THE combination of Courtney Baker-Richardson and Colby Bishop could fire Accrington to new heights this season according to boss John Coleman, after the pair helped snatch a first point of the season away at AFC Wimbledon.

Luke O’Neill put the Dons ahead after 42 minutes when his curling cross was deflected into his own net by Stanley centre-half Ross Sykes and things got worse for the visitors on 61 minutes.

Zaine Francis-Angol had earlier been booked for fouling Michael Folivi and a late challenge saw the defender sent off for a second yellow card

But three minutes later, 22-year-old Bishop – a summer signing from non-league Leamington – latched on to 23-year-old Swansea loanee Baker-Richardson’s cross to earn a draw, leaving Coleman excited by his new young stars.

“It’s a great goal,” he said. “Courtney has got into a great area then he’s fizzed a lovely ball in.

“We’ve been hammering on to Colby to get across his man in the box and he did that here. Those two are getting better every game, they’re working well together and that’s promising.

“Our lads showed a lot of character. A point was the least we deserved and on another day we could have won.

“Wimbledon started really strongly – I think they had five corners in the first few minutes – but we knew they’d be right as us, we knew they’d start like that.

“We were looking at our most comfortable when we conceded. We had a couple of decisions go against us which resulted in us going down to ten men but, by the end of the game, I thought we were the team who were going to win it.

“We were putting corners in their box, we had free-kicks and we weren’t timewasting by the corner flag. We weren’t here to see out the draw – that shows what the players are all about.”

Bishop had earlier been denied an equaliser when Dons loanee goalkeeper Nathan Trott, on his league debut, produced a brilliant fingertip save from his looping header.

Wimbledon midfielder Callum Reilly had fired straight at Stanley goalkeeper Dimitar Evtimov from close range just 35 seconds into the match and he also miscued another effort following an incisive Dons break midway through the first half.

O’Neill then curled a 25-yard free kick narrowly wide, while defender Paul Kalambayi's 94th-minute header almost won it for Wally Downes’ side, who also remain winless in League One this season.

But Coleman was still left perturbed by the Francis-Angol sending off that cost them a chance at all three points.

He added: “It’s a second yellow, I’ve got no issue with that. My issue is that we should have had a free-kick on the edge of their box five seconds before.

“So instead of us shooting at their goal, we’re down to 10 men.”

AFC Wimbledon: Trott, Kalambayi, McDonald, Thomas, O’Neill, Hartigan, Reilly (Pinnock 71), Wagstaff (McLoughlin 82), Guinness-Walker (Osew 72), Folivi, Pigott. Subs not used: Tzanev, Connolly, Appiah, Roscrow

Accrington Stanley: Evtimov 7, Johnson 5, Hughes 6, Sykes 7, Francis-Angol 4, Clark 5, Conneely 5, Finley 6, McConville 5, Baker-Richardson 6 (Charles 76), Bishop 8. Subs not used: Bursik, Edwards, Maguire, Pritchard, Sherif, Carvalho

Attendance: 3,979

Referee: John Busby