ACCRINGTON Stanley boss John Coleman hailed his side's Checkatrade Trophy display against Blackpool as outstanding, despite seeing his side fall to a last-gasp 2-1 defeat.

The result means the Reds slip behind Gary Bowyer's men into second spot in the Northern Group B table ahead of their final fixture against Wigan Athletic.

The Latics and Middlesbrough Under-21s, who Stanley beat in their opener, have a game in hand with all four sides still in with a shout of securing a top two finish and a place in the knockout stages.

Stanley fell behind to a Danny Philliskirk strike on Tuesday but quickly levelled through Erico Sousa's first goal for the Reds.

And it looked like honours would finish even until Max Clayton scored a late winner for the visitors.

But Coleman hailed his side's display, which showed 10 changes from the side which beat Forest Green Rovers in League Two last weekend with only goalkeeper Aaron Chapman retaining his place.

"I thought we were outstanding," said the Reds chief.

"For periods, 20-25 minutes, we were as good as any team of mine has played in the last five years.

"But we didn't take our chances., We had glorious chances and squandered them and you always run the risk that if you don't put a team to bed you give them a chance.

"We didn't defend the first cross and let it come in which is poor from us.

"It is a bad goal from our point of view and it is hard to take when you have bossed the game for big periods."

Mallik Wilks came the closest to adding to Stanley's goal tally with the frontman hitting the post when through on goal.

And Coleman believes the Leeds loanee, who has scored three times since joining the Reds in August, must remain positive as he seeks to find the net on a more regular basis.

Coleman added: "Mallik is in the mode at the moment where every time he gets a one on one I think it is going through his mind that he has missed his last one.

"That is four one on ones he has ,missed now. As a striker I know exactly how he feels and nobody will be hurting more than him but you have to just keep going and don't be scared top get the the one on ones and seize the opportunity. If you keep plugging away they'll go in and your luck will turn.

"But you have got to be hitting the target, he hit the post with one and you have to at least work the keeper.,

"We have had plenty of sights at their goal and just didn't take them."

Reds defender Tom Dallison picked up a groin strain towards the end of the tie which means he is a doubt for this weekend's league clash with Luton Town at the Wham Stadium. But Coleman was able to call upon Ben Richards-Everton for the first time since the defender dislocated a shoulder in the draw at Notts County.

"It was good to get him through 90 minutes, that will do him the world of good," the Reds boss said of the fit-again 25-year-old.