A POOR first half display in which they conceded two goals left Stanley losing their final group match in the UniBond League Challenge Cup.

Manager John Coleman gave debuts to reserve team players Paul Stansfield and Steve MacDonald with Stansfield in particular having an impressive match.

Bamber Bridge took the lead on 12 minutes when Steve Aspinall's inswinging corner was punched away by Jamie Speare only as far as Paul Ryan, 20 yards out and he fired into the top corner of the net.

Two minutes later Speare launched a huge kick upfield that Gary Williams latched onto but his 25 yard shot went narrowly wide. After 36 minutes Stanley had a glorious chance to draw level as a Steve Hollis throw-in fell to Mark Brennan in the penalty area but he totally mis-hit his shot wide.

Three minutes before the break Bridge increased their lead as substitute Brad Pates was put clear in the penalty area by Aspinall and the former Burnley trainee fired beyond Speare.

In a much improved second half performance the Reds came close to a goal. Williams' goal-bound shot was deflected wide for a corner while Paul Mullin's curling shot was saved by veteran goalkeeper Billy Stewart.

Accrington did finally pull a goal back on 70 minutes when Stansfield went into the penalty area and created a chance for substitute Simon Carden whose shot beat Stewart.

Three minutes later good work by Mullin created an opening for Brett Baxter who fired just over the crossbar from 22 yards. The Reds were reduced down to 10 men three minutes from time when Paul Burns picked up a second yellow card.