“It Was Imperative We Didn’t Lose” – Accrington Stanley Reaction To Imps Draw

Credit Graham Burrell

Tuesday night’s game pitted a Lincoln team with a recent resolute defence versus the worst defence in the league in Stanley.

The first half came and went with very few chances of note. However, with Lincoln dominating the majority of the proceedings at the LNER, the possession and chances finally told as Diamond was fouled in the box and subsequently dispatched the resulting penalty kick. As the home side were heading towards a valuable three points, Stanley snatched a point on 85 minutes with a well-placed header from Rodgers. It came from the second phase of a corner kick. We delve into what the away side thought on this valuable point as this is their first point since Stanley won on October 1st against Morecambe writes Samuel Rowson.


John Coleman

The long-serving Accrington manager spoke to the club’s media team and BBC Radio Lancashire after the game and the emphasis of the interview was on stopping the rot of previous games. This was after Accrington had lost the last 5 games on the bounce in the league, and how they were happy with the hard-fought away point, Coleman went on to mention how well his team did to limit the chances Lincoln had throughout the game-

“I think you know for the players’ own morale we’ve worked really hard in the game, contained them really well in the first half and then started to come into in it the last 15-20mins in of the first half. I think we got ourselves on top and made better chances, didn’t really work Lincoln goalkeeper enough.”

On the passage of play which led to the Lincoln penalty, Coleman had this to say,

“2nd half pretty much the same. They weren’t looking like scoring, then all of a sudden a big overhead kick sends one of their players through; debatable whether its outside of the box or not, but the damage was done with the 2v1 situation. The game plan goes out the window.”

He then went on to speak about how his side tried to turn the tide on the game and how they started to create chances for themselves, ultimately ending in their equaliser late on.

“We’ve got to try and force the game and you’re susceptible to the counter and Toby’s done magnificently well to make a couple of good, really good saves. The lads have had enough about them to make a couple of promising attacks and from that get a really good goal from Harvey. You’ve seen the effort that the lads have put in tonight. Chalk and cheese from the second half of Saturday”. And I think you’ve seen a willingness and an eagerness tonight. Would have been nice to win, but it was imperative that we didn’t lose.”

Harvey Rodgers’s goal in Coleman’s viewpoint was “the hardest one of the three-headed chances from tonight”.

Credit Graham Burrell

Harvey Rodgers

Harvey Rogers, the goal scorer for Stanley also spoke to the club’s media team and BBC Radio Lancashire after the game, in which his second goal in a week sealed a vital away point for the Lancashire-based side.

“Oh, massive relief, I think we needed that; it wasn’t pretty, but we needed to grind out a result, and hopefully now that can be the turning point, and we can get on a run now; it was massive that we stopped the rot really and we are happy to do so.”

He went on to speak on the team’s defensive resilience throughout the game,

“Throwing bodies on the line and that tonight, it was a full performance from everyone, a full shift from everyone, we’ve got that fighting spirit back”.

As it transpires (due to the poor performance on the weekend, when Accrington lost to Fleetwood 3-0) Coleman had the squad in work on Sunday for a four-hour meeting to resolve important issues within how the team had been performing. He also stated that the team were threatened with no days off until they got a point, this could have been the extra incentive which spurred the away team on in the final moments to score the equaliser and secure that point and subsequent day off.

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Vernam Chance

The only real clear-cut chance in the first half came from a long-range shot from Vernam who was unlucky not to see the net ripple. Looking back at the highlights, the save from Savin was a much harder one than I had initially given him credit for. If that shot goes in it could have been a different outcome altogether. If anything that chance rallied Stanley which saw them into half time at 0-0.

Lincoln Penalty

The run and passage of play that led to the penalty being awarded was so simple. The ball is hooked forward by Poole, House plays Diamond in who is subsequently fouled inside the area. This type of move has worked in recent games, as we saw this against Wednesday and Barnsley. Little one-touch passes feeding through an attacking player who either scores or in this case wins a penalty. All of them have also involved House and Diamond.

Listening back to Colemans’ assessment of the build-up play was interesting, to describe it as the following- “they weren’t looking like scoring, then all of a sudden a big overhead kick sends one of their players through”. I’m not quite sure you could compare Poole’s hook forward to a big overhead kick. It was hardly Matt Rhead against Barrow.


Rogers Equaliser

As a few golden chances fell by the wayside in the second half, I had a niggling feeling that they might come back to bite us. In some games like Barnsley, those missed chances don’t hurt you, however Tuesday night was not one of those evenings. I even turned to my Dad before they scored saying something along those very lines of wishing that we could see the game out and not rue the missed chances. But sure enough in a second phase of a corner for Stanley up rose Rogers, who headed home to send the 45 away fans into utter delirium. Seemingly down and out a point grabbed at the death.