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In opposition: Accrington Stanley – form guide

16 August 2021

Accrington Stanley are up next for Rovers ...

Though many older fans may know the club more from a popular Milk Marketing Board advertisement back in 1989, there’s no doubt the Reds of Accrington Stanley Football Club have few asking “who are they” nowadays. With the club having joined the English Football League back in 2006, the Reds have been bouncing between League One and League Two during that time.

This will be just the eighth time Accrington Stanley and Rovers will meet in a league fixture. In the all-time head-to-heads between the two clubs, the Reds have won five and drawn two of the seven previous encounters. The first-ever meeting between the clubs was a 3-2 win for Accrington Stanley in a League Two fixture to open the 2016/17 slate.

For Stanley, the team has won four of its last 10 games dating back to last season with one of these wins against Rovers, however, they seem to have a knack for scoring and drawing under veteran manager John Coleman. The last time the Reds were shutout was a 0-0 draw away to Blackpool on 13 April 2021.

This season, Accrington Stanley has produced 2-1 score lines in all three competitions to date, including a 2-1 win away to Rotherham United in a first round Carabao Cup game. The Reds began the 2021/22 campaign with a 2-1 loss away to Wycombe Wanderers in their first league match since being relegated from the EFL Championship in May. Over the weekend, the Reds collected their first three points of the League One slate on the heels of a 2-1 win at home inside the Wham Stadium to Cambridge United.

The Reds retained a number of players from last season’s side that finished 11th in the final League One table. In all, the club maintains 91.9% of its scoring competence from a season ago, using the attacking expertise of forwards Dion Charles and Colby Bishop to bolster the front line.

Across all competitions last season, it was Charles leading the Reds with 19 goals – all coming against League One competition. In all, Stanley return 50 of the team’s 61 goals scored from a season ago, with each of the top five scorers back in the fold as well.

Already this season, midfielder Matt Butcher – who scored just two goals all of last season, has accounted for two of the team’s five goals scored on the campaign. Charles and Bishop have each bagged a goal, while newcomer Harry Pell – having signed for the club at the start of July is also on the scoresheet. Club captain Sean McConville, who is in his second stint at the Wham – having also played for the Reds from 2009-11, has two assists under his belt thus far on the year, finishing last season joint-top in assists for the team with six. Joe Pritchard matched McConville with six assists last season. Naturally, the duo of Pritchard and McConville provide most of the crosses into the attacking third for the Reds, as McConville has 18 crosses, followed closely by Pritchard with 17.


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