Battling Accrington Stanley lost out to promotion-chasing Plymouth Argyle as they ended the game with ten men.
Former Reds Matt Butcher’s 14th minute deflected effort and substitute Conor Grant’s late strike gave the Pilgrims the three points as Mo Sangare saw red for Stanley in the 51st minute for two yellow cards.
Defender Sangare came into the starting line-up in place of the suspended Doug Tharme while Cody Adedoyin got the nod to start ahead of Shaun Whalley.
Stanley started well and, on nine minutes, had big appeals for handball in the area from a Mitch Clark cross which were waved away by referee James Bell and the loose ball fell to Adedoyin whose shot was pushed out at the near post by Callum Burton.
Plymouth took the lead on 14 minutes when a shot from Butcher from outside the area took a huge deflection off Baba Fernandes and looped up, leaving Toby Savin stranded.
The Pilgrims hunted for a second and Jordan Houghton’s free kick was superbly pushed out by Savin.
Stanley were still in it, Tommy Leigh’s throws causing a few problems in the Plymouth area but the Reds were unable to seriously trouble Burton again before the break.
Michael Nottingham did well to block a Hardie strike and, just before half-time, Hardie broke through but the move ended with Butcher heading wide.
Stanley started the second half on the front foot with Leigh’s ball into the area collected by Burton just before Adedoyin could pounce.
However the Reds suffered a blow when defender Sangare saw red on 51 minutes for a second bookable offence.
Savin did well to stop Hardie breaking through and then thankfully collected a Finn Azaz header from close range as Plymouth looked for a second.
However it was ten-man Stanley who then enjoyed a spell of pressure. They came close with a Leigh 30-yard free kick on 65 minutes which was acrobatically pushed out by Burton.
The home side put a number of balls into the box, forcing some desperate defending from the Pilgrims.
But, on 78 minutes, Plymouth got the ball in midfield and Mayor fed substitute Grant who fired low into the far corner of the net.
Hardie hit both posts in the dying minutes as Stanley suffered a third successive loss.
Stanley: Savin, Fernandes, Sangare, Nottingham (Pickles), Clark, Leigh, Martin, Longelo, McConville, Adedoyin (Whalley), Pressley (Lowe)
Subs: Isherwood, Nolan, Butler-Oyedeji, Quirk
Yellow: McConville, Martin, Longelo
Crowd: 2489 (689 from Plymouth)