John Coleman was delighted to see hard work on the training ground pay off as the Reds beat Burton 1-0 thanks to Josh Windass’ goal.

“I’m delighted,” the Stanley manager said. “I’m really pleased for the players and the effort they put in tonight; it was magnificent.

“They’ve thrown their bodies in front of shots late on and we’ve defended as an eleven to earn the clean sheet. I don’t think Scott Davies has had to make a save.

“I’m disappointed that we haven’t troubled them a bit more. In the first half we played attacking football but in the second half we didn’t get out as much as we’d like to and defended our lead. That wasn’t by design; you have to credit Burton for pushing us back.

“I think our players deserve credit, too, as they’ve kept the league leaders at arms length and protected the goalkeeper well.

“It was a solid all-round performance against one of the best teams in the league, if not the best team.”

Coleman changed his formation from his favoured 4-2-3-1 to a previously unused 3-5-2 system against the table-topping Brewers and it paid off with a clean sheet and three points.

He said: “We’d only really worked on the system for a day so for the players to turn in a performance like that is a great credit to them for taking on board what we were trying to do and applying themselves.

“There are some very tired legs out there for the effort that they put in.”

Windass’ goal, his first since joining the club in the summer of 2013, was enough to earn Stanley the victory and his manager was pleased that the midfielder had got that particular monkey off his back.

“I said to him if he gets his hair cut he may score. He got it cut yesterday and sure enough he’s scored!” laughed the Scouser.

“It was a great finish and something that we have been trying to encourage. It was a great ball into Terry and we wanted Josh to support him.

“He did and it was a great first-time finish. It’s something we’ve worked on in training so it’s pleasing when it comes off.”