Rangers-bound pair Josh Windass and Matt Crooks have both bade an emotional farewell to Accrington Stanley following the club’s agonising League Two play-off defeat.
Midfielder Windass notched his 17th goal of the season when he opened the scoring from the penalty spot in Wednesday’s semi-final second leg clash against Wimbledon.
But with fellow playmaker Matt Crooks watching on from the sidelines, the night ended in misery after former Fakirk striker Lyle Taylor hit an extra-time aggregate winner.
The defeat brought Stanley’s campaign to an end and Windass and Crooks, who agreed pre-contacts with Rangers in January, posted goodbye messages on social media.
Windass, who joined the club in 2013 from non-league outfit Harrogate Railway Athletic, said: “Would like to say a final message to Accrington Stanley and everyone associated with the club, the players, the management, staff past and most of all present and the people behind the scenes.
“My time here has been amazing and set my career off and gave me first team experience when nobody else was willing to take the chance.
“I’ve played with some amazing and underrated players since I’ve been here and none more so than the current squad.
“I’ve won awards personally and improved my game vastly and that’s due to the staff and people here.
“I’m sorry we couldn’t top it off with a promotion and end it on the ultimate high.
“It’s maybe a shock to the public where we finished but not us lads, who had full belief from the start we could do it.
“I hope in the future you have another chance like this and go one step further.
“(Thanks) once again for the success and memories. Catch you soon.”
Crooks, who has been sidelined since March with an ankle knock, said: “Devastated that’s it all over, sickener watching on the side but what a bunch of lads to have played with this year.”