TWO goals from James Beattie were not enough to lift Accrington Stanley out of the League Two relegation zone as they drew at home to Cheltenham Town.

Stanley produced a much improved performance against the promotion chasers but Marlon Pack’s 70th-minute equaliser denied them victory and kept them in the bottom two.

Pack had earlier given Cheltenham a controversial lead from the penalty spot after Nicky Hunt was adjudged to have tripped Jason Taylor in the 31st minute, despite Stanley protesting that no contact had been made.

Beattie made it 1-1six minutes before half time as he headed home Laurence Wilson’s corner, and the former England international then put Stanley in front in the 63rd minute.

Mark Hughes’ header from another corner was cleared off the line, before Beattie crashed in the rebound off the underside of the bar from 15 yards.

But seven minutes later Cheltenham were back on level terms as Stanley were unable to clear a free kick and Pack headed home his second goal of the game from close range.

Stanley: Paul Rachubka; Nicky Hunt, Dean Winnard, Mark Hughes, Michael Liddle; Rommy Boco, Luke Joyce, Peter Murphy, Laurence Wilson; James Gray (Padraig Amond 88), James Beattie (Amine Linganzi 74). Subs not used: Andrew Dawber, Tom Aldred, George Miller, Lee Molyneux, Will Hatfield.

Cheltenham: Scott Brown; Keith Lowe, Michael Hector, Steve Elliott, Sido Jombati; Jermaine McGlashan (Sam Deering 59), Jason Taylor, Marlon Pack, Kaid Mohamed (Darren Carter 59); Paul Benson, Byron Harrison (Shaun Harrad 81). Subs not used: Connor Roberts, Billy Jones, Darryl Duffy, Russell Penn.

Referee: Andy D’Urso.

Attendance: 1,216.