STANLEY couldn’t create the last gasp heroics of their previous two matches as they lost out to promotion-chasing Southend.

A Barry Corr goal separated the sides but Accrington are still four points clear of the bottom two with two games left to play.

James Beattie made four changes bringing in Piero Mingoia, Kal Naismith, James Gray and Adam Buxton with Nicky Hunt, Kayode Odejayi  and Shay McCartan dropping to the bench. Lively winger Lee Molyneux missed the game, seemingly with injury.

Chances were limited in the first half with Stanley more than matching their play-off chasing hosts.

Tom Aldred was unlucky with a couple of headers which he just couldn’t get enough power behind while James Gray was lively up front for Stanley.

However Southend carved out some good opportunities with Marcus Bettinelli denying Jacob Murphy while Gray cleared Corr’s header off the line.

The best chance came on the stroke of half-time but, thankfully for Stanley, Ryan Leonard could only steer his free header wide.

Southend broke the deadlock on 64 minutes when Will Atkinson set up Corr around 12 yards out to the right of the area and he lashed the ball into the bottom of the net, giving Bettinelli no chance.

James Beattie immediately brought on Kayode Odejayi  up front, to replace Kal Naismith, and he caused problems, while also introducing Shay McCartan.

However it was Southend’s Corr who should have done better on 83 minutes when he got the ball unmarked in the area but somehow fired it wide.

Stanley sub Shay McCartan came close to a leveller five minutes from time, unleashing a fierce shot and forcing a great save out of keeper Danny Bentley.

Bettinelli denied Southend sub Jamar Loza in injury time as they held on.

 STANLEY: Bettinelli, Buxton, Aldred, Winnard, Liddle, Mingoia (Webber), Joyce, Murphy, Naismith (Odejayi), Gray (McCartan), Hatfield