John Coleman admitted it was a relief to finally watch a game at the Wham Stadium on Tuesday – and especially great to steer his side to victory.

The Reds hadn’t played at home since mid-November with five postponements due to the extreme weather in Lancashire over the last two months.

But they returned back home in style with a 3-1 win over Hartlepool which saw Stanley rise to sixth in League Two.

“It feels better when you haven’t played for a while, it felt good to be back at home,” said Coleman. “I don’t think we have been on top form at home, we have played well in patches, but on Tuesday for around an hour we were consistently very good.

“I think our lack of games showed towards the end when we got sloppy but it has been difficult missing the matches, as you build up for the games, you have all the energy, and then you don’t end up playing.

“It’s also been tricky finding training venues as we have played on the Astroturf now for ten or 11 weeks and it can get monotonous and it can take its toll on players’ bodies but, to be fair, they have never complained and go on with it.”

Coleman praised the togetherness of his current squad which he said showed when Adam Buxton scored the first goal from a free kick.

“It summed it up for me when Bucko ran to the bench to celebrate and all the subs got up to celebrate with him and were delighted for him.

“You can see the togetherness and it can take you a long way. It is difficult for the lads who aren’t playing but there are a lot of good characters on the bench and they are enjoying it with us.

“Andy Procter and Anthony Barry after the game were both saying it was privilege to watch the team play and that’s from experienced pros which carries a lot of weight.”