JOHN Coleman’s transfer targets always seem to have a habit of coming back to haunt him.
Peterborough’s Aaron McLean is a striker who always gets goals against the Reds as, in the past, did Forest Green’s Mark Beesley.
And another one the Reds chief had kept his eye on helped to inflict Stanley’s first defeat in four matches on Saturday after a below-par show against Notts County.
Not many people will have heard of Craig Lindfield but the Liverpool teenager is an England Under 19 international and has been winning the praise of Anfield boss Rafael Benitez.
Coleman has used the Premiership club’s younger players in the past in defender Godwin Antwi and midfielder David Mannix.
And he had hoped to add Lindfield - tipped by some to be the next Robbie Fowler - to his squad at some stage.
But instead the Magpies snapped him up and it was easy to see why when the Scouser, who has been at Liverpool Academy since he was eight, came up with a special moment in a dour first half to rifle the ball into the net and set County on the way to a win.
"He is a young kid who I have been monitoring for 18 months and he buried the ball well," bemoaned Coleman.
And that was something his side couldn’t do despite creating plenty of chances in the second half but they were unable to get past former Manchester United keeper Kevin Pilkington.
Roscoe Dsane tested the goalie and Paul Mullin hit the outside of the post but County took their chances - and made the game safe three minutes from time when striker Lawrie Dudfield headed home his first goal of the season.
And Coleman was once more fuming that his defence - who have conceded six goals in the last three games - were again found wanting.
Centre half Mark Roberts failed to clear a ball allowing Lindfield to smash the ball into the top corner of the net on 23 minutes.
And substitute Austin McCann was given the space to get a cross in from the left wing and then Dudfield was unmarked in the area to head home and seal the points.
"It is very hard to take," said Coleman. "Notts County won the game 2-0 and we haven’t been outplayed and they are not better than us. That is disappointing.
"The first half cost us as we were poor and, give them their due, they were first to every ball.
"We were lackadaisical at the back and we gave them a sniff and they took it. We were better in the second half but we still lost it 1-0 and it was sloppy defending and bad marking. If we keep defending like that, we are not going to win many games."
Coleman did reshuffle his side, with Leam Richardson out with a knee injury, and reverted to a 4-4-2 formation after 3-5-2 in previous games. But it just wasn’t happening for his side who struggled to get out of first gear.
County have been invigorated under new manager Ian McParland and former Burnley assistant boss Dave Kevan and Lindfield, signed on Thursday, was another piece of their jigsaw. And he showed what he was worth with his stinging shot.
Dsane was the livewire for the Reds, forcing good saves out of Pilkington in the first half but the home side just couldn’t seem to find the target with their efforts.
It did get better after a half-time roasting with Shaun Whalley firing over, Dsane being denied by Pilkington and Ian Craney - after his on-off saga of being recalled to Swansea last Thursday and returning to Accrington the day after - volleyed narrowly over as the home fans grew restless.
There were several penalty appeals - Paul Mayo did seem to fall on Dsane’s shot with his hand - but the referee waved them away.
It did look, though, like the Reds had grabbed an equaliser eight minutes from time when Craney smashed a ball across the area but, as Mullin slid in from two yards out, he could only find the woodwork.
County had a couple of chances but then made the most of their next one and Dudfield was ecstatic at getting off the mark for the season.
Many Stanley fans made for the exit at that point as the Reds slipped to their fourth home loss in seven league games.
"The turning point was Paul hitting the post and if that goes in, I think we may have gone on and won it," added Coleman.
"But our defenders are gifting oppostion goals and we have done that too often this season."