Josh Windass scored a 45-second first half brace as Stanley beat Exeter 4-2 in an entertaining encounter at the Wham Stadium.

Second half strikes from Piero Mingoia and Billy Kee added to Windass’ brace before Exeter’s Lee Holmes and Joel Grant got two goals back to make it a nervy ending for the Reds.

After a shaky opening five minutes, Accrington began to impose themselves and centre-back Tom Davies came close to scoring the game’s first goal. Adam Buxton’s free-kick found the head of Davies, who was denied a first professional goal by Exeter goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik.

Exeter were starting to pose a threat with quick balls over the top and, on 17 minutes, a Grecians breakaway found David Wheeler. The away side’s top scorer hit his shot early and fired wide of the far post.

Stanley opened the scoring after 32 minutes through Windass. Great hold-up play from Kee allowed Mingoia to run down the right flank and his driven cross found the young midfielder, who fired home from close range.

Windass grabbed his fourth of the season less than a minute later. Exeter played the ball back to Olejnik and the goalkeeper’s sliced clearance was hammered home by the former Huddersfield forward.

Confidence was now flowing through Stanley veins and Mingoia and Windass both went close with Sean McConville denied by Olejnik.

Exeter were on the back foot and Accrington got their third goal on 61 minutes. Kee found Mingoia who drilled the ball into the far corner of the net from a tight angle for his first goal of the season.

They made sure of the points when striker Kee finished with composure on 63 minutes when one-on-one with the keeper for his second goal in as many games.

However, there was still time to make it a nervous ending for John Coleman’s men.

Exeter half-time substitute Manny Oyeleke shot just wide while Christian Ribeiro’s long range effort lacked the power to test Jason Mooney.

Paul Tisdale’s side grabbed a goal back with 15 minutes to go. Shortly after Tom Nichols’ shot was parried by Mooney, a cross was scrambled in by Holmes, as Accrington conceded their first goal in around four hours of football.

Exeter substitute Grant double the Grecian’s tally when Accrington failed to clear the ball in a penalty box scramble, giving Clinton Morrison the chance to lay the ball off for Grant, who smashed the ball into the net.

Attendance – 1403 (201 Exeter fans)