Stanley were held to a 1-1 draw at AFC Wimbledon to pick up a vital point in their quest for League One football next season.

Both goals came in the first half,┬áJordan Clark’s fifth league goal of the season cancelling Joe Piggot’s 21st minute opener.

The second half was fairly even, with neither goalkeeper being seriously tested despite some exciting end-to-end football and the spoils were shared.

The result means that the Reds sit 17th in the table, and remain two points above the relegation zone with six fixtures left to play.

Manager John Coleman made two changes to the side that were beaten by Sunderland on Wednesday night, with Clark returning from suspension and Scott Brown starting in midfield.

Stanley had to defend for large parts of the opening exchanges, Dimitar Evtimov saving Toby Sibbick’s effort from distance in the 6th minute, before Ben Richards-Everton blocked Scott Wagstaff’s shot as the striker raced into the area five minutes later.

Sean McConville forced Dons goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale into a save from a long range free kick with quarter of an hour played, but the hosts took the lead five minutes later.

Wimbledon attacked in numbers and the Reds couldn’t clear the danger from Steven Seddon’s cross, the ball falling to Pigott who swept home from the centre of the box.

The Reds patiently looked to level the tie, and Clark equalised ten minutes before the break, racing into the box from the left and firing passed Ramsdale and into the bottom right corner.

Stanley could have taken the lead five minutes later after Smyth was impeded inside the box, only for Billy Kee to drag his spot kick just wide of the left post in the 41st minute.

Both sides started brightly in the second half, but the Reds were fortunate not to fall behind in the 51st minute after James Hanson went wide after racing clear and lobbing Evtimov.

Stanley were denied a second penalty when Clark appeared to be fouled in the box with twenty minutes left to play, but referee Neil Hair deemed it to be simulation and showed the winger a yellow card amid fierce protests.

Stanley continued to defended well, Janoi Donacien, Mark Hughes, Ross Sykes and Richards-Everton all called upon as the Reds absorbed the host’s pressure.

Turning defence into attack, Kee found McConville on the left in the 72nd minute but he could only hit the side-netting in the Reds’ best chance of the second period.