Valiant 10-man Stanley were denied their first win of the season in heartbreaking fashion with a late Wimbledon equaliser.

Kayode Odejayi gave the Reds a 17th minute goal and they created some superb chances but just couldn’t get the second.

However striker Odejayi saw red in controversial circumstances on the stroke of half time and, although Stanley performed superbly in a backs-to-the-wall second half show, they just couldn’t hold on.

Boss James Beattie made three changes to the team who lost at Dagenham last Friday with James Caton, on loan from Blackpool, making his Stanley debut on the left wing.

Michael Richardson and Piero Mingoia also came into the first XI with defender Tom Aldred blocking an early Jack Midson effort.

Stanley keeper Marcus Bettinelli and midfielder Peter Murphy both needed treatment to make it a stop-start opening.

However Stanley started on the front foot and made a chance count on 17 minutes when a Lee Naylor curling corner found the head of Odejayi and he powered the ball home.

In the space of a minute Stanley had three good chances. Odejayi was denied from a tight angle, Michael Richardson had a long range effort punched out by Ross Worner and then, with the keeper stranded, Murphy’s effort just couldn’t be touched home by Richardson as the visitors looked for a second.

Naylor fired a free kick just wide of the post as Stanley took charge.

Wimbledon’s first real chance didn’t come until four minutes before the break when Burnley loanee George Porter broke down the right, he put the ball into the area but Luke Moore delayed his shot and Stanley recovered with Harry Pell eventually blasting over.

Then Callum Kennedy fired inches wide from a free kick before, in the last action of the half, Odejayi leapt for a header and he and a home player ended up tangling in front of the Stanley dug out.

The assistant called over the referee and he showed the striker a straight red, much to the annoyance and frustration of the Stanley bench and players who protested into the half-time break.

Beattie put on Marcus Carver for James Caton at the start of the second half as ten-man Stanley needed to keep it tight.

However the home side started pressing with Bettinelli palming an early chance wide, Pell headed off-target in a decent position while Luke Moore also headed over the goal.

Stanley were throwing their bodies in front of every shot with Luke Joyce, Nicky Hunt, Richardson and Aldred all blocking strikes in their own area.

Bettinelli then pulled off the save of the game, somehow keeping out a certain Moore goal with his legs on 70 minutes.

Wimbledon’s Michael Smith wasted another chance, firing wide in a good position as Stanley defended valiantly. A sign of the Stanley desire was Piero Mingoia, who cleared in his own area and then chased the length of the pitch after his own ball.

However they finally found the breakthrough four minutes from time when Barry Fuller’s cross was headed home by Alan Bennett to break Stanley’s hearts.

Richardson still had a chance to win it for the Reds in injury-time but again just couldn’t reach a ball to the far post while Hunt and Bettinelli denied the home side with the last action of the game.

Stanley: Bettinelli, Naylor, Atkinson (Winnard 15), Aldred, Hunt, Mingoia (Hatfield 90), Murphy, Joyce, Richardson, Caton (Carver 46), Odejayi

Subs: Dunbavin, Webber,  Naismith, Miller

Attendance 4585