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Accrington Stanley 0 Chester City 2

ACCRINGTON Stanley manager John Coleman was proud of his battling troops despite their loss to Conference leaders Chester City.

ACCRINGTON Stanley manager John Coleman was proud of his battling troops despite their loss to Conference leaders Chester City.

Chester took the lead in the 13th minute from a Scott Guyett header before the league's top scorer Daryl Clare fired home a penalty in the last minute after Robbie Williams had been sent off for the initial foul. It was Stanley's 13th red card of the season but Coleman had sympathy with his defender.

"I think the penalty was punishment enough and it was hard to send him off. But, saying that, I thought the referee had a good game," said Coleman. "They are a good side but we competed well in parts against a side who are going to go on and win the league.

"Perhaps we showed them a bit too much respect early on but we never gave up. What I know I do get from the lads out there is 100 per cent and they never let me down.

"We competed well against Chester and it is testament to how far Accrington Stanley have come as a club."

Stanley had half chances through Darran Kempson and Dean Calcutt but they missed the trickery of Rory Prendergast who sat out the final game of his two-match suspension against Chester.

"We have missed the threat he gives us going forward - teams are wary of him and opposing teams tend to mark him more and give the others more space," added Coleman.