A LATE Southend United penalty consigned Accrington Stanley to defeat on the opening day of the League Two season.

Stanley named James Alabi on the bench after announcing the striker's arrival on loan from Stoke City on the day of the game and were almost in front after two minutes when James Gray hit the woodwork.

Reds keeper Luke Simpson, making his debut for the club, looked like he would be the hero when he saved Barry Corr's 47th-minute penalty after Adam Buxton had brought down Shaquile Coulthirst.

But Southend won another spot kick five minutes from time after a foul by Dean Winnard on Lee Barnard, who got up to beat Simpson and earn the visitors all three points.

Stanley: Luke Simpson, Adam Buxton, Dean Winnard, Tom Aldred, Michael Liddle, Piero Mingoia, Nicky Hunt, Josh Windass, Luke Joyce (Shay McCartan 87), Kal Naismith (James Alabi 78), James Gray. Subs not used: Jay Lynch, Rob Atkinson, Connor Martin, Will Hatfield, George Bowerman.

Attendance: 1,505.