Stanley dedicate victory to Beattie
INTERIM Accrington manager Paul Stephenson dedicated their 1-0 victory against Wimbledon to former boss James Beattie, as James Gray’s late goal secured Stanley their second victory of the season.
Beattie left the club by mutual consent on Friday afternoon, but Gray’s late goal proved to be the difference on the day, ensuring Stephenson got off to a winning start as caretaker manager.
And he was quick to dedicate the result to Beattie after the game, as well as praising the players for their performance throughout.
“It’s an incredible result, and I’d like to think they did it for James,” Stephenson said.
“I’ve worked very closely with him for 15 months so it was great to see them get a result in these circumstances.
“We’ve kept a clean sheet and we’ve done it against the most potent strike force in the division at this moment in time.
“After what they’ve been through in the last 24 hours with the manager leaving – who they all loved – that was very special.
“Great credit to the players, they were absolutely fantastic.The scenes when we scored were incredible, and it’s a great result.”
Stanley are now four points clear of the relegation zone in a League Two table that is starting to take shape, with Wimbledon’s prolific striker Matt Tubbs struggling all afternoon against a dogged and resolute Accrington defence.
Tubbs – who has already scored six times in League Two this year – looked like the only man capable of breaking the deadlock in a fairly dour game, and his curling effort with 20 minutes left had Joe Lumley beaten but it drifted past the post to leave the game level.
Accrington had barely had a sniff until the goal finally arrived in the 83rd minute; Gray recieved the ball on the edge of the area before smartly chipping over an advancing James Shea to give the home side all three points.
Dons boss Ardley refused to be too downbeat after the game, hinting they deserved at least a point just a week after conceding four goals against struggling Carlisle United. “It’s tough on the boys,” Ardley said.
“I’m not going to kill them because we conceded four last week against Carlisle.
“We worked hard on our defence during the week, and I asked for them to be tighter at the back, which is what you need at a place like Accrington.
“We were resilient, we were strong in our defending and they never really looked like they were going to score, which makes it hard to take.
“When you work so hard on your defending you lose a bit of your fluency going forwards and we were a little bit static going forwards.”
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