Yates is frus­trated as Craw­ley im­plode

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Si­mon Smed­ley By Mar­ios Pa­paloizou

AC­CRING­TON boss John Cole­man in­sisted vic­tory was all that mat­tered af­ter a game which was over­shad­owed by an ugly se­cond-half in­ci­dent and the three red cards that fol­lowed.

Stan­ley cruised to vic­tory in the end, com­ing back from a goal be­hind at the in­ter­val to se­cure the points which lifted them into the play-off po­si­tions.

How­ever, there was drama af­ter Shay McCar­tan’s ugly chal­lenge on Jon Ash­ton which earned the Stan­ley front-man a straight red card in the 64th minute.

A melee fol­lowed, re­sult­ing in fur­ther red cards for Craw­ley mid­fielder Si­mon Wal­ton and, in­cred­i­bly, Stan­ley’s sub­sti­tute keeper Ja­son Mooney, who ran from the side­lines.

Cole­man said: “The three points has to be the most im­por­tant thing for us.

“I think we de­served to win in the end.

“The send­ing off cer­tainly changed the game, and I do feel for Mark Yates and Craw­ley.

“The ini­tial send­ing off was cor­rect, but it wasn’t a nasty chal­lenge from Shay. He’s not like that.

“He’s mis-timed it maybe, and their lad has come off much worse.

“It ended up ten ver­sus ten, but af­ter what fol­lowed the tackle there could have been even more play­ers sent off.

“I sup­pose I’m just pleased to have come away with a re­ally big three points.”

Craw­ley led at the break thanks to an op­por­tunist strike from Gwion Ed­wards.

The for­mer Swansea City young­ster lashed into the roof of the net in the 21st minute, pounc­ing af­ter the Stan­ley de­fence failed to clear.

On the stroke of half­time Stan­ley came close when de­fender Joe Wright headed straight at keeper Paul Jones.

Billy Kee lev­elled in the 47th minute, tap­ping home af­ter Jones par­ried Matt Crooks’ strike. Af­ter the free-for-all, Stan­ley then took ad­van­tage de­spite the sides still be­ing even in num­bers, with Matty Pear­son slot­ting to make it 2-1.

Sean McConville teed up Sea­mus Con­neely to make it 3-1, be­fore the fourth goal came in stop­page­time as Piero Min­goia side-footed past Jones.

It turned out to be a frus­trat­ing day for Craw­ley boss Yates.

He said:“We were bril­liant in the first half, but the send­ing off def­i­nitely af­fected us.

“It was a dis­grace­ful tackle by McCar­tan, ab­so­lutely, but then why my play­ers are get­ting in­volved in ev­ery­thing that fol­lowed is just be­yond me.

“We should have just got on with the game and tried to go on and win it with the ex­tra man.

“My play­ers shouldn’t have been get­ting in­volved.”

CHRIS Wilder praised the re­ac­tion of his play­ers as Northamp­ton Town pro­duced a bril­liant se­cond-half per­for­mance to main­tain their grip at the top of League Two.

Ley­ton Ori­ent had matched the league-lead­ers blow for blow in the open­ing pe­riod with Jack Payne and player-man­ager Kevin Nolan link­ing well as the O’s pro­duced some neat pas­sages of play.

But a stun­ning over­head kick from de­fender Rod McDon­ald gave Wilder’s side the lead af­ter the break be­fore a sub­lime Ricky Holmes vol­ley on 65 min­utes all-but sealed the win.

Nolan’s men did push for a way back into the game, with Ar­mand Gnan­duil­let and Mathieu Baudry both miss­ing chances.

But two goals late on from James Collins meant Northamp­ton waltzed to their sev­enth league win in a row.

“That was a tough game and we had to en­dure a lit­tle bit of pres­sure,” said Wilder.“We are there to be shot at, but we un­der­stand that be­ing top of the league.

“I didn’t think we played well in the first half but some­times you need a lit­tle bit of magic to get you go­ing and as soon as we got the first we were com­fort­able win­ners.

“I said at half-time that they needed to play more as a team and pull to­gether and I thought we showed that in the se­cond half and looked a proper team.

PIC­TURES: TGS PHO­TOS

HOT ROD! Rod McDon­ald scores Northamp­ton’s opener with an over­head kick past Ori­ent keeper Alex Cisak

STAR MAN SEAN McCON

VILLE Ac­cring

ton

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