Ian Craney scored a double as Accrington Stanley closed in on the play-off spots with their seventh home win on the trot as Northampton were beaten 3-1.

The Reds took the lead in the 16th minute when Terry Gornell's shot was blocked by the Cobblers defence but Craney was first to pounce and slot the ball home for his fifth goal for the Reds.

A free-kick from Northampton's Josh Walker was then pushed out by Stanley goalkeeper Alex Cisak while home defender Phil Edwards cleared Liam Davis' effort off the line.

However it was Stanley who extended their lead in the 27th minute when Sean McConville's strike was blocked and it came out to Jimmy Ryan who fired goalwards and the ball deflected off Craney and wrong-footed keeper Chris Dunn.

It was three on 35 minutes when Ryan's cross from the right was flicked on by Andy Procter and was met by McConville who volleyed home his 12th goal of the season.

Craney almost grabbed a hat-trick seven minutes after the restart but defender Davis cleared his far post effort off the line.

And striker Gornell wasn't far off adding a fourth after bringing down a Craney chip into the area and firing just wide.

However, a Michael Jacobs 20-yard free kick into the top corner of the net got one back for Northampton in the 67th minute.

But it was the Reds who continued to create the better chances, as striker Gornell was twice denied by keeper Dunn from close range while the Cobblers stopper superbly pushed away Craney's fierce strike.

It was another comfortable day for eighth placed Stanley who have lost just once in 12 games and, if they win their game in hand against Southend at home on Tuesday, they will move into the top seven.

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Topics:
#Sean McConville
#Josh Walker
#Phil Edwards
#Alex
#Jimmy Ryan
#Michael Jacobs
#League Two
#Terry Gornell
#Ian Craney
#Liam Davis
#Chris Dunn
#Accrington Stanley
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