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Carden is sorry to leave the Reds

IT WAS strange to see Simon Carden running onto the field for the opposition but the Radcliffe fans were happy to have their man back.


IT WAS strange to see Simon Carden running onto the field for the opposition but the Radcliffe fans were happy to have their man back.

The Stanley midfielder completed a pre-match move to Radcliffe for an undisclosed fee on Sunday after boss John Coleman could not guarantee him a regular first-team spot.

Coleman had initially snapped Carden up from Radcliffe for £5,000 in December 2000 and he made an impact with the Reds.

His goals were important in the UniBond Premier Division and earned him the nickname "The Hitman" from Coleman. However, the former Stockport trainee was in and out of the side towards the end of last season and went on loan to Stainton Park. And he has decided to go back there full-time.

"I am sorry to go," admitted Carden. "Last season I got around 25 goals and it was my best season. But I need to be playing regularly. I have been thinking long and hard about it all summer as I wasn't in the team towards the end of the season and I knew new players would be coming in and the chances would be even more limited.

"I would have loved to have stayed. I had a good banter with the lads and the crowd and I made some good friends. I would have loved to play in the Confer-ence but it is one of those things. I have some great memories though."

Coleman admitted: "Simon pulled me last week and said he enjoyed it at Accrington but felt he was not going to start all the games. He wanted to play regularly and we accept that and he goes with our blessing.

"To us he is in some ways irreplaceable for what he does. He is unique in the way he plays, the way he gets forward, creates chances and scores goals. But he was frustrated when he wasn't scoring as many and was out of the team last season and that is understandable."

Carden did make an impression for his new club with some defence-splitting passes and shots which tested Jamie Speare. However, Coleman was fully focussed on his side as he put on a new 11 after the break - even using himself in the late stages.

Former Stanley defender Martin Clarke, who left to join Crewe after the epic FA Cup encounter between the two sides in 1991, did well at the back. And Andrew Waine, the youngster released from Burnley last season, also made an impression.

The boss said: "We made a few mistakes but I accept that for the first few friendlies. After that we want no mistakes."

A spectacular own goal from Boro's James Price - a header in the six-yard box - opened proceedings. Rory Prendergast set up nippy forward Lutel James for the second.

Robbie Williams was judged to have fouled Boro's lively frontman Jodie Banim and he tucked the ball home from the penalty spot to make it 2-1 at the interval.

After that, Andy Gouck scored a superb solo effort before Chris Denham got one back for Boro. It was a tough opening for Stanley in sweltering conditions but Coleman promises it will get better.

"It was only the first game, I got the chance to have a good look at the players and it was a good workout."


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