ACCRINGTON Stanley’s relegation worries worsened as they threw away a 2-0 lead to be hammered 5-2 at Burton Albion.

The Reds had looked to be en route to three points at the Pirelli Stadium but a disastrous second half leaves them just two points and four places from League One’s bottom four.

John Coleman’s side had won their previous outing at Wycombe and arrived looking for back to back victories for the first time in 2019 and at first things looked promising.

The visitors looked solid early on and Burton were restricted to half chances with Jake Buxton, Marcus Harness and Lucas Akins all off target early on.

The first third of the half belonged to Stanley, with the second bringing more scares as Jonny Maxted was called upon to deny Jamie Allen but the final 15 minutes of the half saw the Reds turn the screw.

First Sean McConville saw an appeal for a penalty turned down by referee Lee Swabey before Stephen Quinn’s backpass went straight to Billy Kee but the striker’s shot was repelled by Burton keeper Bradley Collins.

Soon Collins was beaten though, with Mark Hughes finding Janoi Donacien on the left and Kee heading his deep cross back towards goal for McConville to take a touch and drill a shot beyond Collins for 1-0.

Moments later it was two. Daniel Barlaser split the Burton defence with a through ball for Jordan Clark who was brought down by Collins for a penalty. Kee stepped up and fired home his 15th goal of the season.

It was all looking good for Coleman and his team until they conceded before the break. From their own defensive throw in they gave the ball away to Harness who found Scott Fraser and the midfielder picked out the corner of the net for 2-1.

The second half was all about Burton as Nigel Clough’s side drew confidence from that goal and produced an unlikely comeback.

Stanley survived an early penalty appeal and some close moments but conceded an equaliser from an unlikely source. Few backed when centre half Kyle McFadzean to score a free kick from 20 yards after Scott Brown had been penalised but he hit a virtually perfect strike over the wall, beyond Maxted and into the net for 2-2.

Things might still have been different had Collins not made a superb save to tip over a Kee header after patient work from McConville but as it was that was as good as it got for the Reds who began to crumble.

Allen thought he’d scored when he rounded Maxted only to see Donacien clear off the line but seconds later sub David Templeton went down under challenge from Harvey Rodgers and Mr Swabey gave a penalty.

Akins sent Maxted the wrong way to break Burton’s league goalscoring record, give the Brewers the lead and help the Pirelli find its voice.

Worse was to come as five minutes later Akins provided a low ball from the right and the excellent Templeton caught the defence napping to sweep the ball home at the far post and make it 4-2.

Maxted saved from Ben Fox and Templeton to keep the score down but there was still time for more punishment.

Akins, heralded by the home fans for his milestone, wilted like an undernourished sapling and not a strapping centre forward inside the box in the 90th minute and was rewarded with another penalty which he dispatched to make it 5-2.