ACCRINGTON Stanley’s first meeting of the season with Morecambe had all the components you’d expect from a local derby – but not the outcome the Reds have become accustomed to.

Despite having led 2-0 John Coleman’s team lost a League Two match to their neighbours for the first time at the Wham Stadium, ending with ten men and coming out on the wrong side of a 3-2 scoreline.

It had all started so promisingly, with the same eleven as had begun against Burney in midweek setting about their task with great gusto in the opening stages.

Shay McCartan was inches from a third minute opener when his jinking run guided him into the box only for the finish to be wayward before Steven Hewitt’s scuffed effort skewed to Billy Kee who could only test Barry Roche and not beat him.

A third presentable opening soon arrived, this time a shot from Seamus Conneely diverted to Kee with the striker only able to lash the ball into the side netting.

Stanley keeper Elliot Parish had only been on routine duties, saving from Cole Stockton and Jack Dunn, and was soon able to watch his attaching colleagues race into the lead.

Kee’s first goal of the new season was worth the wait, the striker spinning beyond a defender and striking from 20 yards, beating Roche with the help of a deflection to make it 1-0.

With just half an hour gone it might had been two when Roche had to pull off a top drawer save to keep out a powerful shot from John O’Sullivan.

Soon it was two though, with Kee diverting a right wing O’Sullivan cross beyond Roche to double the advantage. So far, so serene.

Sadly that was the high point, with Stanley promptly reduced to ten men. Just a minute after Kee’s second defender Mark Hughes was jostling with Stockton and seemed to pull the striker back as he raced towards goal. Premier League referee Michael Jones wasted no time in producing the red card.

A half time reshuffle might just have helped Stanley but Stockton had other ideas, heading home a Michael Rose cross on the stroke of half time to reduce the deficit.

All Coleman’s team’s good work was then undone a minute after the restart. A shot from the edge of the box was blocked by Omar Beckles straight to Kevin Ellison and the man Stanley fans love to hate needed no further encouragement, drilling a right foot shot beyond Parish. 2-2.

The ten men reacted and might have had a penalty when Ryan Edwards seemed to hold Matty Pearson down from a corner. Mr Jones declined to point to the spot.

Pearson was soon in the thick of it in the other box, blocking bravely to stop a strike from Stockton after Janoi Donacien’s poor backpass had put Stanley in trouble.

Sadly for the Reds, the effort was in vain as the Shrimps duly went in front. There were 56 minutes gone when Stockton was allowed to cut in from the left, evading Beckles, and hit the ball with his right foot into the corner of the net to complete the turnaround.

Parish kept Stanley in the contest with a great save to thwart Tom Barkhuizen and the visitors got deeper and deeper as the game wore on. The Reds duly piled on the pressure but when Beckles glanced Rommy Boco’s cross narrowly wide three minutes from the end it was clear it was not to be their day.