Two goals from Lamine Toure weren’t enough to keep Wanderers in the FA Youth Cup as Stanley secured their place in round three on a disappointing night for the young Whites.
Stanley will now play host to Swansea City after Aaron Pickles’ headed winner killed off a Wanderers’ fightback.
Toure had given the Whites a first-half lead before two goals in 10 minutes from Stanley striker Leslie Adekoya put the home side ahead.
Toure’s leveller with a quarter of an hour to go looked as though it might set up extra-time.
But just three minutes later the Reds ended Wanderers’ hopes of run in the competition when Pickles nodded in.
“To be in 1-0 up at half time I was quite happy with that. But we didn’t really get going in the second half,” admitted acting boss Julian Darby, who stepped up from the U16s to lead the side after Covid-enforced absences among the regular staff.
“At 2-1 down we forced our way back into the game with Lamine scoring again.
“But when you equalise like that you’ve got to see out the next five or 10 minutes without conceding and they scored within two minutes, which was a bit of a killer really.
“The side is a good passing team but they didn’t show enough tonight to warrant a victory.”
Wanderers had been given a walk-over in round one when Hartlepool United pulled out.
And they looked to build on their good fortune with an impressive start in front of a decent derby crowd at the Wham Stadium.
A cross from Max Conway was headed into the side netting by Noah Halford as Wanderers hunted an early goal.
Jack Dallimore made an excellent save at the other end to keep out a long-range effort from Calvin Harper but Wanderers deserved to go in front when Toure pounced to make it 1-0.
A skidding effort from skipper Matthew Tweedley wasn’t held by Louis Hood and Toure reacted sharply to poke home the loose ball.
Dallimore, Wanderers’ keeper at under-16 level, touched over another effort from Harper to keep the Whites in front at the interval.
And despite being pushed back at the start of the second half, the visitors had opportunities to extend their lead on the break as Toure fired wide after being released by Mitch Henry and Arran Pettifer also shot just off target.
But Adekoya’s quick-fire double then turned the tie Stanley’s way as they looked to back up their first-round win over Wigan Athletic.
The striker converted from close range after Dallimore could only parry an angled drive from Harper before lashing the ball home again as the Whites struggled to regain any measure of control.
Toure threw them a potential lifeline when he controlled a fine cross from Joel Burgess to drill the ball into the roof of the net to make it 2-2, picking up a knock in the process which ended his night’s work.
But Wanderers then wasted any momentum that might be coming their way when they allowed Pickles to quickly restore Stanley’s lead after Hood had saved superbly from Owen Devonport.
In a dramatic finish Wanderers then twice almost produced an equaliser to force extra time.
But midfielder Sonny Sharples was unlucky to see a goalbound effort blocked by Pickles.
And Henry then put an effort agonisingly wide of the far post before as the Reds hung on despite the dismissal of defender Harvey Monk in stoppage time to seal their passage through.
Wanderers: Dallimore; Burgess (Pinto 88), Kamara, Halford, Conway; Sharples, Henry, Tweedley, Pettifer, Wilcox (Frimpong 84); Toure (Shakespear 79). Substitutes: Maher, Inwood, Beardsworth, Fleury.
Accrington Stanley: Hood, Akukwe, O’Brien, Gough (Kardacz 80), Pickles, Mink, Davenport, Harper (Lawton 90), Adekoya, Trickett, Poilly. Substitutes: Clayton, Henderson, Newton, Procter, Eze.
Referee: Abid Hussain
To watch a post-match interview with Julian Darby, click HERE