Accrington Stanley 3 Tamworth 0

Last updated : 20 January 2004 By Footymad Previewer

Accrington Stanley closed the gap on the play-off spots with a 3-0 victory over Conference strugglers Tamworth.

Stanley took charge in the early stages when Lutel James flicked home a Paul Howarth free-kick on five minutes.

And, by 11 minutes, it was two when a Rory Prendergast cross was belted home by Paul Mullin.

But Tamworth were a threat and Stanley keeper Jon Kennedy did well to deny Mark Cooper from 25 yards and pushed Paul Barnes' effort on to the crossbar and out for a corner.

Kennedy came off at half-time after falling awkwardly and Jamie Speare came on and he had to continue where Kennedy left off, stopping a Barnes ten-yard effort and pushing out another Cooper free-kick.

Tamworth suffered a setback when Brett Darby was stretchered off on 84 minutes after injuring himself trying to get a cross in.

But it was Stanley's turn to then suffer a setback when Peter Cavanagh was sent off for a second bookable offence on 87 minutes.

But the Reds made it safe in injury time. Andy Proctor did all the hard work and Mullin slotted the ball home into the empty net.

Stanley manager John Coleman said: "I am pleased with the result as it keeps us up there, but we don't seem to be able to make a challenge without getting booked. " Coleman was also pleased with new loan signing Lee McEvilly's debut, adding: "We played him on the right wing and he should be a good asset for us, he's a strong powerful lad who just needs to get match-fit."