John Doolan is optimistic there are better times to come for his young Stanley side after their 4-2 defeat against League Two champions Stockport.

Shaun Whalley and Jack Nolan struck either side of half time for the Reds but it wasn't enough to avoid defeat against the Hatters, who were presented with the trophy after the final whistle at Edgeley Park.

“It was a great response from the lads to come here and play against a top side with top players, to compete against them and to score two goals away from home is fantastic,” said Doolan.

“We’ve got to keep going, these are young lads and they’re learning from it so it’s a learning experience and I’m learning on the job too so fair play to them, they didn’t give up. We made some changes so I can’t ask for any more.

“We went behind so once again it wasn’t a great start from us but we responded and we scored a very good goal against the champions.

"You could say they were in party mode, but we were here to compete and to try to get the three points and the lads didn’t give up. That’s what I’m looking for.”