THIS Saturday’s trip to Rochdale will stir some happy memories in the Stanley camp.
For it was at Spotland last February that Lee Molyneux sparked the Reds’ rescue mission.
The winger came off the bench to hit a brilliant brace and set Stanley on course for a crucial 3-0 victory.
That was the first of six wins in 12 games, which saw Molyneux score a remarkable eight goals to ensure League survival with a game to spare.
The Reds return to Rochdale with the 25-year-old, who has returned on loan from Crewe, having just got back to his best with a hat-trick against League 2 leaders Chesterfield last Saturday. And he believes Stanley can pull off another upset against third-placed Dale.
“If we can play like we did against Chesterfield then why not?” Molyneux said.
“We squandered a lead against Scunthorpe, another good team, but we managed to keep hold of it against Chesterfield.
“We’ve learnt from our mistakes and there’s confidence now to go into the last part of the season and try to get as many points as we can.”
It was Chesterfield’s management duo – Paul Cook and Leam Richardson – who took Molyneux on at Stanley after serving 17 months for assault and he took full advantage to earn a move to Crewe.
The ex-Everton trainee’s now back on loan and although he admits it was strange to face Cook and Richardson, he was glad to repay the Stanley fans’ support.
“After what happened in my personal life, I’ve always been grateful to Cooky and Leam for what they did for me, giving me a chance,” he said.
“There’s a new gaffer in now but I played with him last year so he knows what sort of person I am. More than anything here, they give me confidence and trust me. I didn’t really feel that at my previous club.
“I have a brilliant relationship with the fans here and that plays a big part in my performances.”
Molyneux played three games as a substitute on loan at Dale before Christmas and revealed after his hat-trick that many of the tweets he received were from Dale fans thanking him for doing them a favour!
Unfortunately Keith Hill’s men couldn’t return the compliment as they lost 2-1 at bottom club Torquay on Tuesday night. But Dale do have the best home record in League 2.
They will have forward Ian Henderson available again after being sent off in last Friday’s 0-0 draw at Bury but centre-half Olly Lancashire begins a two-match suspension, joining top scorer Scott Hogan (knee) on the sidelines.
Nicky Hunt and Peter Murphy come back into contention for Stanley having served their bans.