Stanley boss John Coleman was relieved to see his side end a run of five straight defeats as Terry Gornell’s goal securedĀ a 1-0 win against Oxford.

The manager had described the game as the biggest of his managerial career and thought his side were worthy winners on a cold, misty night in East Lancashire.

“It was brilliant,” he said. “At times we rode our luck but I thought it was a smashing game and we gave as good as we got.

“We weren’t fortunate to win the game as we hit the woodwork twice and played some really good football.

“The lads were under immense pressure after five defeats on the spin and we were up against a very good Oxford side.”

And following a difficult month, Coleman praised the character and resilience of his players.

“It was always going to be a difficult game but I take my hat off to the lads as they worked hard, they threw their bodies on the line right until the end, even with seven minutes of injury time.

“We focused on our attacking all day on Monday, making sure we put balls into the box and had some shots and it was a blood and guts performance from us,” he added.