Accrington Stanley 1 Notts. County 2
The fiery manager was ordered to the stands for the second time this season after protesting against a red card shown to David Pipe midway through the second half. Stanley debutant defender Alan Rogers was also given his marching orders, as his side continued their winless home streak which stretches back to September.
Accrington made a fast start, forcing Kevin Pilkington into two good saves from Romauld Boco and debutant Alan Rogers – but it was County drew first blood.
Jason Lee's flicked header dropped perfectly for Lawrie Dudfield who ran through to place a perfect shot past Robert Elliot.
The visitors' lead lasted all of five minutes. Boco again found space, firing a low drive towards goal which was diverted over the line by David Brown, via the inside of the post.
Without trying, County were then gifted the lead when Elliot spilled a routine backpass from Michael Welch straight into the path of Lee, who had the simple task of rolling the ball into an empty net.
Accrington had chances to get back into it before the break. Paul Mullin should have done better from close range and Brown was denied a second by a smart save from Pilkington at his near post.
County could have put the game out of reach soon after the restart, when Dudfield raced through on Elliot with the Accrington defence static, only for his control to let him down.
The same striker then saw a close range effort brilliantly turned away by the Stanley keeper, keen to repay his earlier error.
The game turned ugly on 71 minutes when Rogers flew into a challenge on the right on David Pipe, and the County man reacted badly, sparking a pushing contest involving a dozen players on the touchline. Referee Andy Woolmer diffused the situation before sending both players off, and then showing another red to County boss Steve Thompson for abusive language.