ACCRINGTON Stanley manager John Coleman laid bare the frustrations of strengthening his squad after his side crashed out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle, writes SUZANNE GELDARD.

Notable absentees such as captain Peter Cavanagh and winger Rory Prendergast through injury, and Lee McEvilly through suspension, forced manager John Coleman into a shake-up that included Robbie Williams taking up his third defensive position of the season when he started at left back.

But after losing 2-0 at home to Leigh RMI in the FA Cup fourth qualifying round, Coleman admitted that making new signings so that others could play in their rightful positions was proving difficult.

"It's easy saying there are going to be changes," the Stanley boss said. "I've been trying to bring a winger in for a month and a left back for two months. It's not easy.

"I've just got to keep getting out and watching games and hopefully I can pick somebody up."

Despite being disappointed with his side's defending, Coleman praised Conference rivals Leigh for a resolute display.

"The best team won, there's no getting away from that," he said.

"Possession counts for nothing, Hereford proved that against us, unless you're threatening, and we really only looked like scoring in the last five minutes.

"It was bad defending by us for the first goal. We let the lad get in round the back and I, personally, think the keeper can come for it but he's had a free header from inside the six-yard box.

"When you've worked hard all week on defending it's a bit of a setback.

"The second wasn't a penalty. Danny (Alcock) has got a full hand on the ball. Their management have seen it, they agreed, Gary Williams admitted it wasn't a penalty. The only person who thought it was a penalty was the referee and he's the one who counts.

"There's no point hiding behind that - that's not the reason why we lost.

"They made it difficult for us and that was the final nail in the coffin because you're always capable of nicking a goal, but then we had to get two.

"When things are going bad for you things like that happen."

"It's disappointing but they played well - give them their due.

"You have to hold your hand up and I wish them every success in the next round."

maybe I'm placing a bit too much faith on some players who aren't good enough.

"I always get upset when we get knocked out of any cup and it takes a week or so to get over it.

"We've got a big game tomorrow and we've got to try to lift our spirits for that.

"The worrying thing is that we're a little bit devoid of creative ideas going forward. It hasn't helped with Lee McEvilly and Rory Prendergast being out, but we've got players who are more than capable and we need to start getting back to what we do well, which is close teams down, make chances and score goals.

"That's two games without a goal and without really overly threatening.

"I thought defended really well, the lad who was bandaged got his head on everything.

"Sometimes you have to accept that you've been beaten on the day by a better team.

"I wouldn't say they were a better side than us and I think they've come here with nothing to lose and they deserved to win.

"The alternative to keeping spirits raised is to throw the towel in and I've never been one to do that but


"We've got to be positive and try to get back to basics and play football the right way, defending properly.

"Again a team hasn't had to do a lot to score against us and they could have had a couple more.

"That leads to us geting stretched and teams will counter on it."