Stanley boss John Coleman was encouraged by his side's second-half display at Crewe - but was left seething by their failure to defend the long ball from which Elliott Nevitt scored a last-gasp equaliser.

The Reds had twice fought back to lead 3-2 with goals from Ben Woods and Josh Woods before Nevitt found the top corner for Crewe, who had skipper Luke Offord shown a straight red card in the 80th minute for violent conduct.

Crewe took a fourth-minute lead through a fine finish from Aaron Rowe into the bottom corner but Jack Nolan levelled two minutes later from Joe Pritchard's ball across the six-yard box.

Mickey Demetriou rose highest to plant a downward header past a crowd of players into the net in the 29th minute before Stanley profited from some poor goalkeeping from Liverpool loanee Harvey Davies to draw level again in the 87th minute.

Ben Woods' drive from 25 yards looked an ambitious effort but the shot slipped past the keeper to find the corner of the net.

Davies then spilled a cross-shot and Josh Woods pounced to poke the ball home from close range in the sixth minute of time added on for what looked like a winner until Nevitt's dramatic intervention.

“It feels like a defeat even though I thought we were outstanding in the second half with the way we pinned Crewe back,” said Coleman.

“The only shot on target they had then was the last kick of the game. But we only have ourselves to blame for that as we didn’t defend the long ball.

“However, considering the amount of injuries we’ve got – and we’ve now lost Joey Pritchard to injury – the young players have done very well.

“The average age of the team is around 22 but we took the game to Crewe. We can be proud of the way we played and the way we dragged ourselves back into the game.

“It is hard to be critical but I am seething with their goal and so disappointed we couldn’t defend that.”