Accrington Stanley suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Shrewsbury Town, losing 4-0 at Greenhous Meadow.
A disastrous first half laid the foundations for the defeat. Andy Mangan’s goal had the hosts in control before Luke Simpson saw red for hauling the striker down after misjudging a bouncing ball. Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro scored the spot-kick and Connor Goldson made it 3-0 before the interval. The result was already a formality even before Mangan sealed his brace in the second half.
There were four changes from the weekend defeat at Cheltenham as the manager reverted back to the familiar 4-4-2 formation with Adam Buxton, Rob Atkinson, Kal Naismith and James Alabi making way for Luke Joyce, Piero Mingoia, Will Hatfield and George Bowerman.
Shrewsbury had the better of the early exchanges with Jordan Clark and Mangan going close but their efforts were never going to trouble Simpson.
In a sign of what was to come, the Stanley keeper was almost caught out as he raced off his line to claim a cross and was almost beaten by Akpa Akpro’s flicked header but the stopper was just tall enough to catch the ball and spare his own blushes.
The Shrews were well in command and took the lead with their next attack in fortuitous circumstances.
Tom Aldred rolled the ball back to Simpson and, under pressure from Mangan, the goalkeeper blasted his clearance against the former Stanley man, watching in horror as the ball trickled into the back of the net.
Going a goal down sparked Stanley into life with Joyce, Josh Windass and Hatfield all having shots from range but they all went well wide of Jayson Leutwiler’s goal.
The hosts’ lead was almost doubled as Akpa Akpro volleyed over from 18 yards before Jordan Mustoe’s clearance from Mangan’s low cross flashed over his own bar.
Things got worse for the Reds just before half-time as Simpson misjudged a bouncing ball and then hauled down Mangan with the striker facing an open goal. Referee Chris Sarginson had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and sending off the Stanley goalkeeper.
Akpa Akpro sent substitute goalkeeper Jay Lynch the wrong way from 12 yards to double the advantage and it would get even worse before the first half was out.
Liam Lawrence’s corner wasn’t cleared and Goldson lashed the loose ball into the top corner to give Shrewsbury a comfortable 3-0 lead at the break.
Predictably, the second half began with the Reds on the back foot and it was 4-0 just after the hour as Akpa Akpro broke away down the left and sent over a floated cross which Mangan glanced home for his second goal of the game.
Were it not for Lynch in the Stanley goal it would have been 5-0 to the hosts as Ashley Vincent found space in the area but his powerful effort was palmed away by the keeper.
In a rare Stanley attack, Windass fired in a free-kick which Leutwiler had to turn behind for a corner to the Reds but the set-piece came to nothing.
Windass almost put through his own net at the other end, turning a cross from Cameron Gayle just past the post.
From there, the game petered out with Shrewsbury unable to add to their four goals on a night to forget for James Beattie and his men.
Accrington: Simpson; Hunt, Aldred, Winnard, Mustoe; Mingoia, Joyce, Windass, Hatfield (Naismith 79); Gray (Carver 74), Bowerman (Lynch 42).
Subs: Goulding, Atkinson, McCartan, Alabi.