ALDERSHOT 2 - Sills (16), D'Sane (45)
STANLEY 1 - Procter (26)
IT WASN'T the start Stanley wanted - but their willingness to battle to the end was a boost for manager John Coleman.
The Reds boss knows the Nationwide Conference will be a big test on his players but he was heartened by a display where Stanley could have nicked a point despite playing out the second half with ten men.
Jamie Speare's dismissal for handling outside the area was hard on the keeper who has chalked up more than 300 appearances in a Stanley shirt. But former Sunderland shot-stopper Jon Kennedy showed he is to be a big rival to Speare with some stunning saves after the interval.
The Shots took the lead on 16 minutes when Stuart Tanfield put in a perfect cross which new signing Tim Sills headed home.
The lively Lutel James almost set up Paul Mullin just after but keeper Nicky Bull got a hand to it to take it off Mullin's head. Then, on 26 minutes, it was all-square when Aldershot failed to clear their lines and the ball came out to 20-year-old local lad Andy Procter who volleyed home.
Sills and Aaron McLean were proving tricky customers for the Stanley back four and, on the stroke of half-time, McLean's persistence led to a mix-up between Robbie Williams and Speare. The Reds goalkeeper came out, handled the ball and the disappointed Speare was quickly sent to the dressing room. Replacement Kennedy could do nothing about the free kick from Roscoe D'Sane which sailed into the top corner of the net.
The home side had a number of chances after the interval with some wayward shooting and some smart saves by Kennedy keeping Stanley in it. And they could have grabbed a late equaliser but Peter Cavanagh's free kick was inches over the crossbar on 85 minutes.