John Coleman says he will struggle to pick Colby Bishop up off the floor after the striker missed a late penalty in Accrington’s 0-0 draw at Blackpool.
The 24-year-old has been reliable from 12 yards this season and has scored 10 goals but saw his spot-kick saved by Chris Maxwell after 87 minutes.
It was a glancing blow to Stanley’s play-off ambitions and leaves them seven points off the pace, with Coleman making no bones about the psychological blow.
“You can say the keeper’s saved it, but it was a poor penalty,” said Coleman. “Colby will be sick and it’s going to take a lot to pick him up after that.
“If you reflect on the shift he’s put in in the last four games then you can’t knock him.
“If you take a penalty – I took a lot of them for Morecambe and I never, ever enjoyed them.
“Now the keeper can move and they never could when I took them.
“Now he wishes he just smashed it into the corner like he usually does. When you change your mind on a penalty it’s the kiss of death.
“For how hard we worked and how well we nullified them we deserved it. For a team who are unbeaten as long as they are I thought our lads were brilliant.
“We’re coming away thinking ‘how have we not got what we deserve?’ And after conceding five on Saturday, we’ve bounced back brilliantly.”
The game was a battle between Stanley shot stopper Toby Savin and Sullay Kaikai, with Savin producing a good stop to keep out Kaikai’s early effort.
After the break Kaikai was once again frustrated, this time by a spectacular save from the inspired teenage stopper Savin.
Blackpool’s Luke Garbutt went closest to breaking the deadlock as he fired against the post with 15 minutes to go.
The flashpoint came on 87 minutes when Sean McConville was felled with three minutes left before Bishop’s penalty was saved by Maxwell.
Blackpool boss Neil Critchley said: “I’m not disappointed with the performance. I thought there were two good teams on the pitch tonight.
“I thought we started really well in those first 20 minutes. I thought we were in the ascendency.
“We had a really good chance to score and I thought we were going to score in that period, I thought a goal was coming.
“It didn’t and then I felt they came into the game a little bit. It became a bit more of a type of game that they would have wanted.
“In the second half I thought we controlled the game without having any real chances.
“I don’t think Chris, other than the penalty save, had much to do. I thought we had the best opportunities, but we didn’t take one.”