The Reds picked up their second pre-season victory with a 2-1 win at Victoria Park thanks to a brace by midfielder Will Hatfield.

A Stanley starting eleven containing nine recognisable first team names made the early running, with James Gray latching onto a ball down the left channel inside three minutes and being denied by Nelson goalkeeper Ben Woodhead before the Northern Ireland striker saw the keeper thwart him again from a tight angle seven minutes later.

Despite the early promise it was the non-league side who took the lead when Gareth Peet beat the offside trap down the left, got around Stanley keeper Iain Turner and slotted the ball into the net.

The visitors looked to get back on terms but found Woodhead in fine form, with the keeper turning a Josh Windass free kick over the bar before keeping out a header from Tom Aldred.

Stanley were soon level, with a short corner to Luke Joyce guided square to Hatfield and the midfielder rifling a low shot into the left corner of the net.

Gray was proving a handful for the Nelson defence but couldn’t find the net as he headed a cross from Australian full back Charlie Beverley just wide of the target.

Hatfield had no such problems, netting his second and Stanley’s second eight minutes from the break. Gray was the provider, bursting down the right and fizzing the ball in low for the former Leeds man to divert it beyond Woodhead.

It might have been three for Hatfield had Woodhead not been equal to another low shot before the keeper again showed his ability to push out another Windass free kick.

The Reds made seven outfield changes at the break and one of the replacements, striker James Jenkins, was inches from adding a third goal. The youth product couldn’t convert Piero Mingoia’s cross from the left from close range and fired it wide.

George Bowerman then cut in from the right and curled a left foot shot wide before assistant boss Paul Stephenson replaced the remaining three outfield players.

Turner’s first save of note came just past the hour mark when the former Everton and Preston keeper, who has been training with the Reds, turned a header from Robert Grimes round the post.

Largely it was Stanley asking the questions though, and Marcus Carver forced a one handed save from Woodhead, an Adam Buxton free kick skimmed the top of the bar and Brett Ormerod was left frustrated as his close range shot was blocked by Woodhead.

Mark Fell’s Admirals tried to conjure an equaliser but Turner pushed a Grimes header around the post as Stanley ensured they picked up their second win of pre-season.

Stanley (1st half) – Turner, Hunt, Winnard, Aldred, Beverley, Naismith, Windass, Joyce, Hatfield, McCartan, Gray

Stanley (2nd half) – Turner, Buxton, Aldred, Atkinson, Liddle, Carver, Windass (Goddard), Joyce (Martin), Mingoia, Jenkins (Ormerod) Bowerman (Jenkins)