Assistance is missing as Stanley and United search for olden goals
Football League in focus
overcrowding. “It was a bit too open for me,” Coleman said, but straight after the restart Jordan Clark could have put Accrington ahead from Sean McGonville’s free-kick, then Kee on the right touchline caught Forde away from his line with a curling shot that came out off the bar and McGonville could not convert. The new scene was set and Jevani Brown, Cambridge’s dynamo, flashed a shot wide at the other end.
When Ibehre failed to beat Chapman from four yards, the whistle for a foul in the six-yard area spared his blushes but, with a different outcome, it could have been another one for the video assistant referee. There was no argument over the save from Forde as Kayden Jackson crossed to Kee steaming and screaming to the near post. Jackson has seven league goals himself to Kee’s 10 and they share lightning speed and understanding.
Accrington are one of the wonders of the Football League. The town had a club in the original dozen of 1888. Stanley, in Stanley Street, were founded in 1891, entered the League in 1921 and enjoyed their only two years in the third tier in 1958-60 before bankruptcy in 1962 between the first-class retirement of those two immortal north-western Stanleys, Mortensen and Matthews. Reformed in 1968, they worked their way back to the League in 2006, guided by Coleman, who clocked up 587 games from 1999 to 2012 and returned in 2014 to the club that is clearly in his blood. Saturday’s was his 760th match for them.
He took them to 5th in 2011 and 4th in 2016, yet still last season, when a late spurt took them into play-off running again, they had the League’s lowest average crowds at 1,699, four fewer than Morecambe. They took 173 to Cambridge for an afternoon that from Last Post to last kick showed all that is good and charming about the Football League which nonetheless, in keeping with the game’s expanding greed, is enabling the rich to get richer by playing Championship games on Sunday while Leagues One and Two are in danger of being forgotten.
Accrington Stanley might have gone top of League Two had they been given either of the two penalties spotted by manager John Coleman