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Accrington Stanley 1 Telford United 5

GOALKEEPER Jon Kennedy gave a rueful smile to the waiting press but understandably wasn't too keen to dwell on what had just happened.

GOALKEEPER Jon Kennedy gave a rueful smile to the waiting press but understandably wasn't too keen to dwell on what had just happened.

The Stanley shot-stopper, usually so reliable, wanted to forget a nightmare game where everything just seemed to go wrong for the 22-year-old and his defence. Miskicks, arguments and chaos in the Stanley backline led the Reds crashing to their worst defeat of the season - and it was a comedy of errors.

After the highs of Huddersfield and Hereford, the Reds fans were left bemused as they witnessed the spectacle of their Stanley favourites falling apart.

"It was just one of those days. We gifted them four goals and Jon is obviously gutted but there is nothing you can do," said boss John Coleman. "It can go one or two ways and we have got to put it behind us and not dwell on it. Your keeper might miss a kick once - but to miss it three times in a game, it's a million to one, you can't legislate for that.

"I thought Jon should have come for the cross for the first goal and it was a free header and then it just went from bad to worse. I felt we should have had a penalty in the first half although the referee was outstanding.

"We have started the last couple of games slowly and that is a worry - we have left ourselves a mountain to climb. But we did not let our heads drop - that was at least a positive," he added.

No one really wants to relive the horror show but it all began within three minutes of the kick off. A Michael Blackwood cross was headed in via the post by Chris Murphy. The Stanley fans had hardly got over that one before Kennedy was picking the ball out of the net again. This time it was Lee Mills who was the provider and Blackwood fired home from 20 yards out.

The Reds then appealed for a penalty when Smith went down in the area following a Peter Cavanagh free kick while Steve Hollis tried his luck from 30 yards and Lutel James' overhead kick was over the bar.

But then, as Coleman said, it went from bad to worse. Kennedy came out to the edge of the area as Robbie Williams tried to shield the ball to him. But neither of them committed themselves and in nipped Tony Naylor to fire home the third.

The pair then shouted at each other as Cavanagh tried to calm it down. "They were upset but it was heat of the moment," said Coleman. And, with less than half-an-hour on the clock, it was four. Stuart Whitehead's ball forward was missed by Kennedy on the edge of the area and Mills couldn't believe his luck.

After a stern half-time team talk, Stanley came out pressing and James, after a tricky backheel, forced a save out of goalkeeper Chris Mackenzie. Telford boss Mike Jones revealed that his keeper had almost not played as his father had died on Thursday and then his wife gave birth to their second child on Friday - it was mixed emotions for the goalie.

However, it was his Stanley counterpart who again took the spotlight off him on 62 minutes. Kennedy again failed to clear a hopeful ball and Murphy nipped in to score his second of the match.

Coleman threw Dean Calcutt and Lee Madin on and right winger Calcutt was able to make an immediate impression, providing the cross which Paul Mullin tucked home. But it was a mere consolation.

"Not many teams will come here and score five goals," said Jones, whose team made it ten goals in two games. It was even more agony for the Reds as, like Stevenage last week, Telford leapfrogged them in the table.

"What we have got to do now is learn from the mistakes," said the boss. "We know we have to defend as a team. We have got to bounce back."


Stuart Pike
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