Accrington Stanley succumbed to defeat against Manchester United in the Lancashire Senior Cup, losing 4-2 at the Store First Stadium.

The Reds took the lead through an unlikely source as central defender Liam Goulding met Lee Molyneux’s free kick to head into the bottom corner beyond Ben Amos.

Molyneux and George Bowerman both had efforts fly over the bar whilst Andreas Pereira did the same for Manchester United at the Clayton End.

The lead was doubled by 16 year-old John Roberts, who nodded home Molyneux’s cross with the aid of a slight deflection.

United halved the deficit through Will Keane. The striker steered James Wilson’s cross past Luke Simpson after his fellow forward beat Will Hatfield down the left hand side.

Keane tried to level proceedings with a flick from a corner but his effort was wide and Wilson’s effort a few minutes later had the same outcome.

At the other end, Shay McCartan went on a weaving run, slaloming past defenders before seeing his low shot saved by Amos

Shortly before the break, United levelled as Keane beat the offside trap, rounded Simpson and completed the simple task of slotting the ball into an empty net for his second goal of the game.

Molyneux dragged a shot wide from 20 yards in the last action of the half and had a free-kick deflected over the top in the first action of the second period.

James Gray, playing in his first match since his red card away at Oxford last month, almost scored when his cross-cum-shot almost caught Amos out but the goalkeeper managed to claw the ball away before it dipped under his crossbar.

Stanley had a chance to re-take the lead when George Bowerman raced onto a ball over the top and found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper but lobbed his effort wide.

Saidy Janko and Pereira both went close for the visitors and they took the lead with just under 10 minutes remaining as James Weir found space on the edge of the area to curl into the bottom corner.

United sealed victory a few minutes later as Keane took advantage of a poor backpass and beat Simpson from 12 yards to complete his hat-trick.

Stanley: Simpson; Hatfield, Goulding, Roberts, Molyneux; Mingoia (Durnin 62), Trialist, Barry (Downey 78), McCartan; Bowerman, Gray (Windass 54).
Subs: Evans, Durnin, Wolfenden.

Attendance: 679