STAN­LEY PROMPT OLYMPIC DREAMS

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Sam All­sop

AC­CRING­TON STAN­LEY had the per­fect tune-up for their trip to the Olympic Sta­dium on Wed­nes­day by halt­ing in-form Portsmouth.

Stan­ley face West Ham United in the EFL Cup third round in mid­week and man­ager John Cole­man will be hop­ing this win gives his side the con­fi­dence to go and cause an up­set.

The only goal of the game came early in the sec­ond half when Paddy Lacey, who was mak­ing his first start of the sea­son, crashed home a won­der­ful strike from 25 yards out.

Pompey, who were on the back of four con­sec­u­tive vic­to­ries, strug­gled to cre­ate any clear-cut chances and the qual­ity of ser­vice into striker Michael Smith was poor all after­noon.

Gary Roberts had their best chance af­ter just three min­utes, a deep cross find­ing him at the back post where he neatly brought the ball down but slid it just wide of Aaron Chap­man’s up­right.

“It’s as lack­lus­tre a per­for­mance as we’ve had all sea­son. We never cre­ated good chances, we never got go­ing,” said Pompey man­ager Paul Cook.

“Give Ac­cring­ton credit. I can come here and say how bad we were, but we couldn’t break them down. We weren’t good enough.

“It’s easy to come out and slag off this, that and the other but we have been in foot­ball long enough to know that there are no easy games.

“We’ve just won four games on the bounce but we al­ways know what is around the cor­ner, and un­for­tu­nately that came.”

Stan­ley had a cou­ple of chances late on to ex­tend their lead, but Chris­tian Burgess cleared Jor­dan Clark’s goal-bound ef­fort af­ter the Stan­ley man had dum­mied his way into the box. And the dan­ger­ous Sean McConville curled an ef­fort wide of David Forde’s left-hand post with just min­utes left on the clock.

“I didn’t re­ally en­joy it, it wasn’t a good game,” said Ac­cring­ton man­ager John Cole­man. “Both teams can­celled each other out.

“We had some words at half-time and said we needed to be more of an at­tack­ing threat. In the sec­ond half we prob­a­bly just shaded it but it was a very bitty and scrappy game, with loads of fouls and nig­gles.

“It was go­ing to take a mo­ment of magic and thank­fully that mo­ment of magic came from us. We class our­selves for­tu­nate that Gary Roberts missed that chance early on.”

With Ply­mouth beat­ing Ex­eter in the Devon derby to give them­selves breath­ing space at the top of League Two, Pompey will be look­ing to bounce back and heap the pres­sure on when they host Bar­net next week.

Stan­ley have their trip to the Olympic Sta­dium to look for­ward to on Wed­nes­day and, with the Ham­mers los­ing again at West Brom yes­ter­day, it could be the per­fect time for a trip to Lon­don.

PIC­TURES: Pro Sports

STAR MAN SEAN MCCONVILLE Ac­cring­ton LACE UP: Paddy Lacey cel­e­brates his goal with the bench. Inset: Lacey con­verts

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