Top half is Stanley midfielder's target

Lancashire Telegraph: Luke Joyce Luke Joyce

ACCRINGTON Stanley skipper Luke Joyce is targeting a place in the top half after scoring in the 2-1 win at Cheltenham Town.

Joyce netted his first goal since March 2012 to help the Reds move away from the relegation zone and up to 18th in the League Two table.

Stanley still sit only three points clear of the bottom two sides in Torquay and Northampton, whose basement battle was postponed at the weekend.

But the Reds are also just four points off the top half ahead of Saturday’s home game against Bury.

Stanley have won only three home matches this season and the fixture will see Joyce’s predecessor as Accrington captain, Andy Procter, return to the Store First Stadium.

“The win at Cheltenham has been a big boost with Torquay and Northampton not playing,” Joyce said.

“It puts a bit of daylight between us and them, and shifts the pressure over to them.

“We’ve got to look at Bury now next week at home “We’ll looking to get back on the winning road at home now because I don’t think we’ve won enough games at home.

“If we can go on a run now and pick up points consistently, there’s no reason why we can’t get up into the top half and see where we go from there.

“We’ve got a squad who are capable of doing it.

“We have a good team and a great bench so there’s no reason why we can’t.”

Joyce has netted only six goals in more than 200 appearances for Stanley and the holding midfielder wants to improve on that ratio.

His goal at Cheltenham came from a rare header, after arriving late into the box to nod in a George Bowerman cross.

“I was made up with the goal,” Joyce said.

“I just thought I’d make a run into the box and George got a great cross in.

“The run was well timed and it was there for my head, I threw my head at it and it went into the back of the net.

“You need everyone chipping in with goals.

“Murph (Peter Murphy) has done great, he’s got seven goals, Kal (Naismith) has got seven so it’s not just the strikers’ job.

“It’s midfielders getting into the box, defenders scoring from set pieces.

“It’s my aim to start chipping in with a few more goals.”

And Joyce was pleased with his first goal in more than a year, “I’ve been disappointed with that stat that I hadn’t scored since 2012.

“That was a long time ago so hopefully I can add a few more and I’ll be looking to do that this season.”

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