Coleman’s troops in tribute to Winnard
ACCRINGTON Stanley boss John Coleman dedicated this crucial win over Barnet to former captain Dean Winnard and his family.
The defender, now of Morecambe, lost his brother in the week and the Stanley players held aloft a shirt with a tribute after Shay McCartan’s winning goal.
And fresh from easing fears of a drop from League Two, football was the last thing on Coleman’s mind.
He said:“I’d just like to start off by saying all the players and the staff would like to pass on our condolences to one of our former players Dean Winnard and to his family for the tragic loss of his brother.
“I think all the lads dedicated that game for him as a show of solidarity to Dean.
“He was a popular figure in our dressing room and it’s a very sad week for the family.
“I think it brought the lads a little bit closer together. It [the tribute] shows the spirit that the lads have for their former colleague as well.”
Matty Pearson headed against the crossbar from close range as Accrington looked dangerous from set pieces early on.
And a perfect freekick from McCartan found the bottom corner as Stanley deservedly took the lead in the second half before unveiling a fitting tribute for Winnard’s family.
Justin Amaluzor did well to reach the byline and pull back for John Akinde but the Bees striker was brilliantly denied by Marek Rodak, the Accrington stopper on loan from Championship Fulham.
Jordan Clark was inches away from sealing the victory late on but his low drive rebounded off the post with the keeper beaten.
And Barnet very nearly got an equaliser in the 94th minute but Rodak pulled off another fantastic save, this time from Mauro Vilhete, to make it four winless games in charge for new Bees manager Kevin Nugent.
Nugent said: “It’s really frustrating. It’s hard to keep positive with them when you want to let off steam but you have to keep believing in what you’re doing.
“There’s no way that we should’ve come away from here with nothing but it’s all about results, I understand that.
“It was a really tight game there was nothing in it. The last words at half-time were don’t give away silly freekicks. You know at Accrington away if someone goes down, even if it’s a borderline free-kick, it’ll go against you – and they win the game off that freekick.”
STAR MAN MATTY PEARSON Accrington S