Accrington Stanley boss James Beattie praised substitute Kal Naismith for his 80th-minute strike which secured a 1-0 win at struggling Torquay United.

Naismith, brought on 11 minutes earlier as a replacement for fellow striker George Bowerman, drifted past defenders before sending an unstoppable left-foot shot curling past diving Torquay goalkeeper Michael Poke from 18 yards.

It was the Glaswegian's eighth league goal this term, and Beattie said: "Kal has come on at the end with fresh legs, having had a week off or so, and he has shown a touch of class to break the deadlock."

Poke had made a brilliant first-half stop to deny Bowerman while, at the other end, Stanley full back Michael Liddle made two second-half clearances off the line to keep out Joss Labadie headers from Kevin Nicholson corners.

Beattie added: "Even if the game had ended 0-0 I would still have had a huge amount of praise for the boys, they really dug in and we've had some great away performances.

"When you come to an away ground, you try and get off to a good start and get a foothold in the game, and you feel yourself grow into the game and that's what we did. The lads have got another clean sheet which they are very happy with.

"I knew we were playing against the wind in the first half, which was strong, I thought if we could get in at half-time 0-0 then we would have a very good chance of picking something up in the second half.

"We had a bit of a chat about that at half-time, and said that if we get any chances in the second half we need to be more clinical and try to convert one and keep it tight at the back.

"Kal has come on and shown a little bit of class and beaten the Torquay goalkeeper, who got man of the match."

Torquay remain deep in trouble and saw Northampton Town, the only side below them, emerge victorious over Hartlepool United.

Gulls boss Chris Hargreaves said: "It's a tough job this, isn't it? But no-one said it was going to be easy and I am not going to feel sorry for myself because I took the job on knowing how difficult it would be.

"And it's a game we shouldn't have lost. It's an ugly 0-0 if anything but we weren't tight enough in one instance in 90 minutes and we let someone have too much time on the ball and, if you do that at this level, you get punished.

"So what do we do? We work hard and try and beat Burton on Tuesday.

"You can't rely on other teams and I need 11 players at some point to pick themselves and I have just said that to the squad, not just the 11 that played. Otherwise you are spinning plates or juggling balls. You need the 11 to go and do it at some point.

"Go and do it and I can pick you week-in, week-out.

"At the moment I am trying to get a winning team, which is very difficult.

"I am disappointed with the game, there were some positives but it was another fierce lesson for the lads."