Sport

FA Cup can be inspiration for Reds success

Stanley hope to carry Cup joy into league clash with Cambridge

The Stanley players mob Marcus Carver after he scored the winner against Notts County in the FA Cup(Image: kipax.com)

Manager John Coleman hopes the FA Cup inspires Stanley to make another charge up the League Two table.

The Reds host Cambridge United tomorrow looking to build on their excellent win over Notts County in their first-round replay on Tuesday night.

Stanley saw a four-match unbeaten run come to an end at Carlisle last Saturday, leaving the Reds 15th in the table while newly-promoted Cambridge are 10th.

But having overcome Notts County, they now have a run of four straight home games, culminating in their second-round clash against Yeovil on December 6.

It’s another winnable tie for Stanley and Coleman believes staying in the Cup will help their league campaign rather than hinder it.

“It’s not like it’s the Champions League where it’s going to sap six or eight games out of your season,” said the Reds’ boss.

“If someone offered me three rounds in the FA Cup I’d bite their hand off!

“I’m pleased we’re in the next round. It’s always sad when you’re not involved in the next round and everybody else is.

“You feel very flat, like you haven’t been invited to the party, so it’s nice to have another day where we can roll our sleeves up and play against higher opposition.

“We know we can take the game to most teams in this league – and the league above.”

While Stanley relish the chance to pit their wits against another League One side, the £18,000 prize money is arguably the most important reward.

The Reds will pocket another £27,000 if they can get past Yeovil and will also have the chance to draw a Premier League club in the third round.

The last time Stanley reached the third round was in 2009/10, losing 3-1 at home to Fulham.

“It’s about time we had a bit of a run,” Coleman said. “It’d ease the burden on the people who work tirelessly to bring money into the club and keep the club afloat.

“While I’m disappointed with the size of the crowd (1,026), I can’t be disappointed with the support they showed. The ovation was brilliant at the end.

“You don’t get too many of those and when you do, it’s a special night.”

Marcus Carver scored Stanley’s winner with captain Luke Joyce, so long an unsung hero, having equalised with his fourth goal of the season.

On Tuesday night, Joyce and midfield partner Andy Procter made a vast improvement from the Carlisle defeat and Coleman has been impressed by Joyce’s leadership qualities. Procter was skipper at the end of his first spell in charge.

“When Luke plays on the front foot he’s as good as anybody in this league – and probably the next one up,” Coleman added.

“He’s got a smashing appetite for the game, he’s got a great character and great enthusiasm. You’d have him in your side every time, he’s great around the dressing room as well.

“He has surprised me because I didn’t think he was captain material but he’s shown that in spades since I’ve come back.”