Stanley booked their place in round two of the Capital One Cup with a stunning 2-1 away win over 2004 winners Middlesbrough.
The Championship outfit led 1-0 through Lukas Jutkiewicz only for Marcus Carver to level and Piero Mingoia to hit the winner, with Ian Dunbavin producing a string of top saves late on.
The home side, who named a side containing seven players who had started their weekend Championship game, had an early opportunity to grasp the advantage when Marvin Emnes latched onto Grant Leadbitter’s cross but Dunbavin made a fine save with his legs to deny the Dutch forward.
To the surprise of many in the sparsely populated Riverside Stadium it was James Beattie’s side who had the next chance when home keeper Jayson Leutwiler was forced to block well to deny Michael Richardson after Peter Murphy found him inside the box.
But Tony Mowbray’s team did break the deadlock when Jutkiewicz latched onto a header over the Reds’ defence and diverted the ball past the charging Dunbavin.
The League Two side might have faltered on another day but instead Stanley stood firm, defending resolutely. And they got their reward eight minutes from the break. Nicky Hunt arched a long throw into the area and Carver rose highest to flick it beyond the goalkeeper. Two covering defenders were on the line and Boro cleared but the assistant referee’s flag signalled that the ball was over the line, Carver had his first senior goal and Beattie’s men were level.
Mowbray’s team returned early after the interval but couldn’t unlock the visiting defence, with Rob Atkinson and Michael Liddle both blocking ferocious shots from Emmanuel Ledesma and Grant Leadbitter respectively.
And it wasn’t one way traffic; Mingoia’s right wing cross caused consternation in the 63rd minute, only for Liddle to nod the ball behind all the Stanley players in the area.
Dunbavin was proving a hard man to get the better of and another excellent stop with his legs thwarted Mustapha Carayol before sub Adam Reach volleyed over when well placed.
Even when the Stanley number one did falter the home side couldn’t capitalise; Dunbavin’s 79th minute parry from Reach’s shot fell straight to another sub in the shape of Luke Williams but with the goal gaping he hit his effort over.
It would prove to be a crucial turning point as minutes later Mingoia’s moment arrived. The Reds won a corner which was taken by Will Hatfield and headed on by the impressive Tom Aldred. The ball dropped to the former Watford midfielder inside the area and without hesitation he drilled the ball into the right side of the net to send the 185 visiting fans wild.
Now Boro had just nine minutes to spare their blushes but the Stanley defence, and Dunbavin in particular, had other ideas. First the Stanley keeper saved one handed from Ben Gibson before somehow turning Jozef Varga’s deflected strike round the post and then he repeated the trick to get down and repel a strike from Grant Leadbitter.
The Reds saw out five nervy stoppage time minutes to reach the final whistle and a potentially lucrative round two tie.
Stanley: Dunbavin, Hunt, Aldred, Atkinson, Liddle, Clark (McCartan 70), Murphy, Richardson, Hatfield, Mingoia (Wilson 90), Carver (Gray 70)