STANLEY wideman Bobby Grant is the goal-den boy in the pre-season campaign as the Reds prepare for their fourth season in League Two.
The young winger is the man of the moment having scored five goals in three games with two in a friendly with the army, one against Burscough and two against FC Halifax Town on Saturday in the Reds’ 3-1 win.
And the ones against Halifax were sweet as the youngster was only on the pitch for part of the second half but still managed to find the net twice.
Manager John Coleman fielded two teams in each half against the UniBond North side at the Shay, site of some strong battles in their Conference days before the Yorkshire side were re-formed.
And it was a shock for the Reds when ex-Great Harwood striker James Dean, who was at Bury, headed home at the far post on 11 minutes.
The Reds were fielding a makeshift defence with Darran Kempson returning for his third spell at Stanley – this time on a more permanent basis after signing a one-year deal. He was alongside trialist Ross Wilkinson with Peter Murphy and Chris King at right and left back. Keeper Ian Dunbavin got a 90-minute run out and was tested by some high balls into the box.
The Reds came back four minutes later when teenage trialist Gary King, who impressed against Burscough, got on the end of a long ball – with what seemed good shouts for off-side – but the ex-Lincoln man, one-on-one, finished well.
The Reds boss changed almost all the team – except Gary King and Dunbavin – and Grant came on midway through the second half for Gary King.
Grant first capitalised on a mix-up in the Halifax defence to almost walk the ball into the net on the hour and then captain Peter Cavanagh made a surging run forward at the death and passed to Grant who fired the ball low and hard into the net.
There was a decent first half show from Chris Turner who put some testing crosses into the box while Phil Edwards was solid at the back after the break.
"It is always nice to win, no matter who you play," said Coleman. "Halifax will be a force to be reckoned with in their league and it was a good test for us. It’s all part of going through pre-season and trying to get your sharpness, getting your timing right and concentrating on how you play.
"I am pleased for Bobby. He can play in numerous positions, we have even tested him out at left back, but it is good for confidence and he finished the third one exceptionally well."