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Accrington Stanley 1 Scarborough 0

JOHN Coleman wants his players to stop him reaching boiling point and make his life easier on the bench this season.

GET IN . . . Striker Paul Mullin gets there first against Scarborough
GET IN . . . Striker Paul Mullin gets there first against Scarborough

JOHN Coleman wants his players to stop him reaching boiling point and make his life easier on the bench this season.

The fiery Stanley boss is never quiet in the dug-out but he said he felt like his head was going to ex-plode as his players put him through it to grab their second Conference win of the season on Monday.

Midfielder Paul Cook was sent off on 75 minutes for kicking out at Scarborough's Chris Senior. But, within two minutes, the ball was in the back of the net. Coleman threw substitute Andy Gouck on, with his first touch he forced a stunning save from the keeper, the ball came out to Jonathan Smith who set up Paul Mullin and he looped it over the keeper's head.

"I couldn't see them scoring but I am always nervous on the bench," smiled the Reds boss. "I felt like my head was going to explode. If we could just get a bit more quality in and around the box it would take a bit of pressure off my head and body. It might just stop me reaching boiling point - and I was close today!"

The Reds had dominated possession but the game was getting increasingly niggly with four bookings for Stanley before Cook saw red for an off-the-ball challenge in the centre of the park.

"I am not copping out, I didn't see it - I don't think many people did," said Coleman. "It wasn't even on the video. To be fair, we don't have a problem when we go down to ten men. We are always able to adapt easily, everyone knows their job so it didn't affect us as much as it might affect other teams. And then Paul Mullin scored with a terrific finish.

"I also thought Peter Cavanagh was exceptional again. And Andy Gouck, the one thing you can say about him is when you put him on he will always get a chance. He is similar to Simon Carden in that way, he sneaks into the box without being noticed and creates something. It has been a hard week for us following the loss at Shrewsbury. We did well at Forest Green, apart from the first 15 minutes, and we have showed great endeavour and a great appetite for the game. The players are desperate to do well for them-selves and for the club."

The scouts are still turning up to watch winger Rory Prendergast - there was a Tottenham scout at Forest Green on Saturday and a host at the Interlink Express Stadium on Monday.

"Rory is attracting interest, he is the type of player that will do that. He stands out - all he needs is white boots and to dye his hair blonde and everyone will notice him!" said Coleman. "He puts a lot of good balls into the box but what he needs is more consistency over the 90 minutes. We do not expect miracles from him - there is a lot of expectation around him - we just want him to do what he feels comfortable doing."

Stanley were desperate to get their home form back on track after they lost their 25-game unbeaten League run against Shrewsbury. Coleman stuck with the same eleven who finished the defeat at Forest Green on Saturday - but he had to survive without a goalkeeper on the bench as Jamie Speare served his one-match suspension for his sending off at Aldershot.

But it was tense from the off as a challenge on Scott Kerr from Dean Calcutt in the first minute was punished with a yellow card and the right winger was walking a tight rope for the rest of the game.

Stanley created the better early openings. Lutel James almost got on the end of Mullin's flick on but the keeper got there first and, on 32 minutes, a Robbie Williams free kick was met by the head of Smith. The keeper fumbled it but the Scarborough defence managed to clear their lines. But Boro managed to come more into it and looked dangerous on the break. Mark Quayle did break the off-side trap but Jon Kennedy was equal to it while Kerr rifled a shot over the bar from the edge of the area.

The second half started as the first half finished - all Stanley and Mullin could have opened the scoring, and made life a little easier for Coleman, four minutes after the restart. Following a quick move from the back, James flicked the ball on to Mullin but, as he raced forward with only the keeper to beat, he fired straight at Adam Sollitt. Two minutes later another James ball from the right wing found Mullin and the Stanley players appealed for a foul and hand ball but nothing was given.

Prendergast had an effort deflected over while, at the other end, the unmarked Karl Rose shot wide from six yards out. Senior also had a long range effort saved by Kennedy as the ball went from end to end. The game did become stop-start with the referee blowing his whistle too many times and it became increasingly fraught as the players got frustrated.

Then came the Cook incident and, with the Reds down to ten men, it was looking bleak. However, the Stanley lads reacted immediately, and with the one-goal cushion it was just a case of holding on.

There was a nervy five minutes of injury time as a clash of heads between Rose and Smith saw the Scarborough striker knocked out and he was stretchered off with concussion on 90 minutes. But Stanley survived - to the relief of their boss.

"We could have made it easier but there were a lot of things going unpunished. I felt there were at least four handballs in the box - and at least one should have been a penalty. The referee booked four of our players but one incident on Rory was close to assault but he only gave their lad a yellow.

"I know it is difficult being a referee and this time, things have worked against us. Hopefully things will even out and it will go for us next time. But the table is looking better - it isn't nice to be near the bottom and the win is good for moral. We know we have a lot of talent in the squad - we have just got to start getting points away from home."


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