Pressure, what pressure? That’s the view of Luke Joyce on his penalty in Friday’s derby win over Morecambe.
The game was just five minutes old when the referee pointed to the spot. And although the Morecambe fans and keeper Scott Davies did their best to put Joyce off, the skipper set Stanley on course for a hard-fought victory.
“I enjoyed it – in front of the away end as well,” said the Reds’ long-serving midfielder. “I know their keeper and he was playing a few mind games as I put the ball down.
“But the best way to answer that is to send him the wrong way and hit the back of the net.”
Shay McCartan added a second six minutes later before Stanley staved off a Morecambe fightback.
“It was a great start,” Joyce said. “To be fair to Morecambe, they tried to get the ball down and play, but we were a bit disappointed not to add a couple more goals.
“We knew they’d come out flying second half and we lost Jesse Joronen, which was a blow.
“They scored early in the second half and it was backs-to-the-wall at times but we defended really well to see the game out.”
The Reds also went close in a gripping finish.
“We soaked the pressure up and limited Morecambe to just a few chances, there were no glaring opportunities,” Joyce added. “It was great to see us still creating and trying to finish the game off by scoring again.
“It was end-to-end, especially second half. Tackles were going in, it was a full-blooded affair, so it was a good game between two teams who were desperate to win.”
After Saturday’s results Stanley were 12th and Joyce believes they should look towards the play-offs.
“If we keep playing like that then there’s no reason why not,” he said.
“We’re disappointed we didn’t hold on for the three points at Newport, otherwise we’d already be right in there.”