ACCRINGTON Stanley were unable to give manager John Coleman the perfect birthday present as they fell to a 2-1 defeat at Rochdale.

Stanley will feel they did enough to, at least deserve a point, as an Ian Henderson double leaves them 19th in League One.

Joe Pritchard halved the Reds’ deficit in the second half, but they couldn’t find another goal to take a point.

The game started with both sides having their own spells of possession. Stanley looked comfortable in their new 3-5-2 formation they were playing in the absence of right-back Callum Johnson.

Chances were few and far between in the opening 20 minutes as both sides passed the ball well but struggled to create anything clear-cut.

Stanley created their first real opening just after the 20 minute mark as Jordan Clark played a lovely outside of the foot pass to Colby Bishop on the edge of the box.

The striker flicked it first time behind him for Joe Pritchard to run on to, he got to the touch line, pulled the ball back and a Rochdale defender was able to clear.

Offrande Zanzala, desperate to make an impact in this Stanley side again, showed exactly what he can do as he picked the ball up and beat two Rochdale defenders to win a corner.

From the resultant corner, Bishop got up unchallenged and headed wide – should have done better.

Stanley played some brilliant stuff towards the end of the first half as Clark was found by Pritchard, his header couldn’t quite find Bishop.

The ball was recycled and Finley was found on the edge of the box, he cut in on his left foot and unleashed one that went just wide.

Against the run of play, Rochdale took the lead deep into the first half through Henderson.

Oliver Rathbone ran with the ball and shot towards goal. Dimitar Evtimov got down well, but fumbled the ball and Henderson was there to smash in the loose ball.

Five minutes after the restart, Henderson doubled Rochdale’s lead after a defensive mix-up for Stanley.

Two players went for the same header and it left a gap in behind. Henderson was able to lift the ball over Evtimov – who was off his line.

Two minutes later, Stanley pulled a goal back and it was Pritchard with his first for the Reds and you will not see many better goals than that.

He picked it up from 30-yards out and hit an absolute beauty. You could see the dip and the swerve on it as it nestled into the top corner.

Stanley pushed on from there, the goal was a massive momentum swing and they pushed Rochdale back.

Clark fired a dipping effort on target and Robert Sanchez did well to get a strong hand to it and palm wide.

In the dying stages, Bishop thought he’d salvaged a point, but Sanchez produced a fantastic reflex save.

Rochdale XI: Sanchez, O'Connell, Williams, Camps, Keohane, Rathbone, McShane, Done, Wilbraham (72’ Tavares), Ryan (80’ Andrew), Henderson (91’ Morley)

Unused subs: Lynch, Baah, Bradley, Gillam

Stanley XI: Evtimov, Sykes, Hughes, Opoku (87’ Carvalho), Clark, Conneely, Sherif (45’ Edwards), Finley, Pritchard, Bishop, Zanzala (68’ Charles)

Unused subs: Savin, Maguire, Barclay, Diallo