WHILE the Premiership was dominated by dressing room fall-outs last week, Stanley boss John Coleman is hoping love is the way forward at the FES.
The Reds are on a four game unbeaten league run after a late Jimmy Ryan blast gave the Reds a deserved draw at goal-happy Chesterfield on Saturday.
The second half was a strong team performance and Coleman is determined to foster that squad spirit to make sure the Reds continue their climb up the table.
This was shown after Kenny Arthur pulled off a superb save from Jack Lester’s rocket to stop the home side going 2-0 up after the Chesterfield frontman had got the better of defender Phil Edwards.
"That was probably Phil’s first mistake in about three months and Kenny was there to save him - I have told Phil to give Kenny a kiss in the dressing room!" smiled Coleman.
Whether he did or not remains behind closed doors but a point at Saltergate was well received by the Reds who could have feared the worst.
Chesterfield’s Jack Lester and Jamie Ward are one of the most prolific strike pairings in League Two but the Stanley defence once again showed it was made of sterner stuff by keeping them largely at bay.
"The two centre halves were outstanding. You won’t see a better strikeforce than Jack Lester and Jamie Ward and they have kept them quiet for the bulk of the game," said Coleman.
In truth, the first half was largely uneventful for the Reds who, while passing the ball around well, lacked the killer ball and rarely troubled keeper Trevor Carson.
Ryan had had a couple of early efforts but they didn’t seriously trouble the home side and it was Chesterfield who got their noses in front from a corner to the danger area and Lester forced the ball over the line.
Coleman admitted: "I was disappointed with the first half as we didn’t really get going. We were a bit sloppy in our passing and we didn’t get our teeth stuck into the game.
"Their goal was unfortunate as the ball was going into Kenny’s hands and one of our players has nicked it out of them and then it is a bit of a scrap. The ball dropping the way it did was just unfortunate really, although perhaps we should have dealt with it better."
It was obvious something needed to be done at half-time as the Reds needed a more attacking threat and the introduction of wideman John Miles proved the difference.
Sometimes substitutions come off, sometimes they don’t, but this one transformed the game as Stanley upped a gear and looked a real threat.
Coleman admitted he was disappointed for Andy Procter, who was sacrificed for Miles.
"I feel sorry for Procky as we took Proc off and it looks like that changed the game when John Miles came on but the whole team lifted. It is very hard as there is no one who works harder for the club than Procky.
It could have been any one of ten who came off as Kenny Arthur and John Mullin were our only real saving graces in the first half. We needed to be more inventive."
And they were. There was suddenly an urgency about the play with Griffiths going into midfield and powering forward while Miles and Ryan provided much needed width.
That’s not to say Chesterfield were out of it - they were dangerous on the break but were frustrated as they were repeatedly caught offside with Lester and Ward breaking quickly.
Terry Gornell, who hardly saw the ball in the first half, had a good one-two with Ryan which ended with striker Gornell’s shot being blocked.
Griffiths tried to go for another wonder goal after Bournemouth last week but he couldn’t find the target while Miles had a chip just wide.
The home crowd were getting increasingly restless but thought they had sealed it on 70 minutes when Lester unleashed that rocket which Arthur superbly pushed away. Two-nil and it would have been over but then the controversy started.
Stanley were furious when Gornell latched onto a ball forward and tried to take it round outrushing keeper Carson with 12 minutes left.
The stopper seemed to take the striker’s legs and everyone was waiting for ref Gary Ward to point to the spot. To the amazement of the 87 travelling fans, though, he waved play on to the annoyance of the Stanley bench who all leapt to their feet.
Gornell almost had a chance to make amends with a free header from a Ryan cross but he couldn’t get enough power on it - but then Stanley got what they deserved.
A Miles corner was dummied and it fell nicely for Ryan at the edge of the area to hit the ball low and hard into the net with just five minutes left.
He showed his delight by rushing to Coleman and co to celebrate and a point was a fair result.
But immediately it was heart in the mouths time when Lester raced straight down the other end and was tackled with the Reds fearing a spot kick against them. But referee Ward stayed consistent in that he didn’t give that - and that was that.
Coleman, while he felt his side could have nicked all three points, admitted a draw was good for his side on their travels.
"In the second half we were magnificent. We were first to most balls and were bright and inventive and if I was overcritical we got ourselves into some good positions and then mis-kicked some crosses and shots.
"We kept on the front foot and really took the game to Chesterfield who are a really good side.
"I would have taken a point before the game. It is a tricky place to come to and the best praise I can give our players is I don’t think many teams will come here and put in a second half performance like we have just done.
"John Miles was a threat and when he is on the ball he is a real handful. We have got a range of set plays that we work on and it has paid off."
Spireite boss Lee Richardson said: "I am disappointed we didn’t see the game through. We struggled in the second half and it was one of those games you should see through and win 1-0 even when you aren’t playing your best. It would be nice to get three points - even when you don’t deserve it. That’s what the top teams do."
The only downside for the Reds is that, if Arthur had kept his third league clean sheet in a row, Coleman would have had to wear a kilt against Bury. He wouldn’t have been feeling the love in the dug out with a kilt on!