MANAGER James Beattie insists he has no concerns about his goal-shy strikers as Stanley prepare to continue their battle for survival at Exeter this Saturday.
A goalless draw at Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday night means that none of the Reds’ strikers have scored in their last 13 games – stretching back to George Bowerman’s opener at Cheltenham in January.
But with chances aplenty being created at Dagenham and other players chipping in of late – namely centre-halves Tom Aldred and Dean Winnard – Beattie is confident the goals will come.
“Anybody could have scored on Tuesday night, it wouldn’t have mattered who it was,” said the former England striker.
“As a centre-forward I was always rated on goals scored and then I’d look at the number of chances provided within the team.
“We’re creating ample chances. If we weren’t then yes, I would be worried, but it was a dominant performance on Tuesday.
“It was a real yardstick for how far we’ve come compared to the game at home against Dagenham. We weren’t pushing in, we weren’t doing the right things and we were allowing them to run at us, whereas on Tuesday we were on the front foot, we were up against our men and we didn’t allow them to turn and come at us with the ball. I think that added to our dominance.”
While the Reds scored just once during the draws at Dagenham and against Plymouth last Saturday, those results mean they’ve lost once in six games.
Saturday’s opponents have found some form having won their last two but Exeter are just a point above Stanley and Beattie’s boys remain buoyant given recent displays.
“It’s a tough trip going down to Dagenham in midweek but we travelled home with smiles on our faces and we’re looking forward to the weekend,” added the Reds’ boss.
“I keep saying it but there is a tremendous spirit amongst the players. I can see that every day in training and it was evident on numerous occasions on Tuesday night. The lads deserve credit for the way they’ve stuck at it in recent games. I’m delighted with this little run we’ve put together.”
Stanley will hope for a much better start at Exeter than when the two sides last met. The Reds were caught napping at the Store First Stadium in December as Tom Nicholls struck twice in the first 11 minutes while Alan Gow made it 3-0 after 24 minutes.
And although Stanley scored either side of the break, they were unable to rescue a point and lost 3-2, which was their third straight defeat by Paul Tisdale’s men.
Nicholls has been joined up front by Eliot Richards, who arrived on loan from Bristol Rovers last month, with Gow going in the opposite direction.
And Richards, 22, scored twice in last week’s 3-0 victory against Fleetwood, which was the Grecians’ first win in eight games and their first at home since October 5.
That win came against Plymouth and Richards wrote himself into Exeter folklore on Tuesday night by scoring the winner as City came from behind to beat Argyle 2-1 and do the double over their derby rivals, in front of a bumper crowd of 13,442 at Home Park.
Having climbed to 17th on Saturday, the midweek win saw the Grecians leapfrog Stanley into 16th. Laurence Wilson (groin) is set to remain out for the Reds so loanee Adam Buxton should continue at left-back.