Stan­ley just one win away from glory

Accrington Observer - - FRONT PAGE - CHRIS GEE chris.gee@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @Ac­cring­tonNews

THE cham­pagne is on ice for a huge pro­mo­tion party should in-form Ac­cring­ton Stan­ley se­cure their eighth vic­tory in a row.

One more win at the Wham Sta­dium on Satur­day would se­cure an his­toric spot in League One next sea­son, where the Reds would play at their high­est level since the club’s ref­or­ma­tion 50 years ago.

Even should they fall short this week­end against Ex­eter City, Stan­ley would still have five more games to find the re­quired points, start­ing at home to Yeovil Town next Tues­day night.

While Stan­ley fans are pinch­ing them­selves af­ter their as­ton­ish­ing win­ning run con­tin­ued at Colch­ester last week­end, many will not al­low them­selves to feel the job is quite done - es­pe­cially af­ter the club fell out of the au­to­matic pro­mo­tion spots on the fi­nal game of the sea­son two years ago.

Stan­ley sup­port­ers’ club chair­man Peter Leatham said he is ‘cau­tious but op­ti­mistic’ about the team’s prospects.

He said: “No­body is count­ing their chick­ens yet. But the dif­fer­ence is we only had 90 min­utes to con­firm pro­mo­tion in 2016 and if we trip up against Ex­eter there are still sev­eral games to go.

“It’s been great to see so many new faces and fans from the past re­turn­ing to the ground in recent weeks and I hope they stick around in the fu­ture.”

One per­son who will be hop­ing be­yond hope that the Reds tri­umph is ex­goal­keeper Wil­lie McInnes, 87, a Scot who played for Stan­ley from 1953 un­til shortly be­fore their res­ig­na­tion from the Foot­ball League in 1962.

Wil­lie, who hails from Les­ma­hagow, south of Glas­gow, moved with his wife El­iz­a­beth to Hun­coat and set­tled there, run­ning the vil­lage chip shop on Sta­tion Road for many years af­ter he re­tired from foot­ball.

He said: “I’m thrilled to see the side at the top of the league. Ev­ery week I fol­low the score and have been amazed at how well they’re do­ing.

“Stan­ley are a spe­cial club. I was wel­comed here by ev­ery­body in the town when I moved down. It was a black day for me when the team with­drew from the league as I had so many mem­o­ries, in­clud­ing play­ing with many other Scot­tish play­ers for Stan­ley.

“I had a feel­ing they would do well this sea­son so I had a lit­tle bet on them get­ting pro­moted. I got 25-1 so they bet­ter not let me down.”

The club has been fac­ing huge de­mand for tick­ets and fans are urged to buy in ad­vance for Satur­day’s crunch game.

For­mer Ac­cring­ton Stan­ley goal­keeper Wil­lie McInnes will be cheer­ing on the Reds as they close in on pro­mo­tion

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