Josh Windass scored his first goal for Accrington to secure a 1-0 win over table-topping Burton Albion.

The midfielder found the net from 25 yards with a first-time strike from Terry Gornell’s lay-off and the Reds held out to take their unbeaten run to four games.

There were two changes from the side which was held to a 1-1 draw by Cheltenham Town on Friday night. Kal Naismith and Anthony Barry replaced Gerardo Bruna and Nicky Hunt as John Coleman changed to a 3-5-2 system.

Matt Crooks, who signed a permanent deal with the club earlier in the day, was named on the bench along with Sean Maguire who extended his stay in East Lancashire until the end of the season on Monday afternoon.

Adam McGurk had the first chance of the evening, drawing a foul from Stanley skipper Luke Joyce 25 yards from goal but the attacker curled the free-kick around the wall and wide of Scott Davies’ right-hand post.

The pressure kept coming from Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s side as Lucas Akins headed wide from Abdenasser El Khayati’s cross before cutting in from the left and bending a shot over the crossbar from the corner of the penalty area. Damien McCrory also saw a 35-yard effort miss the target.

Windass was searching for his first goal in senior football and spotted an opportunity when he saw visiting goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin off his line. The midfielder ambitiously went for goal from just inside the Burton half, but his shot drifted wide.

After waiting almost 18 months for his first Stanley strike, Windass finally got his goal and gave the Reds the lead. Terry Gornell controlled a high ball and laid it off to the former Huddersfield man, who took the shot on first time with the ball flashing past McLaughlin and into the bottom corner.

Full of confidence from the goal, Windass took responsibility for a 30-yard free-kick a couple of minutes later which McLaughlin was forced to tip over the crossbar.

Burton tried to respond immediately with McGurk blazing over from 35 yards and Stuart Beavon repeated the trick from the edge of the penalty area after spinning away from Dean Winnard.

At the start of the second half Naismith danced past Edwards and fizzed the ball across the face of goal but McLaughlin parried it into space and Burton eventually cleared their line.

A neat free-kick routine almost had the Brewers level as McGurk’s cross met by a diving header from former Stanley man Edwards but his effort was high and wide.

Stanley boss Coleman was forced into a change when Gornell took a heavy blow in a challenge with Robbie Weir. Matt Crooks replaced the striker with Shay McCartan also coming on for goalscorer Windass.

A quick Stanley break saw Piero Mingoia snap into a tackle win the ball and send Crooks through on goal but the returning man could not shift the ball out of his feet to get a shot away and the chance went begging.

Burton substitute Marcus Harness got in behind the Stanley defence and pulled the ball back for John Mousinho,whose shot was deflected over the top by Rob Atkinson.

Four minutes were added on by the fourth official but the Reds saw it out comfortably to inflict Burton’s first league defeat since the end of November.

Stanley: Davies; Winnard, Atkinson, Conneely; Mingoia, Barry, Joyce, Procter, Naismith; Windass (McCartan 77); Gornell (Crooks 77).
Subs not used: Dawber, Liddle, Maguire, Bruna Bowerman.

Attendance: 919 (93 away)