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Match Reports

REPORT: Stanley 1 Cambridge United 2

Reds drop to 23rd place in penultimate game of season

29 April 2023

Match Reports

REPORT: Stanley 1 Cambridge United 2

Reds drop to 23rd place in penultimate game of season

29 April 2023

Accrington Stanley suffered a 2-1 loss to relegation rivals Cambridge United in their final home game of the 2022/23 season.

With both ends of the ground packed with Stanley fans, Aaron Pressley scored a late penalty for the Reds but they dropped to 23rd place in League One, three points from safety with one game to play.

Mathematically they can still survive but it will take all results going their way and a huge goal swing, due to their goal difference, in the final week of the campaign.

John Coleman selected the same starting XI which overcame Bolton 1-0 on Tuesday night with Liam Coyle, after a three-game ban, on the bench.

It was an even opening with the first real action a downward header from 13-goal Sam Smith which was straight into the arms of Lukas Jensen.

Stanley’s best early chance came on 12 minutes with Sean McConville’s strike well held by Dimitar Mitov.

Harvey Knibbs had a close range effort kept out by Jensen on 19 minutes but Stanley suffered a blow when they lost captain Seamus Conneely to injury on 20 minutes with Coyle replacing him.

Aaron Pressley got on the end of a McConville corner on 27 minutes but Mitov jumped high to collect his header while James Brophy blasted over for Cambridge.

Cambridge opened the scoring on 42 minutes when Jack Lankester’s corner was headed down and fell to Harrison Dunk who fired home on the turn with Stanley appealing for a foul with Ethan Hamilton who was down in the area.

Coleman brought on Nathan Butler-Oyedeji and Rosaire Longelo at the break as they looked to get the all-important equaliser.

Cambridge had an early opportunity in the second half with Jensen keeping out Lankester while Doug Tharme cleared a Brophy effort off the line while Lankester rifled over the follow-up.

Brophy’s ball in was well kept out by Jensen while Connor McGrandles fierce strike was blocked in the area.

It was two on 65 minutes when a Hamilton strike rebounded to Cambridge and Knibbs broke quickly, sending substitute George Thomas free and he raced into the area and slid the ball past Jensen.

The Burnley loan keeper superbly kept out Thomas to deny Cambridge a third.

Stanley got one back to set up a grandstand finish on 83 minutes when substitute Shaun Whalley was fouled by Morrison in the area and Pressley fired home the penalty, via the post, for his seventh goal since signing in January.

The Reds appealed for another spot kick in added time when Michael Nottingham went down in the area but referee Rebecca Welch waved away the appeals.

There was a massive goalmouth scramble in the sixth minute of added time with the ball pinging around the Cambridge area but no one could force it home.

Stanley: Jensen, Clark, Rodgers, Tharme, Nottingham, McConville (Longelo), Conneely (Coyle), Martin (Whalley), Hamilton, Pressley, Lowe (Butler-Oyedeji)

Subs: Savin, Sangare, Nolan


Attendance: 4484 (652 from Cambridge)

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