ACCRINGTON Stanley boss James Beattie hailed the performance of hat-trick hero Lee Molyneux but warned his side that they will need at least 50 points to stay in League Two this season.

Molyneux’s 41-minute treble was enough for the Reds to see off league leaders Chesterfield 3-1 at the Crown Ground despite the first half dismissal of Stanley’s Peter Murphy.

And Beattie was quick to praise Molyneux – who is on loan from Crewe Alexandra having left the Reds for the Railwaymen in the summer.

“Lee Molyneux scored three great goals – he has come back here on loan and he seems to be enjoying his football.

“His hat-trick epitomises the spirit and performance of everyone – we all dug in.”

Beattie’s boys are now six points clear of the bottom two in a congested lower League Two table with only three points separating the Reds from the top half.

Beattie added: “I think we will need more than 50 points to stay up this season as the league is so tight but this is a stepping stone.”

Former Stanley boss Paul Cook enjoyed a wretched return to the Store First Stadium and was sent to the stands at half time along with Reds assistant boss Paul Stephenson.

“We were very poor against Accrington but you can’t take anything away from Accrington. They deserve the plaudits,” said Cook, who’s assistant Leam Richardson is another ex-Reds boss.