ACCRINGTON assistant manager Jimmy Bell admitted recent critiicsm helped spur Stanley on to their first home win since October.
The Reds have stuttered at the FES this season with four straight defeats and boss John Coleman and Bell have probably felt the heat for one of the few times during their eight years at the club.
But the assistant said that the negative vibes after the poor run of form led to a second half battling show which ended with the Reds picking up a valuable three points thanks to a last gasp Roscoe Dsane winner.
He jumped the highest to head home Ian Craney’s corner in the final minute much to the joy of the management, players and fans behind the goal who got the best view of Dsane’s header.
“It is a weight off mine and John’s shoulders as polls and things like that really hurt,” said Bell.
“John is a top manager and we have waited a long time for this chance to manage in the league and I can tell you that he is the top man and the one to take Accrington forward.
“We know in the last few weeks we have let ourselves down and only a couple of weeks ago, if we beat Hereford and Rochdale, we would have been in the play-offs.
“Now everyone is calling for our heads and it is totally unjustified in my eyes.
“You can tell people who didn’t turn up for the game that they missed a thriller and a great team performance.”
The pure relief was plain to see at the end and Bell continued: “The win was very much needed. It has been well documented about our home form this season and we asked for a massive performance.
“I don’t think the lads let anyone down and we kept going right to the end.
“Me and John are very passionate and we will never stop being like that and the lads responded to that.”
Stanley needed a solid home show after their dismal record of nine defeats out of their 12 games at the FES this season.
Coleman decided to switch from the 3-5-2 formation to 4-4-2 in a bid to cure their home woes.
And they were also boosted with the return of strike pair Paul Mullin and Roscoe Dsane after both recovered from injury to lead the line.
Bell had told his side to get “in their faces” and the Reds did from the off.
Defenders Robbie Williams and Mark Roberts produced early action for Chesterfield keeper Barry Roche with just one minute on the clock.
Then it was a tale of two keepers as Ian Dunbavin was almost dispossessed by Jamie Ward outside his area but got away with it while Dsane did the same to Roche.
The ball came out to Paul Mullin who tried to chip the ball into the empty net but defender Kevin Gray was there to clear off the line.
Nippy striker Ward was the main threat for the Spireites who had a formidable away record with, prior to Saturday, just one loss and they are hoping for instant promotion under ex-Blackburn Rover Lee Richardson.
And it was Ward who opened the scoring on 18 minutes with a superb piece of skill. Stanley attacked, lost the ball and winger Felix Bastians lofted an inch perfect ball upfield to Ward.
Leam Richardson was the only defender back covering and Ward got passed him and chipped the stranded Dunbavin from 25 yards.
“It was a good goal but, for the second time at home, we have conceded a goal from our attack which is concerning,” said Bell.
“We have worked and worked on that in training and it was a bit sore for me and John to concede a goal like that.”
The first goal could have knocked the stuffing out of the Reds who were still reeling following their 5-0 thumping by MK Dons the week before.
And Stanley did struggle to test Roche again in the first half.
Their best efforts came with debutant Billy Dennehy firing into the side netting and Ian Craney blasting the ball well over in a good position on the stroke of half-time.
“At the break, I just told the lads to keep giving the 100 per cent, keep in their faces and we will win the game - and it proved right in the end,” said Bell.
It was a different Stanley side who came out after the interval as they suddenly piled the pressure on the Chesterfield goal and had a real go.
Mullin headed over a minute after the restart while Craney’s goalbound strike hit a defender.
It certainly wasn’t a pretty game as both sides tried to cancel each other out but then the Reds made the breakthrough they needed.
Dsane started having more influence on the game and troubled Aaron Downes. And the visiting defender hacked him down in the area on 72 minutes and referee Keith Woolmer pointed to the spot.
Andy Procter had been dropped to the bench and had only been on the pitch 10 minutes but he calmly took the spot kick to send Roche the wrong way.
“I couldn’t watch, that’s how much it meant to me,” said Bell. “We got our break with the penalty but, with the weight of pressure, I thought we thoroughly deserved it.
“Procky is a big player. He got the Fans Player of the Month for September but since then, by his own admission, he has let himself down and this was a little kick up the backside.
“He has come on and shown he is a top player which we know he is.”
Chesterfield almost bounced back immediately with Dunbavin turning a deflected Jamie Lowry shot behind the post and then it all got heated.
Roche and Jay Harris were involved in a fracas in the visting area while Mark Roberts and Steve Fletcher were booked after a coming together but it only added to a fiery home atmosphere with the fans urging the Reds on.
And it looked like Mullin would do it four minutes from time when he broke through unmarked with only Roche to beat but the keeper stuck out his legs and produced a superb save.
That could have been it but Stanley had one more chance - and took it with one minute of normal time left.
Craney’s corner landed on the head of Dsane who, although not the tallest player, leapt the highest to power it home.
Stanley enjoyed many a last minute goal at the FES last season and they greeted this one like they had won the league. They did have to withstand a late flurry with Roche coming up for a corner but held on for a valuable win.
“In my eyes we have beaten the best team in the league,” said Bell.
“I think we humbled them and thoroughly deserved the win. We have shown plenty of character and bounced back.
“MK Dons are a good team but we let them do a job on us last week and we weren’t going to let it happen again.”