Ten-man Accrington Stanley suffered a 2-0 loss at Crewe Alexandra but remain in seventh spot in League One.
Former Stanley defender Omar Beckles fired home the opener in the 32nd minute and John Coleman’s side had to battle for 40 minutes with a man less when defender Harvey Rodgers was sent off for a last man challenge on Charlie Kirk.
And it was Chris Porter, who was with the Reds in his younger days, who made it two on 79 minutes, tapping home Tom Lowery’s cross.
Coleman made two changes with Paul Smyth and Ben Barclay both out injured with Sean McConville back after a four-game ban and Rodgers also returned to the side.
Stanley created the early chances, Aaron Phillips burst through and fired wide while Cameron Burgess played a dangerous cross across the goal which the Crewe defence did well to turn out.
Alex came into it and their first chance came on 18 minutes when Harry Pickering’s free kick found the head of Nathan Wood but it was easily collected by Nathan Baxter.
The home side played a couple of dangerous balls across the box while a Matt Butcher fierce strike was deflected wide.
Dave Artell’s side took the lead on 32 minutes when Kirk’s strike from a tight angle wasn’t held by Baxter and the ball bobbled around the box before coming out to Beckles and he drilled the ball home.
Kirk raced forward looking for No 2 immediately after and he charged into the area with Baxter denying him with his legs.
Accrington then enjoyed a spell of pressure just before half-time, Burgess putting another tricky ball into the box and a Burgess volley was straight into the arms of Alex keeper Dave Richards.
Coleman made a change at half-time with David Morgan replacing Phillips.
However it got worse for Stanley on 50 minutes when Kirk raced clean through and, as he lined up to shoot, Rodgers was judged to have fouled him right on the edge of the area and saw red. The resulting Pickering free kick hit the wall.
McConville was sacrificed on 53 minutes as Coleman changed it around following the dismissal with Tariq Uwakwe coming on.
Then both sides had great chances as it went from end-to-end.
Baxter’s long ball forward caught out the Crewe defence and Colby Bishop took the ball down and had a shot but couldn’t find the target.
The ball went straight down the other end and Porter was clean through for Alex with Baxter keeping him out with his legs and the follow-up from Lowery hit the post.
Then it was Stanley’s turn when Richards failed to hold onto a long ball forward and first Morgan had a strike saved by the keeper, who had recovered, and then Uwakwe’s strike was blocked.
It was end-to-end with Ryan Wintle charging forward from his own half and his final shot was over the bar.
Wintle then had an effort deflected wide by Michael Nottingham as Crewe, with the man advantage, upped the pressure.
In the 79th minute, Lowery on the right wing charged into the area and played a diagonal ball in and Porter had an easy tap-in to complete the scoring.
Crewe looked to add to their tally, Baxter denying Pickering and Wintle firing wide.