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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

14 November 2023 Venue Wham Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English FA Cup

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Match Reports

REPORT | Accrington Stanley 1 Rovers 2 AET

14 November 2023

Rovers came from behind with an extra time winner from Joe Ironside to win the replay at Accrington Stanley and book a place in the second round of the Emirates FA Cup.

After struggling for inroads and falling behind to a Joe Pritchard strike in the first half, Rovers were much improved after the break and drew level through Zain Westbrooke.

Despite near constant pressure, they could not find a winner before the end of 90 minutes, sending the game into extra time.

But Ironside struck to deservedly send Rovers through to the second round.

Grant McCann made four changes from the side that started against AFC Wimbledon four days earlier with captain Richard Wood, Joe Ironside, Kyle Hurst and Ben Close coming into the XI.

Rovers started the brighter with dangerous balls from Hurst and Close causing issues for Accrington in the early stages.

But it was the hosts who took the lead after seven minutes. Korede Adedoyin surged down the right before sending a low ball into the box which Pritchard met at the near post and turned past Louis Jones.

Tommy Leigh fired over the bar for Accrington after running into space but Rovers responded well and began to enjoy the better of the possession.

Tom Nixon raced onto a superb diagonal ball from Close only to see his low drive deflected wide for a corner.

Accrington consistently looked dangerous on the break and Pritchard stabbed a shot wide after latching onto a loose ball just inside the box while Jack Nolan curled a first-time effort narrowly over from 20 yards.

Rovers built play well but struggled to fashion much threat in front of goal.

Louis Jones produced a superb save at the other end as he thrust out a strong arm on the dive to push a fierce free kick from Nolan over the bar.

Owen Bailey met a Kyle Hurst cross with a diving header but was denied by Accrington keeper Jon McCracken as half time approached.

Rovers started the second half brightly with Zain Westbrooke seeing a low drive blocked before Harrison Biggins hooked a volley wide from the edge of the box.

Luke Molyneux was introduced off the bench, with Nixon switching to the left flank and both men quickly caused problems for the hosts.

Molyneux latched onto a pass from Faal and drilled the ball across goal, forcing Kelvin Mellor to hook off the line.

Rovers found the leveller on 67 minutes. Nixon surged into space on the left and drilled the ball in for Westbrooke to turn home from eight yards.

And they remained on the front foot with Nixon flashing the ball across the face of goal before Ironside fired over the bar. Molyneux cut inside off the right and hooked a low effort narrowly wide.

Rovers did have the ball in the back of the net on 76 minutes when Molyneux drilled in from ten yards but play was pulled back for a foul on goalkeeper McCracken.

Accrington rallied for the first time in the second period as full time approached with Jones making a smart save from substitute Josh Woods before Wood blocked well to deny Lewis Shipley.

But Rovers surged forward again and Molyneux struck the upright after receiving a pass from Faal.

George Broadbent smashed a shot from a Molyneux centre which Jay Rich-Baghuelou somehow blocked on the line.

Westbrooke curled a free kick narrowly over the bar in the last moment of threat before extra time.

Rovers remained on the front foot from the start of extra time and Broadbent was denied from close range by the legs of McCracken.

But by 101 minutes, Rovers were in front. James Maxwell slid Broadbent into the box and the midfielder squared for Ironside to poke home.

Molyneux curled wide of the far post after cutting inside as Rovers pushed for the cushion.

Chances in the second period of extra time were hard to come by with Rovers dealing with pressure from the hosts with relative comfort.

Rovers: Jones, Bailey, Wood, Senior, Nixon, Biggins (Broadbent 65), Westbrooke (Maxwell 91), Close, Hurst (Molyneux 60), Faal, Ironside. Subs not used: Lawlor, Degruchy, Kuleya, Roberts, Sotona, Goodman.

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