Monday, 1 October 2012

Well, what a start!

8 Games into the 2012/13 season and we're showing real signs of promise and potential for the upcoming months. We currently sit happy in 4th place, I position that I could have only dreamed about in preseason. Not only are we getting results but we've had some brilliant performances, the Chesterfield game comes to mind, a game which we dominated and played some wonderful football at times. We deserved to get something out of the game and would argue that we easily deserved all 3 points. 

Another thing that has impressed me is our sharpness and the ability to get the ball in the back of the net. Padraig Amond is showing signs that he could score a lot this season, something we didn't see too much of last season. He's getting into the right position at the right time and long may that continue.
Despite receiving criticism from some fans, Ian Dunbavin has made some good saves and had some good performances so far (not taking into account his recent disaster against AFC Wimbledon!). Dunbavin is a key player in my opinion for 2 reasons; 1) Our only backup keeper is 17 year old Andrew Dawber, an injury to Dunbavin would mean playing a young keeper with no real first team experience. 2) Being 32, Dunbavin is one of the older players in the squad and probably the most experienced. With the amount of young players in our squad Bavs' experience really does help.  

Stanley have two key home fixtures coming up next, Rotherham on tuesday then Rochdale on Saturday. Personally I believe that if we can gather 3 or more points from this week then we should be looking at very successful season. 

Also I've found a video of Dunbavin earlier in his career that you may find amusing, this video really doesn't surprise me... Dunbavin Disaster!

Onwards and upwards, but never forget our initial intentions, to stay up. 


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The new season

With the first competitive game in less than a 2 weeks, it's time to write a preview for the 2012/13 season!

Summer Business

Paul Cook has been very busy during the past month, signing young and exciting prospects to add to the current team. One of these players is 20 year-old Tom Eckersley, who penned a one year deal after a successful trial. Tom came through the ranks at Bolton Wanderers but was not offered a new deal. He is a centre back and his addition will make the competition in defence even more competitive.

Tom is one many young lads given a chance to impress on a 1 year deal. Here is the full squad list (so far!)

2. Peter Murphy
3. Michael Liddle - From Sunderland 
4. Luke Joyce
5. Toto Nsiala - Released by Everton
6. Dean Winnard
7. Craig Lindfield
8. Charlie Barnett
9. Karl Sheppard - 6 month loan from Reading
10. Will Hatfield
11. Aidan Chippendale - Released by Huddersfield 
12. George Miller - Released by Preston
13. Leam Richardson
14. Luke Clark - Released by Preston
15. Bohan Dixon - Non league
16. Lewis Hatch - Released by Liverpool
17. James Gray - Released by Darlington 
18. Tom Eckersley - Released by Bolton
19. Marcus Carver - Youth
20. Ryan Hopper - Youth 
21. Adam Stockdale - Youth
22. Andrew Dawber -Youth

25. Ian Dunbavin

Youth > Experience 

This squad is pretty much made up of players who have struggled to break through into the team at their previous club. With the majority of them being from much bigger clubs than us, they could well made an impact at league 2 level

Obviously there's a risk and it will take time for the lads to gel together and play to their full potential, but there's a couple who have already caught my eye as 'ones to watch'.


With probably the smallest wage budget in league 2, it's hard to have high expectations of the team. With the progression of pre-season though I really think we could spring a few surprises. Mid-table is more likely outcome though, which I'd be happy with.

As for every season, avoiding a relegation battle would be a decent enough for me.

Paul Cook

I have every faith that he can deliver the goods at Accrington. This years pre-season has been the most organised and efficient yet. Which can only be a good thing.

Key Players: 

Luke Joyce - At 25, he's the 2nd oldest player in the squad behind keeper Ian Dunbavin. His experience in the middle will be needed. Luke is a fantastic player and will be required to hold the young players together.

Artistote Nsiala - After his impressive loan spell last season we have managed to capture to Congo international of a permanent deal. I really think Toto has the ability to become a top player. He's far from a finished article but hopefully with Dean Winnard along side him he will continue to improve.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

The End.

The 2011/12 season have now reached its end. Maybe not as exciting or successful as the previous but just as eventful. High and lows, up and downs, and everything in between. No one could of predicted our season since it started right back in July with a trip to Radcliffe Borough. Many arrivals and departures have happened over this time, even manger John Coleman and assistant Jimmy Bell decided to leave the club in January. Andrew Procter, who played over 400 league games for Accrington, also saw a move elsewhere to nearby club Preston North End. The majority of Stanley fans would have taken a respectable 14th position in league 2 before the season, and I'm pleased to have finished far away from the drop zone. If we would have had a 20 goal a season striker and some luck, we could have been much closer to the playoffs. It has only been the transitional period between Coleman's departure that has really stopped us pushing near the top, from what I can remember; we were incredibly close to the top 7 and even broke into those places after the 4-3 win over Gills.

Next Season

I'm majorly excited for next season! Paul Cook seems to be taking charge very early and we already have some good players signed up. There's no doubt we will have the one of, if not the smallest budget in league 2 but I see no reason why we can't be fighting it out with the richer teams.

Roll on July.


Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Highlights of the Season!

As our season draws to a near end, this post will contain my personal highlights of the season!

1) Best game?

The game I find most rememberable is our home game against Gillingham, Coleman's departure left Richardson in charge as caretaker manager. A wonderful and thrilling game saw us lead comfortably 4-1 until a late Gill's comeback brought it back to 4-3. Luckily we managed to hold out and get the win, which lifted us into the play-offs for the first time this season.

2) Best Goal?

A tough one, even though I can't remember us scoring many screamers this season! My goal goes to Bryan Hughes for his chip shot from just outside the box against Morecambe (away, Boxing day). Wonderful skill and technique to beat the keeper, always great to beat Morecambe!

3) Favourite away game?

Has to be the 2-0 win against AFC Wimbledon, first time I've seen us win away from home! Wasn't the most interesting of games but 2 early goals meant that we took 3 points up north!

4) Worst game?

Since I was away for the 4-0 loss v Plymouth and didn't see the 5-1 disaster away at Bristol, my worst game this season has to be either the 4-1 FA cup defeat against Notts County or the miserable home game against Crewe Alexandra. Both lacked passion and very incredibly poor.

5) Player of the Season?

Peter Murphy in my opinion. Played in every position this season, and played very well! Always puts a shift in and has been excellent at centre-back in recent weeks. Great to hear he has signed a 2 year deal earlier today, can only get better!

6) From what I expected this season, did it match my expectations?

I thought this season would see us scrapping at the wrong end of the table with the departures of Ryan, Cisak, Jacobson etc. But again we easily defy the odds and finish in a very comfortable mid table position. A cup run would have been nice, but league is the priority.

7) This season out of 10?


Monday, 9 April 2012

Stanley send Hereford home unhappy.

Two second half goals by Grant and Amond clinched the points for Stanley, who recorded their first back to back home wins of the Cook era. A first which saw a impressive Stanley side dominate and had several chances to put the game to bed before the half way stage. These chances included hitting the woodwork and Amond having a 1 on 1 chance with their keeper. The second half saw stanley open the scoring within 90 seconds, Grant curling the ball past Hereford keeper Cornell to snatch his 2nd goal since the start of his loan from Scunthorpe. Ten minutes later Hereford won a free-kick around 20 yards out. Will Evans' shot took a huge deflection which wrong-footed Ian Dunbavin to put Hereford right back in the game. With the time ticking and both teams looking tired it looked as though the game would finish a draw until a late surge of pressure from the home side. Toto Nisala's cross found Padraig Amond who headed home with 5 minutes to go.

8 - Dunbavin - Didn't have too much to do but did well when called upon. A harsh deflection for Hereford's goal meant that he could do little to stop it.
8 - McIntyre - A good solid performance in which he supported the left wing and covered well at the back.
9 - Murphy - My MOM. Controlled the back 4 and made several key tackles and headers.
9- Toto (Nisala) - Strong performance and did incredibly well against Hereford's 'beefed' striker.
8 - Lindfield - Played well again. Another player who did what was asked and more.
8- Liddle and Joyce - Did very good in a midfield role. Played the ball about well and also closed the gaps at the back.
8- Barnett and Devitt - Used the wings and caused Hereford many problems, both looked up for it today.
9- Grant- Nice finish for the first goal and made mince meat of the Bulls defence.
9- Amond - A top striker, could of scored an hat-trick on another day.

Hereford team rating - 5/10

Looked a poor side in all honesty. Started quite well but never looked like scoring after the first 25 minutes. Their goal from the free-kick took a deflection giving the keeper no chance. Didn't deserve to go home with anything but so nearly did. After today's result they now find themselves bottom of the table and 3 points adrift from safety. I doubt Stanley will be making the trip to Edgar Street next season unless today's performance was just a blip, but their league position doesn't suggest that.

                        Accrington Stanley             Hereford United
Goals                         2                                              1
Possession               64%                                       36%
Shots                        19                                             7
Shots on Target      9                                             2
Corners                     6                                             11
Fouls                         6                                               6

Monday, 19 March 2012

Player Ratings for Northampton Game

Nicholls - 6 Not too much to do but did struggle with crosses, to blame their goal on him would be harsh. Hes only young and needs time.

Mclntyre - 7 Had a tough time dealing with a very quick winger but did quite well. Massive improvement since the beginning of the season.

Nisala - Stayed solid and did his job effectively.

Kiernan - 7 Good debut for the player. Similar to Nisala in they both did a good shift in the centre of defence

Coid - 8 Really good performance from Coid. You can see his experience and has certainly made RB his own.

Joyce and Barnett - 7   Both did well in defencive midfield roles. Both players are filling in the gap left by Procter's departure.

Grant-7 Did have many opportunity's to impress on his return. Hopefully he can score a few goals before he returns to scunthorpe

Murphy - 7 Played okay. Linked up well with Devitt in the first half and caused Northampton a number of problems.

Devitt - 9 My MOM. Kept going the whole game and put 110% effort in. Scored a great goal and even though he may make the odd wrong decision, he always looks up for it. Top quality player.

Amond - 8 Despite his size and playing a lone striker role, he plays it magnificently. His effort and determination is second to none and is a really good player.

Rating system.
4= Doesn't deserve to wear the shirt.
6=Not bad
8=Good Performance
9=Stand out player
10= Better than Messi

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Murdoch leaves

Sean Murdoch has officially left Accrington Stanley by mutual consent. The Scottish goalkeeper struggled to gain the no.1 spot over Dunbavin and with the arrival of young keeper lee Nicholls (on loan from Wigan) he had drifted to 3rd choice keeper. Due to this it isn't surprising that Murdoch wanted to leave and is probably a good outcome for both sides.

My opinion of Murdoch wasn't great to be honest. He was a decent shot stopper but his positioning at times was poor. Due to his low amount of appearances I think that most people only remember his good points and not his bad. Dunbavin has been known to make mistakes, he's not perfect, but he looks more settled and took his oppertunity. Murdoch has had very few chances to impress but both managers (Coleman and Cook) have looked past him. If they don't think he's good enough then thats that.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Stanley just can't cook up a win..

Paul Cooks wait for a win drags on as Stanley drew 2-2 against Southend. The day could have been much worse for Stanley though, with Padraig Amond scoring at the death to give Accrington another well-earned point.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Thursday Round-up

2 draws in the last two games has ended Paul Cook's losing streak and also put stanley an edge closer away from relegation this season.

3/3/2012 - Port Vale (H)

Saturday's game against cash strapped Port Vale was a scrappy affair with the stanley team going 1-0 down in the 28th minute to a mistake by goalkeeper nicholls, on loan from wigan athletic. On the stroke of half time Coid's long range effort fell to Amond who manged to smash the ball over the line to end Paul Cooks long wait without a goal. The second half proved to be similar to the first, with Port Vale scoring again in the 56th minute only to be cancelled out by a strike from substitute Will Hatfield who had only been on the pitch 3 minutes to end Accrington's 4 game losing run.

I thought the Port Vale game showed good spirit by the team and the point felt like a win to me. The only problem I thought was the team struggled to dominate in midfield. Maybe the loss of Proccy is showing? His height and Passion certainly influenced and helped the other players and I think we're missing a battler in centre midfield to get the ball down and break up the opposition. I also think that Charlie Barnett is more effective on the wings than in a more defencive midfield role, at one moment in the game Barnett nearly created a goal on the left flank with Amond header flicked over the bar by the Vale keeper.

6/3/2012 - Bradford City (A)

Will Hatfield saved Stanley again as a substitute scoring in the 1st minute of added time to give Accrington another point against Bradford. A first half entailed a balanced and evenly sided game with both sides testing the oppositions keeper, but neither did prevail. Unfortunately for Stanley 5 minutes in to the second half the yorkshire side took the lead with Nahki Wells scoring his 7th league goal of the season, despite this Accrington kept battling hard and in the 91st minute luck turned their way. Luke Joyce's long corner found Hatfield at the far post and volleyed it pass the line.


Two battling performances this week would have settled the team and pleased Paul and assistant Leam Richardson especially with the amount of injures to key players such as Winnard, Hessey, Hughes and Craney. The playoff situation is still mathematically possible but I think that's very unlikely now. looking at the recent performances a mid-table finish awaits us, which I'll happily take now.

Paul Cooks red and white army!


Friday, 24 February 2012

Good luck Paul Cook!

Coleman's departure shocked everyone. I don't think any Accrington fan could picture the dugout without John screaming at the linesman and arguing with the 4th official. It became his club. He was the God of the Crown Ground, the king. So when he decided to leave for Rochdale a month ago the first question was who on earth could replace him? A man who improved on last years league position for 12 consecutive years, 3 promotions in the process and brought us back to the football league in 2006. Massive shoes to fill.

After Richardson's brief interim manager role, Paul Cook was named manager just over a week ago. Paul Cook was a key part to the Stanley team that won promotion in 2005/06. He was very much John and Jimmy's 3rd man. More recent, he managed Sligo Rovers in Ireland and brought them much success, both in the league and cup. Even earning them a Europa League spot on a tight budget, he was Stanley's no.1 target and very early became the bookies favourite.

Since his appointment Stanley have lost both games (0-4 Plymouth, 2-0 Crewe) and our next game is Swindon away, who have won their last 7 games on the bounce. Cook couldn't have asked for a worse start. Hopefully we can pull of a shock on Saturday and push for that play-off position! I'm sure Cook will be the right man but needs time to adjust and bring in his players. Time will only tell....


Saturday, 4 February 2012


Todays game against Crewe Alexandra has been postponed due to a frozen pitch.

I was really looking forward to this one! Two good teams and it would have been a very close match! I was also planning on bringing my mate to his first accrington game so it has messed my day up a bit!

On a more general note I would like to write about how league 1/2 clubs are struggling to keep the games on. Obviously in such a low economic time every business will take an hit, even football clubs. The problem that the lower clubs have got is they cannot afford undersoil heating or whatever stuff that keep the pitch warm. Some clubs struggle to even afford plain covers to go over the pitch! It is extremely rare to see a premiership postponement now and even most championship sides have good enough pitches to fight against the club. No football fan likes to see games being called off and I think that the FA should put some funding into the lower league clubs for that purpose. Its starting to feel like the prem and championship are storming on ahead while the lower leagues are just left to fend for themselves.

On another note, I WILL start writing a match preview & post match reaction again on all the stanley games.


Sunday, 15 January 2012

Game to forget..

Awful performance. The players just didn't turn up yesterday. We could have played all night and not scored. Stanley were shocking.

The pitch didn't help. It was completely iced up at one side of the pitch meaning we struggled to play our passing game. The referee was a joke, took him 40 minutes to award us a foul and looked incredibly biased to the away side. But the main reason we lost was that we didn't play well. Barnet were better in every department. They won every second ball, controlled the game and put their chances away. The less said about this game the better, hopefully we can pick something up against Aldershot.

Team Rating - 5/10

Stay positive.


Friday, 13 January 2012

Lets keep this run going....

Barnet are Accrington's opponents tomorrow afternoon with Coleman hoping to keep our current 10 games unbeaten run going. I can remember going to Barnet in September last year, a boring 0-0 game with neither side creating much. All i can really remember from that game was Craney's shot that went just wide, that was Stanley's only shot all game.

Barnet were without their top striker McLeod that day. Who is the top scorer in league 2 this season. Barnet find themselves in 20th place this season, very much the same as last season for them Spending most of the year glaring at the relegation zone.

I'm certainly not afraid of Barnet. To be honest, I'm quietly confident about what the result will be. As long as we can get the ball down as pass it around we should take the points. The players must have confidence running through their blood at the moment. With Stockley and Long now back at there parent club. Maybe its time for Bender and Guthrie to step up. I have seem much of Bender, apart from his head injury in the JPT. Guthrie really impressed me in Pre-season. I also thought he played well against Northampton. It was a struggle for him earlier in the season as we weren't creating chances either.

Let's hope of a great performance and another 3 points!


Saturday, 7 January 2012

E I E I E I O....

You all know the words. After a wonderful 2-0 victory over Burton (away from home as well!), I think this chant will be heard in the Clayton End very soon! We are now 9th in the table and only 2 points away from the playoff positions. On 39 points from 25 games, we are really looking strong and picking up the points, Big game on Saturday, Barnet at home. Like to think we'll get 3 points there. I thought we were certain for relegation this season, after losing Mcconville, Ryan, Cisak, Edwards, Jacobson and Gornell.

3 Words.

Coleman. Is. God.

Bring on Saturday!


Friday, 6 January 2012

Burton Tonight.

Unfortunately i will not be attending tonight's game so I won't be doing a detailed match report. First away game I've missed in a while :(. Hopefully we can get something from Burton tonight to carry on our unbeaten run. I can't see us winning though, With Kevin Long now returning to Burnley I think the team will need a couple of games to adapt. My Prediction 1-1 With Lindfield scoring!

Craney is back in contention while Joyce comes back into the squad after his 3 match ban. Question is, does he come back into the side? I think we've looked strong in midfield and after Barnett's superb performance on Monday, I don't think it would be fair to replace him. That leaves Procter and Hughes, Procter's captain so that leaves Hughes. After the way he's been playing, I don't think you can drop him either! I still think Joyce will play though, with Barnett coming off the bench late on.

My Predicted XI.

Murphy Winnard (New Everton defender) Mcclyntre
Procter Joyce Hughes
Evans Lindfield Amond

Subs: Barnett, Murdoch, Hessey/Bender, Stockley, Coid.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Super Stanley murder Macclesfield.

Good title, eh? ;)

A wonderful 4-0 win for the boys on Monday sees us now 9 games unbeaten and flying up the league 2 table.Goals from Linfield, Long (even though Amond got the final touch), Evans and Procter. A superb way to start 2012. I didn't think we deserved to win 4 nil though, Macclesfield dominated in the first half but couldn't create an oppertunity, where Stanley created little oppertunity's and scored them. Making us lead 2-0 at the break. The second half saw us get on top and play some 'proper' football, getting the ball on the ground and passing it round perfectly. Just like last season....

I thought everyone played brilliant on Monday but Charlie Barnett was my stand-out player. He gave us much more energy in midfield and offered much more on the wings.


Dunbavin 8
Kevin Mclntyre 7
Kevin Long 8
Sean Hessey 7
(Subbed for Peter Murphy 7)
Dean Winnard 8
Andrew Procter 8
Bryan Hughes 7
(Subbed for Danny Coid.)
Charlie Barnett 9
Micah Evans 9
Craig Lindfield 8
Amond 8