Duncan Ferguson was frustrated as 10-man Forest Green Rovers lost 2-1 to Accrington, calling the game-changing red card “soft”.

Ferguson is still looking for his first league win as Rovers boss after seven games in charge. They they remain rooted to the foot of the table, while Stanley moved out of the drop zone with this win.

Stanley keeper Lukas Jensen pulled off two superb saves to keep out Corey O’Keeffe and Myles Peart-Harris before FGR took the lead on 22 minutes.

From a counter-attack, O’Keeffe charged forward and passed to Brentford loan midfielder Peart-Harris who fired home his sixth goal of the season.

But Forest Green were reduced to 10 on 43 minutes when Oliver Casey saw red for a high challenge on Nathan Butler-Oyedeji.

From the resulting Sean McConville free-kick, Brentford loan striker Aaron Pressley headed home on 44 minutes.

And Stanley made their man advantage count on 64 minutes when Rosaire Longelo fired low into the far corner of the net.

“The red card changed the game, it was soft,” said Ferguson. “We were in control, I felt comfortable and we had a couple of chances, one where we should have scored, before we scored on the counter-attack.

“My only worry was we hadn’t added to the score but I thought we would go into half-time comfortable.

“Then the referee made a decision and it’s changed the game.

“It should have been a yellow card and move on but their players surrounded him and he bowed to the pressure.

“The ref has seen what he has seen but it changed the game. I saw it at the time and watched it again after and there was no strong contact.

“I am encouraged by the performance but it’s another hard luck story for us and we have had a few of those.”

Stanley boss John Coleman had some sympathy with his opposite number.

He said: “It’s all about the three points. I feel sorry for Forest Green as they came and played some really good football.

“I have been here long enough to know when you are at the bottom things don’t go for you and they had the double whammy of the sending off and then we scored from the free-kick – it’s difficult to recover from that.

“We scored the second and then managed the game well.

“We can’t get carried away, this is just another step forward but it was important to win. What we don’t want is to be coming off the pitch and the first thing we do is go on our phone for other results. It’s in our hands and we have to keep it in our own hands.

“It’s a confidence thing to be out of the bottom four and we have to fight for every point available. We feel we need at least another 16 points in the 14 games left.”