As­sis­tance is miss­ing as Stan­ley and United search for olden goals

Foot­ball League in fo­cus

The Guardian - Sport - - Football World Cup Play-off -

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

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