Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman insists his side have no fear in their pursuit of a coveted League Two play-off spot.

Coleman’s side churned out a hard fought 1-0 home win over Bristol Rovers at the weekend, a result which saw The Reds move up to fifth in the table, two points behind Rovers with a superior goal difference.

Stanley have enjoyed a successful campaign so far, and things are looking up for Coleman’s men as they have four games in hand, and positive results could see them move into the automatic promotion spots sooner rather than later.

“We’ve got really tough games between now and the end of the season, but if we can overcome a game as tough as Bristol Rovers, we shouldn’t fear anything,” he told the club’s official website.

“I can’t remember us ever having 45 points from so few games before, so we’ll give ourselves a platform, and it would be a shame to not kick on from there.

“I think people were taking notice before Christmas. Obviously, the games being called off were frustrating, but there’s a long way to go, but we’ve got 45 points now.”

Coleman had another reason to celebrate, along with picking up the three points Stanley finally kept their first clean sheet in 11 games, yet Coleman maintained that the win was always the primary focus against a top opposition.

He said: “The points were always the must, particularly against the team who I rate very highly in this league.

“They’re good people, and they’re good players, and they’re a good side and to get a win, albeit with a fortuitous goal is very, very pleasing.”

One of the bigger surprises heading into the game was the news that Ross Etheridge was going to start the game in place of Jason Mooney, but Coleman was pleased with his performance.

He said: “I thought Ross was very accomplished in what he did. Jason’s been a little bit unlucky but Ross has been pushing him hard now all season.

“That’s the competition that we want, and we may have got the clean sheet with Jason in goal.

“I’m pleased for Ross because he hasn’t let his head go down, he’s worked hard since the summer because it was a toss-up who started the season and he hasn’t let his head down, and he’s worked hard, and he’s deserved the rewards he’s got today.”

Coleman will now be hoping his side can take advantage of their position with a win away at Carlisle tomorrow afternoon.

Meanwhile, Stanley defender Liam Goulding has gone on loan to Evo-Stik Premier Division side Marine. The 19-year-old will spent the next month with the club, linking up with Marine manager and former Stanley player Sean Hessey.


McConville far from cross with his goal


Sean McConville was pleased with his performance as he scored the only goal of the game during Accrington Stanley’s victory over Bristol Rovers at the Wham Stadium.

The result means Stanley are now fifth in League Two with four games in hand.

McConville’s goal came with 20 minutes remaining when his cross wasn’t met by Matt Crooks or Billy Kee and instead found the bottom corner to hand Stanley the win, but he wasn’t too bothered with how the ball went in.

He told the club’s official website: “Ultimately it doesn’t matter (how the ball went in) because we got the three points and that’s what we set out to do against a very good team.

“It was a cross, the wind was blowing and I saw Crooks make a dart in the box. It’s one of them where Crooksy doesn’t head it and then it goes in at the back post.”

McConville, left, had a number of chances in the game and said that he at one stage he didn’t think his effort were going to pay off after Bristol Rovers goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall kept out his attempts.

“I’ve had a lot of chances lately, and the goalkeeper has saved one from me in that game after a great ball by Adam Buxton,” he said.

“I kept thinking to myself it’s not going to come, and, fortunately, it came from what was meant for a cross, so sod’s law really.”