Stanley moved to within touching distance of qualifying for the knockout stages of the EFL Trophy – but John Coleman reserved praised for the impact of his substitutes against Blackpool.

There was delight for Coleman who saw striker Colby Bishop score for the first time in 2020 after a nightmare time with injuries, his header coming from a fine Joe Pritchard cross.

That was one of several fine deliveries from Pritchard, who operated in an unfamiliar right back role, while on the opposite flank Zehn Mohammed caught the eye on his first Stanley appearance since January 2019.

Bishop’s equaliser 11 minutes from time sent the game to penalties, with Stanley coming through 4-3, and in doing so, means they require just a point from the trip to Barrow to ensure qualification for the next round.

Stanley fell behind to a 10th minute Keshi Anderson strike, but got a grip of the game in the latter stages of the first half, before dominating the second, to come out all square.

“Joe Pritchard was a breath of fresh air, he ran time and time again, defended well, he’s not a right back but pushed on as a wing back as well and did really well,” Coleman said.

“He put four or five good crosses and thankfully Colby got on the end of one.

“It’s nice for Colby, I have to buy him a coffee now which I’m not too happy about, but I do like my strikers to score.

“Colby will probably be going home a bit disappointed because he missed a penalty, but that’s the way strikers are.”

Mohammed has had two separate loan spells at Southport, but the 22-year-old will now be aiming to push for a first ever EFL appearance for the Reds, with just one EFL Trophy appearance to his name before Tuesday night’s game.

“I thought Zehn when he came on was tremendous. It’s the first time he’s played for us in a while,” the Reds boss added.

“He hardly put a foot wrong, won his challenges, his positional play was good, couple of good blocks.

“I couldn’t fault him. I thought he was outstanding.”

Bishop missed from the spot, but Darius Charles, Ross Sykes and Joe Pritchard all found the back of the net. Toby Savin then denied Grant Ward, and after Tom Scully put the pressure on after netting Stanley’s fifth spot kick, Dan Kemp skied his effort to ensure a 4-3 victory for the Reds.

It was a difficult start to the night for Stanley however, falling behind to a 10th minute Keshi Anderson strike.

And Coleman said: “We didn’t start well, they dominated the game for the opening 20 minutes.

“They deservedly took the lead, although it was a bit of suicidal defending from us, sloppy.

“They were good value for the lead and I thought then after that we warmed into the game, pinned them back a bit and second half we were much better.

“We changed the system a couple of times, made a couple of subs, and no disrespect to the lads that went off, because I could have taken anybody off after 20 minutes.

“We got our way back into the game and didn’t give up many chances in the second half and our ‘keeper having too many saves to make.

“A good header by Colby and then the penalties are a lottery

“We’ve got to improve, we’ve got to pass the ball better. We’ve got players who can do that. We’ve got to be braver on the ball, work harder, and we did in the second half and got our rewards out of that.”