It was derby delight for Accrington Stanley as they hammered Morecambe 5-1 to complete a league double over their local rivals.
Lee Molyneux gave the Reds the perfect start when he opened the scoring after four minutes and there were just eleven on the clock when Kal Naismith tucked home a penalty to double the lead after Will Hatfield was fouled in the area.
Centre backs Dean Winnard and Tom Aldred both got themselves on the scoresheet from second-half set-pieces before Molyneux wrapped things up with his second of the game on an almost perfect night for Stanley.
James Beattie made one change to the side which suffered a late defeat at Rochdale on Saturday afternoon as the goalscorer from that match, Piero Mingoia, dropped to the bench. Kal Naismith took the diminutive midfielder’s place in the starting eleven.
The manager called for his side to go into the game in the right frame of mind and Molyneux’s early goal, the fifth of his loan spell from Crewe, certainly showed that the Reds were up for the battle in the derby.
James Gray’s pass was perfect for the bearded wonder, who beat the offside trap and lifted the ball over the onrushing Barry Roche into the unguarded net.
The ferocity of Stanley’s start showed no signs of stopping as they came at their opponents with wave after wave of pressure. It told when the Shrimps gave away a penalty after just ten minutes.
Molyneux flicked the ball into the path of Hatfield and the midfielder tumbled under a challenge from behind. Referee Nigel Miller took a moment before pointing to the spot.
After some clamour over who would take the penalty, the recalled Naismith put the ball down and sent Roche the wrong way to move onto nine goals for the campaign.
The Reds were rampant and immediately went in search of a third goal as Gray’s 25-yard drive was palmed around the post by the Shrimps goalkeeper. Hatfield then tried to get in on the act but scuffed his effort after getting in behind Robbie Threlfall.
Naismith, brimming with confidence, took on an ambitious effort from range with the half coming to a close with the ball whistling past the upright as Roche scrambled to make up the ground.
Morecambe’s first shot on goal came in stoppage time as Joe McGee took aim from the edge of the area but his shot hit fellow Shrimp Kevin Ellison and span behind with Marcus Bettinelli untroubled in the home goal.
Jim Bentley’s men came out in the second half looking a much better side than they were in the first and immediately posed a more dangerous attacking threat.
Ellison’s long punt forward sent the diminutive Jack Redshaw scampering away in behind Buxton but Bettinelli stuck out a leg to block the striker’s effort with his first save of the night.
If anyone was looking likely to score for the visitors, it was Redshaw. He slalomed between a couple of defenders and found space in the penalty area but could only put his shot into the side-netting from a tight angle.
Stanley were still hopeful of adding to their lead and almost did do when Molyneux had time and space on the left-hand side to pick out a cross. He drilled it in towards Murphy but the central midfielder couldn’t squeeze his effort in at the near post and take his personal tally for 2013/14 into double figures.
The third goal came from an unlikely source as Dean Winnard took advantage of some hesitant defending to nod home just his second of the season. Murphy was again involved, hitting the bar from a corner with Winnard quickest to react and give the scoreline a more comfortable look.
Unwilling to take their foot off the pedal, the Reds piled forward in search of more goals and found a fourth from Winnard’s partner in crime, Tom Aldred. The central defender ventured forward for a corner and powered home a header from Molyneux’s dangerous delivery to score his first goal for the club.
Amazingly, it was almost five as Molyneux hit the bar with a cross. The winger spotted Roche off his line and audaciously tried to catch the goalkeeper out but his effort bounced back into play off the woodwork.
Adam Buxton, one of many outstanding performers on the night, had a penalty appeal waved away as he went down under Ellison’s challenge in the area but referee Miller was unimpressed with the full-back’s claims.
The Shrimps would pull a goal back through a former Stanley man as Padraig Amond bundled the ball over the line from a corner to reduce the deficit to three goals. It was to be only a mere consolation with the damage already done by that point.
There was further punishment for the visitors as Molyneux made it five in second-half stoppage time. The man with the left foot that the fans refer to as ‘The Wand’ received the ball on the halfway line and drove towards the area before unleashing a powerful strike across Roche and into the corner to give Stanley their biggest ever win over their local rivals.
Stanley: Bettinelli; Buxton, Aldred, Winnard, Wilson (Hunt 71); Hatfield (Mingoia 79), Murphy (Windass 79), Joyce, Molyneux; Naismith; Gray.
Subs: Atkinson, Webber, Odejayi, Bowerman.