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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

22 February 2020 Venue Wham Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

No old pals act for Hughes

Defender ready to face former team-mates in clash with table-topping Rotherham

20 February 2020

Mark Hughes is looking forward to meeting up with a few former team-mates – but friendship will be put to one side for 90 minutes on Saturday as Rotherham visit the Wham Stadium.

Defender Hughes played alongside Matt Crooks, Dan Barlaser and Michael Ihiekwe at Stanley while Rotherham 12-goal frontman Michael Smith was on loan with the Reds in 2012, scoring a hat-trick against Gillingham.

The Millers currently top the League One table and have lost once, to Peterborough, in their last 12 league games.

“They came here and served the club well, they are all superb lads and good characters,” said Hughes.

“They are all doing unbelievably well for the club they are at now, we will say hello, it will be a battle out there, and then maybe we will have a drink with them after.

“Accrington were good for them. If you look at Ikky, he wasn’t playing at Rotherham, came here played regularly and he has not looked back since he returned, he has been captain and is probably one of the first names on the team sheet. He is a good player and good character.

“Crooksy is a top player who can score goals, I still play golf with Dan Barlaser and he is doing well, on loan from Newcastle, while Michael Smith is a big threat.

“They have good players all over the park and that’s why they are top of the league but hopefully we can put on a show and make it four league wins on the bounce.”

The 33-year-old admitted, while he was happy with the 4-3 late win over Lincoln last time out, it was tinged with some disappointment.

“Everyone was happy in the changing rooms after and I wasn’t so happy because, at the end of the day, we had conceded three goals.

“We scored some really good goals but we conceded a couple from set-pieces and that’s disappointing.

“We know Rotherham are a real threat from set-pieces, they have scored quite a few that way, and they are aggressive so we will have to be on our mettle.

“We have to defend better and, because they are top of the league, we know they will punish any mistakes.

“We have got to find their weaknesses and exploit them, be solid and make ourselves difficult to beat.”

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Match Reports

Stanley 1-2 Rotherham United

The Reds suffer late heartbreak as The Millers score a 91st minute winner

22 February 2020

Accrington Stanley suffered late heartbreak as league leaders Rotherham United scored a 91st minute winner to secure a 2-1 victory at the Wham Stadium.

Substitute Freddie Ladapo gave the visitors the lead from close range just after the hour mark, with the striker having only been on the field for three minutes.

However, Jordan Clark immediately drew Stanley level, as he hit an effort into the far corner to grab his third goal in the last four games.

The game’s winning goal game in the first of six added minutes, as another substitute Ben Wiles headed an effort into the far corner to give Paul Warne’s side all three points.

Stanley came into the game in fine form, with last week’s late win over Lincoln City securing a third consecutive victory.

However, the visitors had also only lost once in their last 12 league games.

The starting line-up for the league leaders boasted a number of former Reds, with Michael Ihiekwe, Dan Barlaser, Matt Crooks and Michael Smith all startingstarts on their return.

Paul Warne’s side clinched the reverse fixture with a 1-0 win, and they started the game the better of the two sides with Barlaser being heavily involved.

Although it was Stanley’s Dion Charles who had the best chance of the half as he knocked the ball past Daniel Iversen, but Matthew Olosunde then did brilliantly to block the striker’s shot at goal.

The Northern Irishman was again involved on 36 minutes, but he could only fire his effort over the target following good work from Clark.

Full-back Aji Alese then almost opened the scoring a minute later as he rocketed an effort at goal, but Iversen did well to make the save.

The visitors started the second half dangerously with Smith and Chiedozie Ogbene sending crosses into the box, but both ended up coming to nothing.

Ladapo was introduced just after the hour mark and the striker only needed three minutes to make an impact, as the ball bounced around the box and he was there to rifle it into the back of the net from close range.

However, Stanley responded in the best possible way with Clark grabbing his third goal in four games just a minute later from inside the penalty area.

Coleman’s men almost completed the turnaround two minutes later, but Joe Pritchard could only drag his shot wide of the target.

With six minutes of time added at the end of the second half, Wiles secured all three points with a glancing header into the far corner.

Crooks almost grabbed a third goal deep in added time, but his effort came crashing back off the woodwork.

Next up for the Reds is an away trip to face Karl Robinson’s Oxford United on Tuesday 25th February, 7.45pm kick-off.

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