Stanley were made to pay for missing a number of chances as they suffered a 3-0 defeat at Southend United.
The Reds started the game much the brighter of the sides, but two goals in four first-half minutes for the Shrimpers turned the game on it’s head.
Sam Mantom struck from a tight angle in the 19th minute after goalkeeper Connor Ripley parried Simon Cox’s powerful effort, before Cox got himself on the scoresheet five minutes later.
The hosts extended their lead with less than 20 minutes to play, Cox feeding Theo Robinson to beat the offside trap and make it 3-0.
The Reds had a goal disallowed in the 82nd minute after substitute Connor Hall turned the ball home, but the flag had already gone up for offside on Ross Sykes in the build-up.
Manager John Coleman made one change before kick-off, Michael Ihiekwe recovering from the injury that saw him miss last weekend’s abandoned game against Sunderland to start in defence.
The Reds had a host of chances in the opening exchanges, but failed to test Southend ‘keeper Mark Oxley.
Billy Kee, looking for his first league goal since October, shot over the bar in the 7th minute, before Sam Finley curled an effort inches wide after a brilliant run a minute later.
Finley was involved again in the 10th minute, surging down the right and cutting the ball back for Offrande Zanzala, but the striker could only find the side-netting from a narrow angle.
The Reds continued to attack, but nine minutes later were undone after Cox hit one from range that Ripley was forced to push away, directly into the path of the oncoming Mantom, who made no mistake.
Stanley battled to restore parity, but four minutes later the hosts doubled their lead following a short corner.
Stephen Hendrie unleashed a fierce shot from outside the area that Ripley was unable to hold, and Cox was on hand to get to the loose ball and score in a crowded area.
The second half played out in much the same way as the first, the Reds fighting hard to get themselves a goal. Sean McConville’s long range effort just before the hour was the best of the bunch, almost catching Oxley out and forcing the stopper to put the ball over the crossbar.
In the 72nd minute Southend won possession in the middle, Cox playing a low ball to Robinson before the forward fired home to ensure Stanley returned from Essex with nothing to show for their efforts.