of Stanley pressure, Crawley launched another stinging counter-attack that was finished off again by Boldewijn.
In first-half added time Kee was brought down inside the penalty area, referee Scott Oldham pointed to the spot and Kee dusted himself down to convert the kick and hand his side a lifeline before the break.
John Coleman made a double change at the break as he searched for a way back into the match, Conneely and Farrend Rawson making way for Ben Richards-Everton and Mallik Wilks.
It paid off almost immediately as Sean McConville’s corner found Richards-Everton in space on the edge of the area, the defender took a touch before drilling his effort beyond Glenn Morris to make it 2-3 in the 53rd minute.
The Reds spurned a glorious opportunity to level it in the 73rd minute, Kee found Wilks unmarked with a smart clip into the box but the on-loan forward couldn’t direct his header beyond Morris.
They continued to plug away and were denied a 95th minute equaliser in stunning fashion by a point blank Morris stop to deny Mark Hughes’ header.
Attendance: 1,295 (80 Crawley)