Stanley boss John Coleman was pleased to kick off 2024 with a 3-0 win against Salford - but insists there is still a "long way to go" in the the League Two season.

The Reds took the lead after 14 minutes when a corner was half cleared to Dan Martin at the far post. His shot was deflected to Shaun Whalley in the area who rifled the ball home.

It was two after 33 minutes when Luke Bolton fouled Joe Pritchard in the area and Jack Nolan blasted home the resulting penalty.

The third arrived after 41 minutes when Lewis Shipley got the ball on the left and played a cross to the far post, where Nolan’s initial effort was blocked, but the ball came back out to him for his eighth of the season.

Salford battled in the second half, with Matt Smith denied twice in quick succession by superb saves from Stanley goalkeeper Joe Walsh.

The win keeps the Reds just outside the play-Off places while Salford are just two spots above the relegation zone, without a win in 10 league games.

“I am delighted with the win," said Coleman. "It was a nice start to 2024 but there is a long way to go, a lot of games to play.

“We know we can play better. There are lots of different ways to win a football match, but today we had to dig in and do the ugly stuff in the second half and we did that quite well.

“The clean sheet was the most rewarding aspect, but I was delighted to get three in front.

“I didn’t feel like we had hit top gear, but the goals came at the right time and the saves came at the right time in the second half as they did get up a head of steam. We showed we can stand up and defend.

“They are young lads and we are proud of them, they are a joy to work with, they are honest and they look like they we can go places.”