‘Simply the best’, says boss Coleman
A BRACE from Mark Hughes and free-kick specialist Shay McCartan’s tenth goal of the season capped a stirring Stanley comeback against Crewe which left manager John Coleman in raptures.
Accrignton found themselves two goals down and looking likely to finish empty-handed until they produced a memorable late fightback.
“That’s the biggest and best win of the season for a few reasons,” said Coleman.
“Crewe were among one of the best teams that have come here.
“I know how they play because I’ve watched them on video but I didn’t realise how good they actually were.
“We were disappointed with the two goals we conceded in the first half, but we had a chat with the players at half-time and in the second half their keeper has made two unbelievable saves which stopped two of the best goals you’ll see.
“Thankfully when Shay is in that mood he can score them when it matters – he is a special talent.”
Chris Dagnall had already gone close for the visitors when Middlesbrough loanee Callum Cooke picked the ball up in midfield on 15 minutes before unleashing an unstoppable shot which beat Marek Rodak.
And the second goal was a joy to watch as Alex’s passing cut apart the Stanley defence leaving George Cooper to play in Dagnall down the left before the Merseysider clipped a delightful finish over the onrushing Rodak.
Stanley had to improve in the second half and they did with Ben Garratt tipping over a powerful shot from Billy Kee before the resulting corner led to defender Omar Beckles forcing his way to the byline before his cut back was converted by Hughes. Four minutes later Sky Bet Player of the Month for March McCartan lived up to his billing with a delightful setpiece stroked over the wall.
Stanley were a side transformed and within 11 minutes they completed the comeback as Hughes grabbed his second with an emphatic finish into the roof of the net.
“I think that sums up our season in a game,” said Crewe manager David Artell.
“As good as we were first half, we were as poor in the second half.
“We played some great stuff in that first half and then we were done by three set pieces.
“When you have a lot of young players that haven’t got the experience that a lot of teams in this league have, they are left shell-shocked and you need to help them.”
STAR MAN SHAY MCCARTAN Accrington