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Accrington Stanley match preview

1 October 2018

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Rovers hit the road once again when they travel to Lancashire to face Accrington Stanley on Tuesday night in Sky Bet League One.

Rovers will be looking to make it five wins on the spin when they make their trip across the Pennines following Saturday’s 3-2 victory away at Plymouth Argyle.

Accrington will also go in search of another win after their 1-0 away success against Walsall at the weekend thanks to Billy Kee’s first-half penalty.

Brief history of Accrington Stanley

Accrington play at the 5,057-capacity Wham Stadium, also known as the Crown Ground.

They reformed as Accrington Stanley in 1968 following the collapse of the original club, who were a founder member of the Football League, two years previously.

They returned to the EFL for the first time since their reform in 2006, storming to the Conference title with 91 points, and they reached the third tier for the first time in the club’s history last season following their League Two title win.

Who’s the gaffer?

John Coleman is the man in charge at the Wham Stadium, having been installed as manager there in September 2014 for his second stint at the helm. Coleman previously managed Stanley between 1999 and 2012, guiding them from the Northern Premier League Division One through to what was then the Conference Premier within four years.

He led them to the Conference title in 2006 as Stanley returned to the EFL for the first time since their reformation, and six years later, Coleman would be named as manager of Rochdale.

Spells in the dug-out at both Southport and Irish side Sligo Rovers followed before his Stanley return in September 2014, and across his two stints with the club, he has taken charge of 802 games, winning 333 of those, whilst drawing 203 and losing 266, leaving him with an overall win percentage of 41.5 per cent.

Ones to watch

Billy Kee

The former Torquay United favourite top scored in League Two with 25 goals last season, and he already has five to his name during this campaign, including Saturday’s winner at Walsall. Kee joined Stanley in 2015, having previously spending time on loan from Leicester City there during the 2009/10 season. After time with Torquay, Kee linked up with Burton Albion for another successful period in League Two with the Brewers. A brief stint with Scunthorpe United followed before his move to Accrington, and last season saw Kee named in the PFA Team of the Year for League Two following his impressive goal return which led Stanley to the league title.

Sean McConville

Like his manager Coleman, McConville is also in his second stint with Stanley, having re-joined the club in 2015. His first spell with Stanley came between 2009 and 2011, where he would score 14 goals in 76 league appearances, before dropping into non-league with Stockport County, before spells with Barrow, Stalybridge Celtic and Chester. His Stanley return came after his departure from Chester, and in his first season he helped them to the League Two play-off semi-final, before becoming a key figure in Stanley’s League Two title-winning campaign last term.

Séamus Conneely

The former Republic of Ireland youth international is another one of Stanley’s League Two title-winning heroes of last season, and also joined the club in 2015. Conneely began his career in Ireland with Galway United before moving to England with Sheffield United, however he failed to feature, and signed with Sligo Rovers in 2012, briefly linking up with current manager Coleman towards the end of his spell with the club. He followed Coleman to the Wham Stadium in 2015 and was another one of the key figures in Stanley’s progression to the League Two play-offs in 2016 after playing every single game of that season.

Who’s the ref?

Peter Wright will be the man in the middle when the two sides meet on Tuesday evening in Sky Bet League One. Wright is yet to take charge of a game involving either Rovers or Stanley, and this will be the eighth game he has taken control of this season. In his seven games so far, Wright has given out 21 yellow cards and brandished four red cards.

He will be joined by assistant referees Graeme Fyvie and Richard Bartlett, with Gary Hilton being named as the fourth official.

Last time out

Rovers’ last meeting with Accrington saw an entertaining 2-2 draw played out at the Keepmoat Stadium in League Two in February 2017. Shay McCartan put Stanley 1-0 up after just four minutes, before goals either side of the break from Tommy Rowe and John Marquis turned the game on its head. Jonny Edwards ensured that Accrington would have the last laugh however, with his goal nine minutes from time earning the visitors a point.

Rovers’ last, and only win from the four meetings between the two sides, came in their first ever game against each other. Paul Heffernan and Sean Thornton scored the decisive goals in a 2-0 win over Stanley at Belle Vue in the quarter-final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in 2006. It would be a win that would see Rovers on their way to progressing to the final, which they would win 3-2 after extra time against Bristol Rovers.

Rovers return to the Keepmoat Stadium to take on Fleetwood Town on Saturday October 6. Tickets are available from the Club Doncaster Box Office, on 01302 762576 or at

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