How we use Cookies

Reds need to win at Cards

ACCRINGTON Stanley manager John Coleman knows their play-off hopes have taken a dent - and they now need to get their away form right if they are to stand any chance at all.

ACCRINGTON Stanley manager John Coleman knows their play-off hopes have taken a dent - and they now need to get their away form right if they are to stand any chance at all.

After their devastating late loss to Dagenham on Saturday, Coleman felt that their promotion hopes had gone.

Other results, though, did go Stanley's way and he knows now his side need to repeat last year's upturn in fortunes on their travels if they are to keep themselves up there.

Last year, a win at Burscough kicked off a good away charge after a three-and-a-half month barren spell which led to the UniBond title.

And now Coleman will demand more of the same as his side look to better just two Conference away wins this season - starting at Woking tomorrow, the team just one point behind them in the league.

"Last year Burscough did it for us and we need to get it right away from home between now and the end of the season," said the manager.

"I remember last year we had a friendly at Bacup, won that, beat Burscough and took it from there. This time we have won a friendly at Rossendale and hope the omens are good for a win at Woking."

"Saturday's result was a kick in the stomach, but in the cold light of day, the damage was limited by other results. Hopefully we can learn from that and go on and get some more results."

"I think we will bounce back though - we usually do. The lads were upset with their own performances and know they can improve."

"As a club and personally, me and Jimmy (Bell) do not believe in sulking. We have our ten minutes after the game but then we won't let our heads go down."

"People should look at the positives. It's been a good season, and it could still get better. We are still in touch with the play-offs, although it's going to be hard to do it."

Midfielder Paul Cook is recovering from an ankle injury and he played 20 minutes midweek while new boy Darran Kempson, signed on loan from Preston last week, is expected to start in defence again with Steve Halford and Peter Cavanagh suspended.

And Lee McEvilly could play his last Conference game at the Cards tomorrow as his loan spell is up on February 18. He has been a hit since he arrived at the Interlink with one goal and many would like the Northern Ireland international to stay.

But, even though Rochdale have signed another striker, he could be recalled to Spotland until his contract runs out at the end of the season.

"We want to keep him but we will have to wait and see what happens," said the Reds chief. "That is something we will look at next week and see what develops."

Meanwhile, Coleman will contest the misconduct charges for the Aldershot and Colchester games and he has pledged to take action to try and improve the club's on-field behaviour after 11 sending-offs this season.

"We just seem to be unfortunate that every incident seems to get punished, but it is something we are setting out to try and curb," said the boss.

"We are putting things in place to try and improve and we have got to be a bit more professional at certain times."

  • A STANLEY XI defeated Rossendale United 1-0 in a friendly on Monday night with Damien Hindle scoring the winner. And Lutel James scored the only goal as the reserves defeated Ossett Town 1-0 on Tuesday to keep them top of the Lancashire League.
  • STANLEY chairman Eric Whalley was at the Nationwide Conference meeting last night in Telford along with other chairmen keen to know the possible ramifications of Exeter City's impending legal action against the league.

Exeter are taking the Conference to court to contest a 12-point penalty imposed for going into administration and a ruling that all football debts must be paid in full.

Conference clubs have already been warned that they may be asked to pay up to £25,000 to cover legal bills. Exeter insist their action is necessary to try and safeguard the club's future.

Margate's on-going ground problems and the likely make-up of the league next season were also on the agenda.


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