STANLEY ON RIGHT TRACK TO GO UP
ACCRINGTON Stanley’s promotion push is well and truly on according to boss John Coleman, who urged his high-flying side to kick on from their victory at home to Bristol Rovers.
Sean McConville scored the only goal of the game in the second half, when his leftwing cross went straight in after a period of Accrington pressure.
And Coleman believes Stanley have a great platform from which to launch a promotion challenge with a busy month ahead.
“I’m absolutely delighted,” he said.“I think that’s our best win of the season. They are a very good side.
“I think we were a bit tentative in the first 20 minutes but that was the occasion. When it settled down we played some decent stuff. After all Sean McConville’s chances, he scored with a fluke but sometimes you’ve got to take them.
“We’ve given ourselves a really good platform, and now we have to kick on. But after overcoming Bristol Rovers, who I think are one of the best sides in the league, I don’t think we’ll fear anybody.”
Accrington adapted to the tricky pitch fastest, and Shay McCartan headed just wide from Piero Mingoia’s hanging cross on 11 minutes.
Rory Gaffney went closer for Rovers on 21 minutes, his deep cross nearly sneaking under the bar but Rory Etheridge tipped over at full stretch. From the resultant Liam Lawrence corner, Gaffney headed wide at the near post but Rovers were unable to keep the pressure up.
Adam Buxton found space outside the box for the hosts on 40 minutes, but Steve Mildenhall parried his powerful right-footed strike clear and Mingoia could not head in the rebound. Stanley continued to dominate proceedings after the break though, with Buxton, McConville and Mingoia all unsuccessfully trying their luck from distance.
McConville perhaps should have broken the deadlock on 62 minutes though from Buxton’s free-kick but, unmarked, his header from point-blank range was instinctively saved one-handed by Mildenhall.
Rovers found chances hard to come by in contrast, but Lawrence wasted a great opportunity on 68 minutes when he shot straight at Etheridge after Matty Taylor’s through ball.
And just a minute later he was to rue that miss even more, when McConville cut in off the left wing and saw his cross sneak into the bottom corner.
Matt Crooks could have sealed victory but somehow blazed over in front of goal, as Accrington held on to the frustration of Rovers’ boss Darrell Clarke.
“My forward-thinking players have been outstanding this season but they just didn’t turn up if I’m honest,” he said.
“I thought we deserved to lose the game, albeit there was not a lot in it.There wasn’t a lot in the game, and their bench was very complimentary, but it’s scant consolation when you come away with nothing. We’ll dust ourselves down, we’ll take our medicine and then go again on the training pitch.”
HIGH JUMP: Bristol Rovers’ wall block a free-kick STAR MAN SHAY