Liddle by little Accy will edge to safety
ACCRINGTON left it late – yet again – on Good Friday but defender Michael Liddle insists Stanley’s never-say-die attitude should see them retain their Football League status after tomorrow’s clash at Southend.
Kal Naismith’s stoppage time penalty helped Accrington earn a vital draw against Mansfield, and they now sit four points clear of the drop zone.
After a goalless firsthalf Mansfield took the lead in the 75th minute as Jake Speight grabbed his first goal since returning to the club.
But Accrington’s late equaliser, their 12th in secondhalf injury time this season, gave Liddle more reason to believe they will stay .
“Confidence is very good, the late goals is just reward for the amount of effort and determination we put in through a game and the fact we’ve got that neversay-die attitude,” said Liddle.
“We turn up against the big teams definitely, we just work harder maybe but we always seem to do well against the top teams and I am sure we will go down there to Southend and put in another important performance.
“We need to play against good teams that are trying to play good football because that helps the style we play.
“Obviously we would have liked to be clear after this game but we could not get the result we wanted.
“If we can go in against Southend and get a positive result then hopefully by the end of it we will be safe.”
Mansfield should have taken the lead in the 52nd minute but Martin Riley thumped his free header wide of the goal.
The Stags thought they had taken the lead after Speight tapped in James Jennings’ cross at the far post but the striker was offside.
However he was not to be denied his first goal for the club as Sam Clucas danced his way past a number of Accrington defenders before rolling the ball into the path of Speight who lashed into the roof of the net.
But deep into injury time Riley brought down James Gray and Naismith slotted home from the penalty spot.
“It feels like we’ve lost it to be totally honest,” said Mansfield boss Paul Cox.
“It just seemed that when we scored we seemed to panic a little bit and drop deeper and you know with Accrington that with their record for late goals they are going to come at you all the way through injury time.
“There’s always going to be twists and turns. All we can do is try to get nine points out of the last three games and see where we end up.”
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STAR MAN SAM CLUCA