Symes opened the scoring on the hour-mark, racing on to Tom Lees’ through ball to round Kasper Schmeichel for his 12th goal of the season.
And the plucky visitors struck again 14 minutes later with Lees again the provider, his centre allowing Ryan to volley into the roof of the net.
The hosts, who had gone 10 games unbeaten at Meadow Lane, were handed a lifeline eight minutes from time when substitute Matt Ritchie’s cross was handled by Lees allowing Hughes to score from the spot.
But as County searched for an equaliser Accrington were awarded a penalty of their own three minutes later, Graeme Lee bringing down Andrew Procter.
Phil Edwards’ penalty was saved by Schmeichel to spark a frantic closing finale but despite Karl Hawley and Hughes again coming close, County could not muster an equaliser.