ACCRINGTON Stanley skipper Luke Joyce has hailed the form of Shay McCartan after the former Burnley forward netted his third goal in as many games.

McCartan, who joined Stanley after being released by the Clarets in the summer of 2013, scored with a deflected long-range effort in Friday’s 2-1 home win over Morecambe to continue his recent fine form.


The 20-year-old earned his place in the side after a hat-trick in a friendly in Ireland against Sligo Rovers last month before he found the net twice against Hartlepool.

Despite that the Northern Ireland under 21 international dropped back to the bench for the next game at Newport, but again made a sufficient impact in South Wales to return to the team against Morecambe.

“Shay has had a good couple of games now,” Joyce said.

“He came on at Newport and made a difference for us and it’s nice to see him doing well because he’s a great lad and he works hard. He can add a lot of quality to the team.”

Stanley climbed as high as ninth in the League Two table on Friday night, although they dropped back to 12th following the rest of the division’s weekend fixtures.

John Coleman’s side sit only two points away from the play-offs, though, and Joyce believes the Reds can now afford to look up rather than down as they aim for a place in the top seven.

“If we keep winning games and keep putting in performances like that, then there’s no reason why not,” the captain said.

“We were disappointed we didn’t hold on for the three points last week (at Newport) and if that had been the case we would have been right near the play-offs now.”

Stanley though have received the bad news that loan goalkeeper Jesse Joronen will need an operation on an injury sustained making a save on Friday.

Joronen tweeted: “Not as bad as thought. Knee cap dislocated but it needs an op so looking at four months.”

The Finland international has returned to parent club Fulham and Coleman must now decide whether to make another loan addition.

Luke Simpson came on in Joronen’s place against Morecambe and, although the 20-year-old appeared to be caught out of position for Morecambe’s goal, he could now be in contention to start in Stanley’s FA Cup first round tie at Notts County on Saturday.

“Losing Jesse was a blow,” Joyce told the Stanley website.

“It looked a nasty one, he was visibly upset, I was next to him when he did it and you could tell in his face, he did look in pain. We were disappointed to lose him.

“Luke has come on and not played for quite a while, and obviously I think he was a bit disappointed with the goal.

“But after that it was a great reaction from him, some great kicking and he showed great character to put in a good performance.”