Football / Match reports

Match report: Accrington Stanley 2-0 Cambridge United

Accrington’s last defeat at home came in December against Plymouth.

Accrington Stanley kept their faint Sky Bet League Two play-off hopes alive with a 2-0 win at home to Cambridge United.

The East Lancashire team have gone the whole of March undefeated, including wins against Barnet and Morecambe as well as a demolition of Leyton Orient.

Goals from Sean McConville and Shay McCartan closed the gap on Exeter, who occupy the final position, to just seven points.

John Coleman’s side made a lightning start at the Wham Stadium and should have led in the 10th minute, when McConville’s whipped ball into the penalty area was headed wide by Omar Beckles.

Just nine minutes later Stanley did take the lead after a scramble in the six-yard box led to McConville lifting the ball into the roof of the net.

The home side were rampant and should have doubled their lead but McConville headed straight at Cambridge goalkeeper Will Norris from close range.

The game burst back into life in the 39th minute when Luke Berry almost levelled for the visitors, before a touchline spat between the two managers threatened to boil over.

Cambridge dominated the early proceedings of the second half, but were stunned in the 54th minute by a rapid Stanley counter attack which was rounded off with a cool finish from McCartan, after he was played through by the lively Billy Kee.

Shaun Derry brought on Gerry McDonagh and Conor Newton in a bid to try and change his side’s fortunes, but the visitors continued to find goalscoring opportunities difficult to come by.

In the dying embers Accrington should have had a third when man-of-the-match McConville flashed a ball across the face of goal but it just evaded several outstretched boots – however the win was already in the bag as Stanley made it 11 games unbeaten in the league.

Next up is a tough away trip to second-placed Plymouth, who recently came away from league-leaders Doncaster with a narrow 1-0 victory and an invaluable three points.

Accrington: Chapman, Rodgers, Beckles, Hughes, Donacien, Clark, Husin, Pearson, McConville, McCartan and Kee. Subs not used: Parish, Gornell, Boco, Hewitt, Shaw, Ogle and Edwards.

Cambridge: Norris, Halliday, Roberts, Legge, Carroll, Taylor (Corr, 57), O’Neill, Maris (Newton, 61), Berry, Dunk and Williamson (McDonagh, 60) Subs not used: Gregory and Lewis.

Referee: John Busby (Oxfordshire)

Attendance: 1,333 (188)

 

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