STANLEY returned from Newport County with a point – but will have felt they could have been taken all three.
Sean Maguire gave Stanley the lead after the break and they had some great chances to score a second ,including hitting the post, but Joe Pigott’s wonder goal rescued a point for County.
John Coleman made two changes from the Hartlepool win with double scorer Shay McCartan and striker James Gray dropped to the bench with Nicky Hunt and Anthony Barry starting.
The early stages were quiet but Stanley had the first real chance when Luke Joyce played a perfect pass to send Lee Molyneux racing free but the wideman fired over the bar on eight minutes.
John O’Sullivan was lively on the right and he worked well with Hunt on one swift passing move but Hunt’s cross was scrambled cleared.
Newport’s first real chance came when Chris Zebroski got the ball just in the area and had a low shot but it was comfortable for keeper Jesse Joronen.
Andy Sandell’s long throws were a big weapon for County and they used these to put Stanley under pressure towards the end of the first half.
Aaron O’Connor’s stooping header was tipped around the post by Joronen while the Finnish keeper collected a Sandell free kick, with Molyneux blocking another effort.
There were some incidents for referee Mark Haywood to sort out –Barry slid into Lee Minshull with both needing treatment while Curtis Obeng’s late challenge on Hunt saw the County man pick up a yellow card, much to the relief of the home fans as it could have been worse.
Midfielder Barry, who was making his first start since returning to Stanley on loan from Forest Green Rovers, couldn’t make it to the break as injury forced him off with McCartan coming on for the Reds.
Zebroski put the pressure onto Stanley early in the second half when he burst into the area after beating the offside trap but Rob Atkinson got back to clear.
Coleman made his second gamble eight minutes after the re-start introducing Marcus Carver for Molyneux.
Stanley were then on top with McCartan blasting an effort over while O’Sullivan fired wide and captain Joyce was unlucky with a 30-yard strike which was tipped over the crossbar by Joe Day.
Newport were getting increasingly frustrated at the referee appealing for a number of penalties for handball and tackles which he refused.
Stanley took the lead on 62 minutes when a superb ball from Joyce found Sean Maguire to the left of the area and his shot took a deflection and found the back of the net.
The Reds thought they were celebrating a second on 65 minutes when McCartan’s strike hit the post and bounced to Carver who fired home but the striker’s effort was ruled off-side.
McCartan was again clean through but delayed his shot and the County defence got back to clear and the home side went straight up the other end and scored a wonder goal.
Sub Joe Pigott got the ball and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net to get County back on level terms on 72 minutes.
It then could have gone either way but both sides shared the spoils.
ASFC: Joronen, Hunt, Aldred, Atkinson, Winnard, O’Sullivan, Procter, Barry (McCartan 45), Joyce, Molyneux (Carver 53), Maguire
Subs: Windass, Gray, Hatfield, Simpson, Mingoia