A goal at the end of each half saw Stanley lose 2-0 at Exeter City but the Reds remained third in Sky Bet League Two.
Following a tight first period, John Coleman’s men fell behind in time added on, as Hiram Boateng powered the Grecians in front.
The second-half saw both sides have their chances, but it was Pierce Sweeney’s penalty five minutes from time that ensured that all three points would be staying at St James Park.
Stanley saw lots of the ball in the early stages but it was the home side who twice threatened Aaron Chapman’s goal, first Jake Taylor fired a half-volley over the bar from a promising position before Liam McAlinden latched onto a long-throw but dragged his low effort inches wide of the far post.
The Reds were living dangerously and were lucky to survive when Taylor struck with the bar after meeting Lloyd James’ free-kick at the back post, before Stanley registered their first meaningful attempt seconds later as captain Sean McConville floated a free-kick just inches over the bar.
Accrington began to grow into the game, enjoying a couple of prolonged spells of possession in the Exeter half, one leading to Mark Hughes testing Christy Pym with a header inside the area.
But in first-half added time, The Grecians took the lead, McAlinden had a shot blocked inside the area, it fell kindly to Jayden Stockley who stayed composed enough to lay the ball off for the advancing Boateng who lashed a shot into the roof of the net.
Stanley looked to respond in the early stages of the second-half and Callum Johnson could have levelled it up in the 48th minute but his sweetly hit shot was drilled into the side netting, after he had picked up a McConville free-kick.
McAlinden missed a huge chance to put daylight between the teams in the 53rd minute, Lloyd James’ clearance fell right to the feet of the forward, who looked certain to score inside the area but his tame effort was straight at Chapman – a real let off for the Reds.
That prompted manager John Coleman to make two changes before the hour as Liam Nolan and Mekhi McLeod replaced Callum Johnson and Kayden Jackson.
Injury curtailed McLeod’s afternoon just 13 minutes later, that meant a First Team league debut for Academy player Niall Watson who almost made an immediate impact, laying a ball back to Nolan inside the area but he was denied an equaliser by a last-ditch block from Jordan Moore-Taylor.
As the game entered the final 10 minutes, Stanley once again had Chapman to thank for still being in the game, as he once again thwarted McAlinden before getting back to his feet to deny Taylor.
The visitors ran out of lives with five minutes remaining though, Ben Richards-Everton was adjudged to pull the shirt of Stickley inside the area, the referee pointed to the spot and the kick was despatched by Sweeney to make it 2-0.
Attendance: 3,597 (98 travelling Stanley supporters)