ACCRINGTON Stanley are going to have to do it the hard way again after an injury-time goal for AFC Wimbledon gave them the advantage in this play-off semi-final.

John Coleman’s side looked to be heading for a second successive goalless draw until Tom Beere’s injury-time strike.

The Reds had lifted themselves after the heartbreak of a week ago when a 0-0 draw at home to Stevenage had seen them fall out of the automatic promotion places on the final day, but now they must dig deep once again and win at the Wham Stadium on Wednesday to stand a chance of reaching the final at Wembley.

The first opening fell to the Dons on five minutes as Lyle Taylor latched on to a long ball on the right-hand side of the area and drilled a low half-volley just wide of Ross Etheridge’s far post.

Stanley’s first sight of goal came after a neat turn from Josh Windass in the centre of the pitch, but his low shot from distance was harmlessly wide.

It was the home side who had started brighter though and they came close again when Tom Elliott headed Callum Kennedy's left-wing free-kick narrowly wide before Kennedy had a go himself, but his arrowed drive was always going wide.

Stanley were beginning to edge their way into the game midway through the half, on a pitch that wasn’t conducive to their passing game, but a neat move ended with Windass clipping a cross into Billy Kee, but he couldn’t get the required connection on his header and it drifted wide.

After half an hour Kee was fouled on the edge of the area while in the act of shooting, but Windass curled his free-kick over.

Tarique Fosu almost made an impact six minutes after coming off the bench. Seamus Conneely had played his right-wing free-kick into Kee, who took it back out to the right before crossing for Fosu, and he controlled the ball and got a low shot away from six-yards only for Kelle Roos to go down low to his right and touch the ball onto the post.

Stanley had controlled the game since the Dons’ quick start but they came back into the game with a quarter of an hour to go with substitute Adebayo Akinfenwa having a toe-poked shot deflected over before Jake Reeves sent a shot from the edge of area across goal and wide.

The Reds were back on the front foot quickly enough as Kee’s low shot from distance skimmed wide of the far post.

Stanley survived a huge handball appeal against Tom Davies with five minutes remaining after Kennedy’s free-kick had been flicked on by a Dons head, and on 88 minutes the home side came even closer as Akinfenwa controlled the ball on his chest before lashing a half-volley from 15-yards against the inside of the post.

And it was heartbreak again for the Reds deep into added time as substitute Beere found the bottom corner of the net after the ball had broken to him following a spot of pinball in the area.

Stanley twice came close to responding in the dying seconds. Terry Gornell’s header looked to have set up fellow substitute Shay McCartan, but his headed effort was saved one-handed by Roos, before Davies glanced a header from Adam Buxton’s free-kick into the side-netting in the final action of the game.