Tom Aldred scored an injury time winner to get Stanley back on track in their promotion push at Exeter City.

The defender tapped home from close range after Kal Naismith’s effort had only been pushed out by keeper James Hamon.

This was after the Grecians had gone ahead with a header from Tom Nichols in the 35th minute but Stanley grabbed a deserved equaliser through Shay McCartan in the second half.

Aldred then made a goalline clearance to deny Exeter the win before he grabbed the three points.

McCartan had got the nod to start alongside Michael Liddle, who were the two changes to the starting XI from the York defeat with Huddersfield loanee Matt Crooks on the bench and Dean Winnard missing through illness.

The first chance fell to Lee Molyneux after a quick passing move by the Reds. The winger got the ball to the left of the area but keeper James Hamon tipped his strike around the post.

Moments later dangerman McCartan went onto a mazy run into the area but his pull back was cleared for a corner as the Reds looked dangerous on the break.

Exeter started to enjoy more of the possession as Ryan Harley fired over and then a ball across the face of goal by Liam Sercombe was touched out by Aldred.

Molyneux had a low shot saved by Hamon before  Exeter took the lead in the 35th minute. Initially Harley had burst through one-on-one with Luke Simpson but the keeper did enough to deter him and his final shot was deflected for a corner.

From the resulting flag kick, Harley dinked the ball into the box and Tom Nichols headed home the opener for his eighth goal in 10 games.

John Coleman’s side needed to turn it around after the break and they did take the initiative with Aldred having an early header from a Molyneux corner but it was comfortable for keeper Hamon.

They got a deserved equaliser when Molyneux worked hard to beat the defence, playing in the perfect ball for McCartan to head home his fifth goal of the campaign and the equaliser in the 67th minute.

Stanley continued to press but, in the final minutes, it needed a goalline clearance from Aldred to prevent Nichols giving Exeter the win.

And the defender then proved the hero at the other end in injury time being in the right place at the right time to tap home the winner.