Champions Stanley fell just short of becoming the first team since 2002 to record 30 wins in a League Two season after a 3-0 defeat at Swindon Town.
Despite the Reds being the better of the two teams in the opening exchanges, two first half goals, and a third in the second half, gave the hosts victory on the final day of the season where both sides ended the game with 10-men.
Marc Richards tapped home on 14 minutes to put the Robins ahead, before Keshi Anderson’s curled effort two minutes before half-time gave the hosts a 2-0 lead.
Former Morecambe striker Paul Mullin got the Robin’s third of the afternoon, squeezing his shot under Aaron Chapman in the 55th minute.
The game erupted when County’s James Dunne and Stanley’s on loan Burnley defender Jimmy Dunne both saw red near the end.
Manager John Coleman made one change to the starting line-up, with Liam Nolan making his first start since February in place of Scott Brown who had to settle for a place on the bench.
The Reds could have taken the lead after just three minutes through Jordan Clark but Stuart Moore made a great one-handed save to keep the scores level.
Kayden Jackson then burst into the area 10 minutes later, but his shot was deflected behind. Mark Hughes tried his luck from the resulting corner, before the ball fell to Dunne whose shot was eventually cleared.
Swindon absorbed a lot of pressure in the opening quarter of an hour before Kyle Knoyle broke free, finding Richards unmarked in the area with his cross, and the forward tapped home on 14 minutes to put the Robins ahead. The veteran hitman has as a habit of scoring against Stanley.
Two minutes before half-time, Matt Taylor’s smart pass found Anderson in space, who then had time to curl his shot past Chapman and give the hosts a 2-0 lead at the break.
Stanley almost got a goal back after the restart as Sean McConville’s corner was headed goalwards by Dunne, with Moore saving brilliantly. Jackson’s follow-up was then cleared off the line.
Five minutes later Swindon got their third, Mullin cutting into the box from the left and his right-footed shot beat Chapman.
With five minutes to play, the referee sent off both Dunnes. Swindon’s James Dunne was shown a straight red for violent conduct after striking Stanley’s defender Jimmy Dunne who was then shown a second yellow card for his reaction..
Stanley never stopped searching for a goal to get themselves back into the tie, but it wasn’t to be as they failed to score for the first time in 2018 – but still celebrated a staggering 29 league wins this season.
The Reds still had more to celebrate – Billy Kee securing the League Two Golden Boot with 25 league goals and Aaron Chapman, with 18 league clean sheets (Stanley got 19 in total) winning the Golden Glove Award.