Stanley’s 15 match unbeaten run came to and end with a 1-0 defeat at relegation battlers Newport County.

Ryan Bird scored the only goal of the game in the second half at Rodney Parade as County continued their remarkable climb away from danger.

Newport piled the pressure on early, with Stanley keeper Marek Rodak spilling a free kick from Mark Randall in the opening exchanges as they looked to make something happen.

The Reds grew into things as the half wore on, with County keeper Joe Day forced to turn a long range effort from Jordan Clark round the post before Shay McCartan half volleyed wide.

Stanley’s best opening of the first half came courtesy of a Newport player; captain Joss Labadie diverting a McCartan strike goalwards and Day forced into a fine reaction save.

Sean Rigg tested Rodak and Alex Samuel shot wide as the Welsh side were roared on by a vociferous crowd but John Coleman’s side continued to make chances on a difficult pitch, with Omar Beckles arrowing a shot wide and a Matty Pearson header off target before the break.

The Reds continued in their attempts to break the deadlock after the restart, with Day forced to turn Noor Husin’s low strike round the post.

But it was the home side in front on the hour mark when Randall’s shot looped up into the sky and dropped to Bird who followed up from close range to make it 1-0.

Less than ten minutes later the Exiles might have extended their lead when Alex Samuel found himself one on one only to see Rodak turn his strike over the top.

Mark Hughes headed wide as Stanley looked to level and Coleman threw on forwards Jonny Edwards and Terry Gornell to try to pose more threat but to no avail.

A late McCartan free kick was drilled into the wall before Rodak raced into the opposition box but the Reds could find no way to extend their run.

Stanley: Rodak, Rodgers, Beckles, Hughes, Donacien, Clark, Pearson, Husin, McConville, McCartan, Kee