Mark Hughes scored a double to keep Stanley’s faint play-off hopes alive and extend their unbeaten run to 13 games.

Stanley trailed 2-0 at half-time against Crewe but Hughes scored his first goals of this campaign and a trademark Shay McCartan free kick secured all three points for the Reds in a second half fightback.

Crewe were the better side in the first half and opened the scoring on 15 minutes when Middlesbrough loanee Callum Cooke got the ball 25 yards out and unleashed a fierce shot into the bottom of Marek Rodak’s goal.

Alexandra’s George Cooper tested Rodak minutes later with another long range effort while Jordan Clark raced forward from a goal kick on the half hour but could only fire the ball across the goal and wide.

Alexandra continued to look dangerous and it needed a timely tackle from Harvey Rodgers to stop Jordan Bowery having a clean shot on goal.

The visitors made it 2-0 on 41 minutes when Chris Dagnall got in between the defence and Rodak to pounce on George Cooper’s ball and fire home for this 13th goal of the season.

McCartan came close to getting one back before half-time but fired just wide while Sean McConville chipped into Ben Garratt’s arms in injury time of the first half.

John Coleman made a change for the second off, bringing off Noor Husin, putting on Janoi Donacien and moving Matty Pearson into midfield.

Billy Kee came close to getting one back for Stanley on 57 minutes from 20 yards with the fingertips of Garratt denying him.

However, from the resulting McConville corner, Crewe failed to clear their lines and Hughes poked the ball home from close range.

Four minutes later, Stanley won a free kick in ‘McCartan territory’ and the striker made no mistake firing home his sixth free kick of the season out of his 10 goals.

It needed a superb save from Garratt to deny Jordan Clark a third after he had been set up by McCartan. The winger blasted it goalwards but the keeper pushed it out.

McCartan went on a tricky run but was denied by Garratt however, from the resulting corner, Hughes struck again to fire home at the far post to complete a memorable comeback on 79 minutes.