ACCRINGTON Stanley boss John Coleman won’t mind if his side puts on a ‘Todd Carty’ show - as long as it comes with a vital win.
Ex-Eastenders star Carty was the worst skater in television show ‘Dancing on Ice’ but viewers kept him in week after week as they liked his unpolished style.
And Coleman wouldn’t mind his side being not too pretty on the eye if it secured them three crucial points.
So far attractive football is not working for the Reds as they scrap near the bottom of the table and the boss admitted: "You don’t get marks for artistic impression in football - it is not ice skating or gymnastics.
"It is not how you perform but what you get from the game and the only thing that matters in football is results."
And they are not going the Reds way as - despite some free flowing build-up play and tidy touches - just two aways wins all season keeps Stanley fighting the drop.
It was hoped the clash at old non league foes Aldershot would change the Reds’ season and the first goal was always going to be vital when the two out-of-form sides faced each other on Saturday.
Aldershot’s winless run stretched back nine games while the Reds last secured a victory seven matches ago and both sides needed an early pick-me-up to kick start their seasons.
Stanley thought they had got it on 17 minutes when John Miles’ corner went through the hands of Nikki Bull, under a challenge from Craig Lindfield, and defender Kieran Charnock whalloped the ball into the net at the far post.
But whistle happy referee James Linnington immediately pulled play up for a foul on stopper Bull.
That was hard to take but what was doubley difficult was that the Isle of Wight official had let a similar goal stand when Barnet beat the Reds earlier this season.
And it was just six minutes later that the Shots hit back and got the goal that counted.
On-loan Brighton hitman Jake Robinson broke down the right and set up winger Kirk Hudson who took a touch and slotted the ball past the outstretched fingers of Kenny Arthur. "I was too far away to comment on the disallowed goal," said Coleman. "The referee is paid to make decisions and you have got to trust them.
"You can’t blame the referee - he didn’t part the waves for the two goals we conceded and he didn’t rush out of his goal and commit hari-kari."
The first goal was the killer after the Reds had dominated the early stages and forced the pressure on Gary Waddock’s mid-table side.
But the Reds just hadn’t been able to find the final ball and their strikes hadn’t seriously troubled keeper Bull - except the disallowed goal and Miles firing narrowly wide.
However, once the opener had gone in, Aldershot took charge and two goals in four minutes before half-time brought fears of a landslide.
Especially as they were so easy.
Andy Lindegaard’s pass from the back split the Reds defence and Robinson had all the space in the world to pick his spot past Arthur.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Reds keeper then came rushing to the edge of his box from a long ball forward but quick-footed Robinson got there first, chipped the keeper, got the ball down and lobbed it home despite Charnock racing back to try and clear.
3-0 at half-time and it was feared a rout was on the cards as the Reds trooped off dejectedly at half-time.
And it could have been worse with Arthur making a one-handed save from a Hudson after he ran unchallenged into the area after the break.
But then credit to Stanley who, after a triple subsititution, did up the pace and were more of an attacking threat.
A Bobby Grant corner landed on the head of Charnock who nodded it down and Lindfield pounced to hook the ball into the net from close range and give the Reds a faint glimmer of hope - and end a goal drought which had stretched back six long hours.
And Kallum Higginbotham then volleyed an Andy Procter ball in goalwards but Bull did well to push it away.
If that had gone in it could have made for a lively finish but instead the game petered out with the three points staying with the home team for the first time this year.
"The irony is that we have ended up going in 3-0 down in the first half and, for 40 minutes, we have been the more comfortable team," said the Reds chief.
"But we had a crazy five minutes and to concede two goals the way we did is nothing short of abysmal.
"There were signs of cracking at Luton on Tuesday when we gifted them chances but against Aldershot we were punished.
"We did better in the second half but they have won the game 3-1 and will be happy with their performance.
"But we shouldn’t be on the end of goals like that and we are better than that - we have got to take heart and show we are better than that," added Coleman.