As if things weren’t grim enough for Reds boss John Coleman. Five goals conceded, a red card and what was originally a two-match ban for his goalkeeper ensured a miserable afternoon for the Stanley manager.
But even these factors were overshadowed by an alleged assault on his assistant by stewards at the Alexandra Stadium.
Alarmingly out of form, the Reds collapsed after a highly contested sending-off for stopper Ian Dunbavin half an hour from time – his two-match ban was later rescinded.
And Coleman cut a despondent figure after the five-goal drubbing but his mood was far from aided by Jimmy Bell being manhandled and hauled to the ground as he thanked the short-changed supporters.
The Reds boss vowed to take action against Bell’s aggressors while suggesting that his players make a cash donation to the fans groups.
"If the players have anything about them they’ll have a massive whip-round and give some money to the Ultras and supporters’ club because they don’t deserve that," he raged. "It costs them a lot of money to come here and what we’re serving up isn’t acceptable."
Coleman had sent out an unchanged XI to take on the Alex but in the first half arguably the best entertainment came from the Reds fans’ fancy dress conga-ing.
Needing a good start to ease their confidence crisis, Accy went one down within five minutes, to Calvin Zola’s 17th goal of the season.
The big striker flicked on a hopeful free-kick, and his strike partner Clayton Donaldson nodded down into his path for Zola to fire beyond Dunbavin’s despairing dive.
Midway throught the first half, the dozens of fancy-dressed followers took their first impromptu dance around all corners of the Blue Bell Stand. Bananaman, Snow White, Fred Flintstone and Captain America may have risen to the occasion, but the on-field entertainment was struggling to look like anything other than an end-of-season stroll.
Accy had kept the ball well enough in the first period but breaching Crewe’s two banks of four was proving a real hardship for them, while the hosts were happy to fire long balls to the front two. More often that not, progress was laborious at best.
Crewe had Adam Legzdins in goal, hoping to impress before the season comes to a close but he had precious little to do as Crewe were comfortable in the first half and rampant in the second.
On the half-hour Alex’s Danny Shelley had a chance to run at Darran Kempson inside the box. He beat his man far too easily and, although his shot had the beating of Dunbavin, Phil Edwards’ retreat allowed him to hack the ball clear to safety.
Accrington came into the match towards the end of the half and Jimmy Ryan was denied by a good block. Michael Symes wasted the best chance in injury-time, nodding Bobby Grant’s ball into the air and safely into Legzdins’ arms.
Five minutes after the restart it was a sign of things to come when Zola had the ball in the net but his goal was chalked off for a push.
But Donaldson capitalised when Andy Procter was robbed by Luke Murphy. The through-ball gave Donaldson as much time as he needed to lob the stranded Dunbavin.
Accy were given a lifeline by Crewe captain John Brayford a minute later, when substitute Chris Turner swung a low ball in from the right. Brayford’s shin made the all-important touch to make it 2-1.
Symes’ lay-off to Kee, who had replaced Luke Joyce at half-time saw the midfielder stroke the ball just high of the goal frame, as there was a sense that Stanley could take home an unlikely reward.
Those hopes were well and truly dashed a minute later though when Donaldson was sent clear by Shelley, and was upended by Dunbavin.
Although defenders had got back into the goalmouth, referee Oliver Brayford pointed to the spot and dismissed the keeper, despite furious protests from the visitors.
His replacement, Dean Bouzanis’ first task was to face Ashley Westwood’s spot-kick. Although the sub keeper guessed right, he could only parry back towards the penalty-taker, who calmly slotted home the rebound.
Bouzanis was Coleman’s third substitution and when Kee pulled up after an awkward landing, the Reds were effectively down to nine men and, as Coleman himself put it later in the day: "Fair play to Crewe, once they got the extra man they tortured us."
They certainly did, and Joel Grant was among the chief tormentors. He thundered a shot against the bar from a Zola knock-down, then forced Bouzanis into an impressive stop from a shot on the turn.
Grant did net the fourth, gathering Donaldson’s pass and beating Edwards with a neat touch then firing past he keeper.
Five minutes from time, Symes headed a Dean Winnard cross wide but the last word went to Crewe, as Grant’s reverse pass set up Zola, who finished emphatically.
It almost became six in injury time, but when Danny Gardner found space on the right, he could only find the side netting with his measured lob.