John Coleman has happy memories of a trip to Northampton – but knows it will count for nothing when the Reds make the trip to the Cobblers tomorrow.
It was September 2014 and it was Coleman’s first game back at Stanley in his second spell with the club.
John O’Sullivan and Sean Maguire had signed on loan the previous week and the duo caused chaos as the Reds won 5-4 – they did lead 5-2 at one point before two late home goals made it a nervy ending.
The last time the club’s played each other was in 2015 in League Two and the Reds don’t have the best record against Town – out of 14 appearances since 2009, Stanley have won just three.
However Coleman knows the good times and the bad results count for nothing when the two clash tomorrow.
Stanley, in 14th place, are one point ahead of Keith Curle’s side and have four games in hand.
“They are good memories,” said Coleman. “It does seem a long time since we have been to Northampton but we now have to create new memories.
“It’s a totally different team and a different time. They have some good players, they are a dangerous side, and we have watched them play and know what to expect.”
Coleman said he is surprised at how his players are still suffering from the Covid outbreak – it affected 19 members of the camp, leading to a two week isolation period.
The Reds have played two games since – a 2-1 loss to Tranmere in the Emirates FA Cup last Saturday and a 1-0 win at Barrow in the Papa John’s Trophy final group game on Tuesday.
“We have been sluggish of late, you can see it in training and in the games. I know the lads well, I see them every day and I can tell that they are not up to speed but we have to get on with it.
“It is frustrating, we were on a decent run of form until Covid and we have had to start all over again.
“It has been hard as we have new players who are still finding their feet and finding out about each other and the break didn’t help and we don’t know how Covid will affect the players long-term.
“But we just have to keep going and see where it takes us. I don’t think the table will settle down until everyone has played 12/15 games and then it will be a lot clearer.”
Coleman admits he has a selection headache with Nathan Baxter playing the last two games in goal while Toby Savin has played all the other matches.
Striker Lewis Mansell also scored on his Stanley debut at Barrow.
“I have got selection problems all over the pitch but they are good ones to have. Lewis is still working on his fitness as he hasn’t played a game since February and we did well to get 45 minutes out of him on Tuesday.”
Striker Colby Bishop is back in training after missing the Barrow game with a minor injury while Coleman hopes winger Sean McConville will be in the frame.
“We should have Mo Sangare back in training next week and Harry Perritt so it does mean we only have Lamine Kaba-Sherif out long term.”