Stanley manager John Coleman was shell-shocked by the 5-1 loss at home to Northampton, but accepted full responsibility for the result.

Goals from Ricky Holmes and Marc Richards gave the Cobblers a 2-0 lead inside half an hour but that was halved before the break when Piero Mingoia converted the rebound from Luke Joyce’s saved penalty which Northampton’s Ryan Cresswell saw red for.

But the Reds could not take advantage of having an extra man after the interval and Lawson D’Ath’s brace, along with Richards’ second goal of the afternoon ensured a fourth league consecutive defeat for Stanley.

The manager pointed to Northampton’s third goal, midway through the second half, as the decisive factor which swung the game in the favour of the opponents.

“That goal was the killer,” he said. “We were probably in the ascendancy and unfortunately they’ve managed to score, which was a body blow that we just couldn’t recover from.

“They would have snatched your hand off for a draw a minute before making it 3-1 but they’ve ended up comfortable winners.

“It’s disappointing that we seemed to lose heart, let them control the game. and didn’t even show enough to make the scoreline respectable.”

And Coleman insisted that there was nobody to blame for the defeat but himself.

He said: “I’ve got to take full responsibility. Don’t blame the players; don’t blame anybody else; blame me.

“I’ve made some culpable errors that we’re being punished for.

“Just as I didn’t get too carried away when we had a good run when I first came back, I’m not going to get too downhearted.

“I’m determined to put it right.”

Despite the heavy defeat, the 52 year-old was full of praise for the Stanley fans, saying: “The fans stuck with us today, when you would expect them to turn on us but they didn’t.

“They stayed right to the end and cheered the players off the pitch.

“They showed fighting spirit and we’ve got to replicate that and follow their example.”