John Coleman was filled with pride by Stanley’s performance at Plymouth despite his side losing 1-0 to the league leaders.

The Reds were on top for long spells at Home Park and crafted a good number of quality chances but were ultimately beaten by Reuben Reid’s second half goal.

Even though they make the long trip home empty handed, the manager believes his players have every reason to hold their heads high.

“I thought we were superb in every department except possibly our finishing but then again their keeper walks away with Man of the Match having made four world class saves and we’ve been denied by the underside of the bar twice,” he explained. “It looked like there was a force field around the goal stopping the ball going in.

“If we play like that between now and the end of the season we’ll win the league. I said 15 points in the dressing room but possibly ten. That’s the best we’ve played all season. We’ve lost but we’ll dust ourselves down and go again on Tuesday.

“Anybody who walked into that game would only think one team was top of the league. I thought we were fantastic. It’s very difficult to come away from a game you’ve lost feeling the way I’m feeling. I was proud to witness what I’ve just witnessed.

“I’ve been around football for long enough to know that sometimes it just isn’t going to be your day no matter what you do. You’ve got to be gracious in defeat and you’ve got to applaud a wonderful goal that’s won the game for them.

“Those little bits of quality can be the difference between teams being successful and not.”