ACCRINGTON Stanley added another cup scalp to their already impressive back catalogue as goals from Ben Richards-Everton, Jordan Clark and a stoppage time Billy Kee winner dumped Championship Preston North End out of the League Cup in a pulsating tie.

Preston twice came back, after Richards-Everton and Clarke put the League Two side in front, and the game looked to be heading to extra time.

But last season’s top scorer Kee popped up late to head Stanley into the second round.

The Reds were on the front foot for much of the game, but had goalkeeper Simon Bloch Jorgensen to thank as well as the goalscorers for his contribution to the scalp.

The Danish keeper signed on a short-term deal ahead of the season opener, and was Bloch by name and block by nature on his Stanley debut to ensure his side’s progress, making a string of key saves in either half.

Kayden Jackson sent a shot over in the third minute, quickly followed by a looping header for strike partner Jonny Edwards that dropped over the bar.

Preston boss Alex Neil, no stranger to the Wham Stadium having brought his side here in pre-season, made nine changes from the team that opened the 2017/18 campaign with a win at promotion favourites Sheffield Wednesday. But he must have wished he’d included more from Saturday’s team when Stanley really began to make use of home advantage, particularly when Sean McConville stung Chris Maxwell’s hands and the keeper had to recover quickly to save Jackson’s follow-up.

It was a sign of things to come.

The Reds rearguard remained resolute throughout, closing down quickly and efficiently to starve Preston of time and space in possession. And on this occasion it gave them the platform to take the lead, with Richards-Everton driving past Maxwell in the 20th minute.

Preston looked for a response and Liam Grimshaw had a shot charged down on the edge of the box. Callum Robinson tired to make an impact too. But if there was to be a second goal in the first half Stanley looked the most likely, and when Clark’s right wing cross dropped invitingly for Sean McConville it needed a brave block to deny the attacking midfielder.

Stanley were forced into a change at half-time after Edwards took a knock and Kee replaced him.

But Neil used his substitutions to try to swing the game in Preston’s favour and ignite the urgency they had lacked after the restart.

And the fresh legs were a factor in Hugill equalising 10 seconds after the ball had been in the Preston box with Stanley trying to steal a second.

The hosts did not let their heads drop though, and Jackson took advantage of a slip by Andy Boyle to cross and Clark steered the ball beyond Maxwell in the box.

Preston thought they had salvaged an extra 30 minutes when Hugill equalised for a second time with a header over the giant frame of Jorgensen.

But as the clock was ticking down, Kee nodded in debutant Tom Dallison’s flicked header from a corner to clinch it.

STANLEY: Simon Bloch Jorgensen; Tyler Forbes, Mark Hughes, Ben Richards-Everton, Tom Dallison; Jordan Clark, Liam Nolan, Scott Brown (Seamus Conneely 81), Sean McConville; Kayden Jackson, Jonny Edwards (Billy Kee 46).

Subs not used: Aaron Chapman, Mekhi McLeod, Ross Sykes, Erico Sousa, Reagan Ogle

PNE: Chris Maxwell; Marnick Vermijl, Andy Boyle, Ben Davies, Kevin O’Connor; Darly Horgan, Paul Gallagher, Jordan Hugill, Stephy Mavididi (Daniel Johnson 53); Liam Grimshaw (Sean Maguire 65), Callum Robinson (Alan Browne 79).

Subs not used: Mat Hudson, Calum Woods, Josh Earl, Paul Huntington.

Attendance: 2,879 (1,736)