ACCRINGTON Stanley manager John Coleman has praised the impact Joe Pritchard has made on the side.

With Sean McConville sidelined with a long-term injury until recently and Jordan Clark’s move to Luton Town in August it left a big creative hole for the Reds.

But Coleman is delighted with how Pritchard has filled the void to become a key player. The 24-year-old midfielder scored twice against Manchester United Under 21s to secure Stanley’s place in the last 16 of the Papa John’s Trophy, and Coleman said: “Joe was always going to step into the shoes of Jordan Clark and when we lost Sean - they’ve been our most influential players in the last four or five years so with Sean being out we needed someone and I think he (Pritchard) has embraced that role really well.

“Thankfully we’ve got Sean back and the fitter he gets the more difference he will make, but we’ve got players now who can make a difference when thinks are tight.”

Stanley moved a step closer to Wembley thanks to Pritchard’s second half double which swung an open game in the Reds’ favour.

Coleman’s men took an early lead when Cameron Burgess met Matt Butcher’s corner and headed past goalkeeper Paul Woolston.

United’s youngsters equalised in the 38th minute through Facunda Pellistri and then went in front thanks to Anthony Elanga’s brilliant solo effort just after the hour.

Pritchard soon got Stanley back on levels terms with his first in the 67th minute, before volleying in the winner in the 85th after United failed to deal with McConville’s high ball into the box.

“We had to bring the big guns on to make a difference,” said Coleman, who made seven changes to the starting line-up and introduced Colby Bishop and Dion Charles at half-time.

“They are a good side - they play for Man United for a reason. They stretched us really well, they moved the ball well, but we were always going to be a danger when we put the ball in the box and thankfully we got more than them.

“It looked as though it could be 10-9 to either team. A good game to watch I suppose but we would have to tighten up a lot. But we don’t get teams that play like that against us - maybe with Crewe and MK Dons but we won’t get many more.”

The win stretched Stanley’s unbeaten run in all competitions to eight games - a sequence that has led to Coleman being nominated for the Sky Bet League One manager of the month award for November, with goalkeeper Toby Savin up for the player of the month prize.

In assessing the club’s recent firm, a Sky Bet statement said: “While other teams have had more games, Stanley are simply winning most of the ones they play, amassing 10 points from four fixtures on their return from a COVID-19 enforced lay-off.

“Coleman’s team didn’t concede a goal all month, either.”

Of Savin, Sky Bet added: “The 19-year-old Stanley youth product is mature beyond his years, vocal and the organiser of three central defenders in front of him.

“He didn’t concede a goal in four games and made crucial saves against Swindon and Lincoln.”

Coleman is up against Steve Evans (Gillingham), Kenny Jackett (Portsmouth) and Grant McCann (Hull City), while Savin’s rivals are Callum Camps (Fleetwood Town), Josh Emmanuel (Hull City) and John Marquis (Portsmouth).

The judging panel for the Sky Bet awards is made up of former Barnsley manager Danny Wilson, Sky Sports’ EFL expert Don Goodman; EFL Communications Director Mark Rowan and Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies.

The winners will be announced on Friday morning.