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Accrington Stanley 3 Woking 3

LUTEL James must be one of John Coleman's best signings in the four seasons he has been at Accrington.

LUTEL James must be one of John Coleman's best signings in the four seasons he has been at Accrington.

The pacey striker always strives to give 100 per cent and his never-say-die attitude meant Stanley extended their unbeaten runs to seven games thanks to his last gasp heroics against the Cards.

James is always hard on himself, never believing he has played the perfect game especially when he is on the right wing rather than his favoured striker role.

But Coleman must have been proud of the former Bury player for getting the goals to keep the Reds in the top half of the table.

"He has been a good signing for me but it is impossible to single out any one player I have signed," said the Reds chief. "There's Robbie Williams, who cost nothing, Paul Mullin, Peter Cavanagh and that is not mentioning many more. Lutel has done well. He always gives his all. His first goal came from the right wing and the third when we had pushed him up front.

"But I was disappointed we did not win. We had plenty of chances and did not take them. We could have gone 3-2 up but then they took their one chance and made it 3-2. I suppose we were thankful to get a draw at the end but we should have won it."

It was a nervy afternoon for the Stanley faithful who once again turned up in their number to shout the Reds towards the play-offs. And it looked good when St Kitts international James - who would be reluctant to play for his country if it is at the expense of his Stanley place - put them ahead within seconds of the kick off.

Midfielder Andy Procter provided the through ball and James was quick to pounce. He beat Woking keeper Ashley Bayes and smashed a shot which hit the underside of the crossbar but fortunately for Stanley, it bounced into the net.

Woking are tipped to be up among the frontrunners this season and they came back well but Reds keeper Jon Kennedy once against stood firm to deny Raphael Nade, who had charged through unmarked.

Woking's Scott Canham hit one over the bar as the visitors pressed before they equalised on 15 minutes. Amos Foyewa cut in from the left and unleashed an unstoppable shot past Kennedy.

However, James made it all square two minutes later when he was quick to take the penalty when defender Neil Smith was adjudged to have handled the ball. The hitman blasted a spot kick over last week before retaking the penalty but there was no such fear this time as he coolly sent the ball home.

However Woking were always a threat and it was 2-2 on 26 minutes when Steve Ferguson found himself with only the goalkeeper to beat and left Kennedy stranded with a clever lob.

Stanley are used to battling with ten men following four sendings off this season but it was Woking's turn to lose a man. Former West Ham trainee Foweya was dismissed on 79 minutes for violent conduct but, as Stanley know, ten men are dangerous.

And it looked like Woking had snatched the points when Ivory Coast player Nade found the back of the net following a goalmouth scramble four minutes from time.

But don't rule out James. Deep into injury time, the hitman rescued a point for the home side with his hat-trick and took his own tally for the season to a stunning eight goals.


Stuart Pike
Deputy editor specialising in politics
Alex Bell
Bethany English
District reporter
Beth Abbit
Court reporter
Jon Macpherson
Kate Watkins
Reporter specialising in communities
Garth Dawson
Photographer and columnist