Two early goals saw Stanley suffer their eighth consecutive defeat after an edgy local derby against ten man Rochdale at the Store First Stadium.
The home side made four changes to the side that lost at Hartlepool with Lee Naylor making his debut at left-back, and Shay McCartan, Nicky Hunt and Connor Mahoney also starting.
The visitors came out of the traps early on and took the lead after six minutes when Michael Rose’s thunderous effort crashed off the post but diverted straight into the path of Matt Lund who headed home.
Dale doubled their advantage six minutes later when Jack O’Connell’s inch-perfect left wing cross was met at the back post by the in-form Scott Hogan, netting his fourth goal of the season.
But the Reds did not let their heads go down and dominated proceedings from then on.
On 17 minutes, Kayode Odejayi brought some much needed attacking impetus to Stanley’s play as he fed striker McCartan but his shot fell wide.
It was this combination in reverse that brought James Beattie’s men back into the match.
McCartan hassled and harried, chasing what seemed a lost cause, but managed to slip the ball into Odejayi who fired his shot into the top right hand corner to make it 2-1
Mahoney, making his first start hit a low, long-range effort on 28 minutes, which had the home faithful on their feet.
Just shy of half-time, the 16-year-old wideman was again in the thick of the action as he hit a number of shots which were blocked and had the home side appealing for a penalty for handball against Dale skipper Oliver Lancashire.
The Spotland side always looked threatening on the counter-attack but on the stroke of half-time, Keith Hill’s men were aggrieved when referee Mark Brown sent off forward George Donnelly for what he saw as a high challenge on the returning Hunt.
On 56 minutes, Odejayi was a whisker away from becoming an instant Stanley hero when his looping header from a left-wing Naylor cross went agonisingly wide.
Moments later, tremendous interplay between McCartan and Luke Joyce ended with a dangerous ball across that box that just evaded the out stretched Peter Murphy.
New man Naylor’s set pieces caused Hill’s side problems all afternoon and a corner 20 minutes from time was headed wide by McCartan.
Whilst O’Connell was provider early on in the derby, he turned hero defensively late on as he somehow headed a powerful Joyce shot off the line after Josh Lillis had saved from McCartan.
Stanley threw on Michael Richardson and Will Hatfield in the hope of rescuing a point and the crossbar denied the latter after a header from a difficult angle.
In the final seconds, the hosts won a corner which was headed wide in front of the travelling supporters by journeyman striker Odejayi, and much to the relief of the visitors, that was the final action.
The Reds can take heart from a valiant display after conceding two goals early on but will disappointed they couldn’t find that equalising goal.
Stanley: Bettinelli, Hunt, Aldred, Winnard, Naylor (Gray 76), Mahoney (Hatfield 85), Joyce (Richardson 85), Murphy, Naismith McCartan, Odejayi.
Report by Emily Liles