MANAGER James Beattie was disappointed his side didn’t make the most of their dominance during Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Bury.
Stanley played some fine football during the first half and although they allowed the hosts to come from behind, Beattie was still pleased with his players.
“There were some tremendous performances from the lads and everything went to plan in the first half,” said the Reds’ boss. “We did our homework on Bury, the lads stuck to the game-plan magnificently and forced them to change at half-time, to match us up.
“That threw us a bit, I don’t know why, and then we conceded again. But the way we started, the foothold we had in the game, I thought we were the better team in the first half and for large parts of the second.
“One of the most pleasing things for me was our reaction to Bury’s first goal,” Beattie added.
“Sometimes when you’ve got such a strong foothold in the game, a goal against can rock you mentally, but we went straight back after them and asserted our authority on the half again. We created two more gilt-edged chances and we could have come in at half-time winning 3-1 or 4-1.
“The second half we had a chance (for James Gray) and how often does it happen that the other team then goes and scores straight away.”
Bury’s goal scorers Danny Rose and Danny Mayor both moved from clubs in higher divisions this summer, along with the likes of Ryan Lowe and Kelvin Etuhu.
“Even when we conceded possession, Bury weren’t really penetrating us,” said Beattie. “I think they had four shots and scored two goals.
“At that end (of the pitch) I suppose you get what you pay for. That’s why strikers are the most valuable players in football.”
Jim McNulty’s red card in the 70th minute looked to have handed Stanley a lifeline but they didn’t do enough to deserve an equaliser.
“After their defender got sent off we could have moved the ball quicker to draw them out and get people in pockets they’d vacated, but we didn’t really do that,” Beattie added.
“We didn’t have that killer instinct to go and get an equaliser or a winner, which I thought we were more than capable of.
“But we can take huge positives from the last two games, even though we only took one point from six. We’ll keep working hard to improve individually and collectively.”
However, Beattie admits the Reds need to be getting points on the board after four defeats from five league games.
“I like us to play good football and win but it’s a results business,” he said. “We’re here to get points and we weren’t that far from getting them. The lads are more bothered about getting three points under their belt than playing fancy football.”