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Accrington Stanley secured only their second victory of the League 1 season on Saturday with a vital 1-0 win away at fellow strugglers Southend United, which extended John Coleman’s side’s run unbeaten run to three matches.
That win at Southend will provide a huge boost of confidence from both Stanley’s squad of players and their supporters that the club can once again punch above their weight and secure another season of League 1 football this term, following Coleman’s side managing to stay up in their first season back in the third tier last campaign.
The win against Southend lifted Accrington up to 17th place in the table, with Stanley now having collected five points in their previous three matches, which is the same amount as they picked up in their first eight games of the campaign.
One of Accrington’s biggest strengths last term was their ability to win tight matches at crucial stages during the season, with nine of the club’s 14 league wins coming by just a single goal margin, and against Southend they once again demonstrated the potential to edge tight matches against potential rivals down in the division’s bottom half of the table.
Coleman would have been delighted to have seen his side record a first league clean sheet of the season ay Southend, and it will be vital that Accrington continue to improve in defence, with Stanley conceding just two goals in their last three games compared with shipping 15 in their opening eight matches.
Accrington will now need to demonstrate their new found defensive solidity on a consistent basis, considering the injury problems they have suffered in the final third so far this term, with the likes of Colby Bishop, Courtney Baker-Richardson and Offrande Zanzala all being out injured at times so far this term.
Stanley, though, will eventually have all of their forward options fully fit and if their defence can remain tight, their ability to win tight league matches will be further enhanced as they aim to repeat last season’s success and manage to once again stay in League 1.
Coleman’s side have certainly shown encouraging signs that they can do that in their last three games, and if they can continue with their current form there is every chance the club will be able to secure yet another campaign in the English third tier for next season.
However, they will need to ensure that they manage to keep their squad fully fit when their players who are out injured return to the first team set-up, if they can do that then there is a good chance they will finish outside the division’s bottom three.