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Match Previews

Match Preview - Accrington Stanley (A)

17 August 2023

Match Previews

Match Preview - Accrington Stanley (A)

17 August 2023

Town will be hoping for a quick response to Tuesday’s defeat at Tranmere when they head to the North-West to face Accrington Stanley on Saturday in what will be the first clash between the two sides since February 2003.

The 3-0 reversal at Prenton Park was a disappointment after a positive opening to the season in both league and cup and Simon Weaver will be hoping for a strong reaction.

Ticket Information

Our opponents

Stanley were relegated from League One at the end of the 2022/23 campaign, finishing 23rd in the table but only two points from safety. The relegation brought to an end a run of five seasons in the third tier.

They come into the game on four points, with a positive opening day win at home to Newport followed up by defeat to Gillingham and Tuesday’s 1-1 home draw against Barrow.

The man in charge

John Coleman is coming up on almost a decade in charge at the club, his second spell in charge after initially guiding the club to three promotions and into the Football League in 2006. In total, he has been in charge for over 1,000 games.

Coleman had a long player career spanning almost 20 years across the non-league scene on the North-West before embarking on a managerial career that first saw him take the reigns at Stanley in 1999 with a spell at Rochdale and in Irish football sandwiching his return to the club.

Ones to watch

Despite relegation the club opted against an overhaul of the squad with only Kelvin Mellor and Jack McIntrye arriving on a permanent basis, joined by the due of Brad Hills and Lewis Shipley from Norwich, along with former Town loanee Josh Andrews.

Hills in particular has started well this season, partnered by Australian Jay-Rich Baghuelou in defence.

Likely to line-up in a 4-2-3-1 formation the midfield will be anchored by Liam Coyle and Seamus Conneely with youngsters Tommy Leigh and Jack Nolan providing the creative output going forward.

Previous Meetings

The two clubs met four times in the 2002/03 Northern Premier League, eventually won by Accrington who finished the season on 100 points.

Stanley did the double over Town in the league with a 2-0 win at Wetherby Road and 3-2 in Accrington, with McNaughton and Colin Hunter on the scoresheet for Town.

Town did get the better of Accrington when the sides were drawn together in the 3rd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup though, winning a replay 3-2 after a 0-0 draw away from home.


The current club was formed in 1968 after the demise of the original Accrington Stanley in 1966. The original club, founded in 1891, played in the Football League between 1921 and 1962 before resigning their position due to financial difficulties.

Beginning in the Lancashire Combination they became founder members of the North-West Counties League in 1982 before promotion at the turn of the century saw them enter the Northern Premier League before quickly progressing to the Conference.

After gaining promotion to the Conference in 2003, the club kicked on and earned promotion back to the Football League at the end of the 2005/06 season.

Team news

Long-term absentee Stephen Dooley is unavailable for Simon Weaver but they will hope to have Rod McDonald available with the defender having missed the past two games due to injury and will make a late check on Sam Folarin, who was withdrawn in midweek with a hamstring injury.

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