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Accrington Stanley 3 v 1 Colchester United
SkyBet League Two
Saturday, 5th August 2017 Kick-off 15:00
Accrington 3 U's 1 - Durham's Report
Monday, 7th Aug 2017 15:35 by Durham Exile

Accrington Stanley away - shades of deja vu all over again, another dismal performance and another dismal result!


Very few players earned any credit from this fiasco and Accrington fully deserved their victory. But let us start from the beginning. A warm summer's day in Accrington, a pristine, well-watered pitch and the faithful present in number, 329 to be exact. Everything was well set for an away win but Colchester’s players had not read the script.

JM lined up his charges thus:

Walker

Eastman Kent James

Jackson Lapslie Murray Slater Wright

Johnstone Mandron

Subs:

Gilmartin Vincent-Young O’Sullivan Issa Kpekawa Szmodics Kinsella

Surprisingly JM elected to leave Szmodics out of the starting XI and played Wright as a defensive left sided wing back.

The strong wind seemed to aid Accrington whilst causing our defence considerable problems particularly in the first half.

The excellent support from the faithful numerically speaking was not matched by the noise which was strangely subdued throughout.

The Super U’s could have been a goal to the good in the very first minute but Drey Wright’s attempted finish went horribly wide with the goal gaping. Then on 6 minutes a smart move and through ball from Johnstone to Jackson saw the U’s newcomer galloping away down the right wing, he elected to shoot and Chapman smothered the effort with his legs.

The U’s paid for this profligacy when the home side scored on 9 minutes with their first effort on goal – Billy Kee turned smartly, played the ball to McConville and he played a superb ball to Jackson who slipped the ball between the onrushing Walker’s legs.

Craig Slater then missed a great chance to equalise on 15 minutes when he shot wide of the goal. Slater then attempted to clear the ball and it was intercepted on the edge of the penalty area by the by-line. The ball was pulled back to Billy Kee with the defence all at sea and he placed the ball in the corner of the net through a number of bodies. 2-0 to the home team and the faithful were restless.

Mikael Mandron looks very similar to Kurtis Guthrie but although tall and mobile he lacks strength in the challenge and was often dispossessed by the excellent Beckles and Richards-Everton for Accrington.

Ryan Jackson has a very good and accurate long throw and he used this to good effect on four occasions in the first half. Each time the ball was not dealt with by their defence but we couldn’t turn the ball home.

Our first injury of the season occurred on 38 minutes when Tom Eastman fell awkwardly on his ankle and after attempting to carry out was forced off and was replaced by Cole Kpekawa.

In truth, it was very similar to our last visit to Accrington when we were also 2-0 down at half time.
A small element of the faithful booed the players off.

The halftime cheeseburger and tea (£6) was devoured in the warm sunshine. The burger was actually better than last season and the tea was wet and warm.

The U’s made two substitutions with Szmodics and Kinsella introduced at half time for Johnstone and Slater respectively.

It was Sammy Szmodics who was also guilty of missing a sitter he was through on goal in front of the faithful and elected to side foot but his shot went wide of the goal when he should have reduced the arrears. In fact, the first ten minutes of the second half saw far more attacking intent from the U’s.

Lewis Kinsella looked stronger down the left flank and this allowed Drey Wright to play further forward whilst Mandron and Szmodics combined well.

Concern about the defence particularly Frankie Kent who didn’t seem fully fit to me and his link up with Cameron James often left the defence exposed and although the loss of Eastman was disappointing Kpekawa slotted it very well.

Sean Murray (just as last season) worked tirelessly and constructively in midfield but I felt that Lapslie was struggling.

On 64 minutes, the game was over as a contest. Beckles was allowed the freedom of the U’s penalty area and he stroked the ball home to make it 3-0. Strangely the U’s kept battling and Accrington seemed nervous despite their advantage.

The hard working Mandron turned and struck a shot that deflected off Chapman which allowed a grateful Szmodics to score from two yards out at the far post on 81 minutes. So, 3-1 and the faithful sensed a glimmer of hope from a nervous looking Stanley defence.

A long-range effort from Kinsella went high over the goal and that was it. Cue more boos from an element of the faithful. Now JM commented that his family members were abused verbally, but I didn’t witness such behaviour.

The frustration was obvious, the U’s did not perform and were soundly beaten by a poor Accrington side. Last season they did the double over us and we will have to play much better to avoid such ignominy this year.

So, who played well on Saturday. The truth is not many. I thought Sean Murray was our MOTM and Mandron worked hard and deserved a goal. Szmodics was a handful in the second half but spurned a great opportunity before he scored the consolation goal.

Our two best players Guthrie and Dickenson remain side-lined and we look lightweight up front.

Now Billy Kee managed another goal against the U’s to match his smart finish las time out. He is stocky and very difficult to shake off the ball. He does the simple things very well and has proven he knows where the goal is. He must be worth signing on this season.

In the meantime, Mandron needs to work in the gym on his physique in order to counter the uncompromising defenders that he will come up against in League Two. He has potential and will score goals but he can only do so by “putting it about a bit” if you forgive the expression.

Overall a bad performance and result. Accrington play Yeovil away next and could be top next weekend. That would be shocking but it shows how wide open this league really is.

A vast improvement in form is required in order to put on a good show and then to start with a league victory against Stevenage on the Saturday.

Fortunately, we only have to play Accrington twice because we seem incapable of winning against them.

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Photo: Action Images



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