Ross Sykes scored the winning goal three minutes from time as Stanley celebrated a 4-3 win over Championship side Middlesbrough in a pre-season friendly.

John Coleman gave the majority of his squad a run-out and, with the tie poised at 3-3, a Mark Hughes header beat ex-Red Darren Randolph and teenage defender Sykes, who has just signed a new two-year deal, bundled the ball over the line.

After their 3-0 win over Premier League Huddersfield in their last home outing, the Reds showed again there is plenty of goals in the side.

Boro opened the scoring when a ball over the top caught out the Stanley defence and Paddy McNair fired home from close range on 16 minutes.

The Reds were awarded a penalty on 22 minutes when Ryan Shotton brought down Kayden Jackson but Billy Kee fired the resulting spot-kick wide.

They did level however on 33 minutes when a Sean McConville corner found defender Hughes at the far post and he headed home.

Stanley were awarded a second penalty after Jackson’s shot was pushed out by Randolph and Jordan Clark went down in the area under a challenge from George Friend as they raced for the loose ball.

Kee took his second penalty of the game and this time he tucked it home on 36 minutes.

Stewart Downing, Adama Traore and McNair all fired wide for the Championship side and it was Jackson who made the next chance count, spinning on the edge of the area and firing low into the net to give Stanley a 3-1 lead at half-time.

Jackson and Ben Richards-Everton departed the field at the break with Sykes and a trialist entering the fray.

Jonny Howson then scored a wonder goal to get Boro back in it, curling home from 22 yards on 54 minutes to make it 3-2.

Coleman put Piero Mingoia, Erico Sousa, Liam Nolan and Sam Finley on as he changed the midfield on 57 minutes.

And Boro made it 3-3 on 62 minutes when Traore ran at the Stanley defence and, although Jonny Maxted got a hand to his shot, he couldn’t stop it going into the net.

Danny Williams and Will Wood came on for Stanley before Sykes struck late.


Stanley team: Maxted, Johnson, Hughes, Richards-Everton, Donacien, McConville, Conneely, Brown, Clark, Jackson, Kee

Stanley subs: Savin, Nolan, Sousa, Wood, Mingoia, Finley, Sykes, Williams, A Trialist


Boro team: Randolph, Shotton, Friend, Clayton, Flint, Gibson, Traore, McNair, Gestede, Howson, Downing

Boro subs: Konstantopolous, Fry, Bamford, De Sart, Wing, Leadbitter, Fletcher, Johnson, Assombalonga, Chapman, Wood