Ten man Stanley couldn’t make it three wins on the spin as they went down 3-1 to Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium.

The home side made a bright start and after sighters from Josh Ruffels and Brian Howard they were in front with quarter of an hour on the clock.

Debutant Howard was the provider, crossing from the left for Danny Hylton who burst into the box and lashed his seventh goal of the season past Joe Lumley.

But the Reds were behind for less than 90 seconds as Paul Stephenson’s men mustered an instant response. Adam Buxton’s left wing cross was parried to Piero Mingoia and his shot was diverted into the net from close range by Marcus Carver to claim his first goal in League Two.

Now Stanley had some momentum and Andy Procter drilled a low shot just wide as they looked to edge in front.

But it was the home team who struck next and it was a goal that had the home supporters on their feet. Lumley’s clearance from a Nicky Hunt backpass dropped straight to Michael Collins who lobbed the ball deftly over the keeper and into the net to make it 2-1.

Seconds later came another turning point, with the Reds reduced to ten men. James Gray was the man who received his marching orders from referee Charles Breakspear after an incident involving Johnny Mullins on the far side of the field. Confusion reigned but the Northern Ireland under 21 man was on his way down the tunnel.

As half time loomed Oxford looked to capitalise on their numerical advantage but Stanley had Lumley to thank for keeping them in it as the on loan QPR keeper saved one handed to deny Callum O’Dowda.

After the break Dean Winnard joined the fray to replace Buxton, who had needed treatment in the first period, but the visitors were largely on the back foot with the lively O’Dowda twice going close.

When the third goal came it was a gift; Tyrone Barnett seizing on a Luke Joyce backpass to nip past Lumley and slide the ball into the net to make it 3-1.

Stephenson’s side tried to force themselves back into contention but that left gaps at the back and Barnett nodded wide before sub Junior Brown twice went close after cutting in from the right.

Kal Naismith fired a late free kick well over after Shay McCartan had been tripped and it was the last action of a disappointing night in Oxfordshire.

Stanley: Lumley, Hunt, Aldred, Atkinson, Buxton, Naismith, Joyce, Procter, Mingoia, Carver