Accrington boss John Coleman was impressed by his players’ work-rate as they won 2-1 at Oxford to keep alive their slim hopes of reaching the League One play-offs.

Well-taken goals by Paul Smyth on 16 minutes and Michael Nottingham with the winner 20 minutes from time gave Stanley a deserved victory.

They should also have had a goal when Dion Charles knocked the ball over the line at a corner, but the assistant referee did not award it.

But Coleman had sympathy with the official.

He said: “In that situation the linesman can’t guess. If he hasn’t seen it clearly, he can’t give it.

“Yes, I’ve been told it did go over the line, but if he’s not sure he can’t award it, so I support his decision.

“It was another of those times when I thought that everything that can go against us is going against us.

“But I’m just really pleased with the effort the players put in and how hard they worked.

“I know I’ve been saying all season that you can’t fault the players for their effort, but in this game we passed it better than them, and we made some great chances.

“We know we’ve got a good side here, we’ve shown that. And today we had a steely determination about us.

“Colby Bishop led from the front, he has been tremendous the last two games, and goalkeeper Toby Savin led from the back as well with some very good saves.

“This is not an easy place to come, Matty Taylor’s often been a big thorn in our side and Brandon Barker was outstanding for them, I thought.

“So we’ve done well to keep them at bay.

“And then our front two caused them problems all day.

“Paul Smyth’s pace is a wonderful thing and Colby Bishop gave them a hard time.”