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Match Reports

REPORT: Stanley 3-0 Rochdale

Mancini, Nolan and Sloane all score in comfortable 3-0 quarter-final victory over Rochdale

11 April 2023

Match Reports

REPORT: Stanley 3-0 Rochdale

Mancini, Nolan and Sloane all score in comfortable 3-0 quarter-final victory over Rochdale

11 April 2023

First half goals from Anthony Mancini and Jack Nolan and an 83rd-minute Bailey Sloane strike saw Accrington Stanley Under-23s to a 3-0 Lancashire FA Senior Cup win over Rochdale at the Wham Stadium, with a home semi-final tie against Barrow awaiting Ged Brannan and Andy Gray's side.

The Reds, who clinched this season's Central League title two weeks ago, made four changes to that team, as midfielders Rosaire Longelo, Dan Martin and Mancini and defender Baba Fernandes all came into the XI.

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Seb Quirk had the first real chance of the game, but he could only fire over Jake Eastwood's crossbar from close range, with the goalkeeper then denying a 21st-minute acrobatic effort at goal from striker Matt Lowe.

However, Stanley opened the scoring just three minutes later when the ball dropped nicely at the feet of Mancini, who following an exchange of passes between Martin and Quirk, drove towards goal and slotted his shot into the bottom corner; the Frenchman's second Under-23s goal since joining the club in February.

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The hosts had a great chance to add to their advantage on 31 minutes, but Nolan could only drag his long-range effort across an empty goal and wide of the target, after Eastwood had been caught in no man's land.

Stanley continued to pile on the pressure and were then awarded a penalty eight minutes before the half-time break when Lowe was wrestled to the ground by Dale's George Nevett, with Nolan calmly converting from 12 yards to double his side's lead; the 21-year-old's 19th Under-23s goal contribution of the season.

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Rochdale began to ask questions of their own and midfielder Oscar Kelly forced Liam Isherwood into a good save on 42 minutes, after the Northern Ireland youth international had broke through the defensive line.

Brannan and Gray then introduced Korede Adedoyin for the second half and the striker was denied on a number of occasions by Eastwood, the best coming as he dived to his right to keep out a fierce driven shot.

As the weather conditions in East Lancashire worsened, Isherwood did very well to deal with a Kelly free-kick at the second attempt, after the 16-year-old had curled his left-footed effort over the three-man wall.

The Reds sealed victory seven minutes from time when the ball dropped favourably for Sloane inside the penalty area and the left-back rifled home a half-volley with his weak foot; following good work by Nolan.

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Next up for Brannan and Gray's Under-23s side is a home last four tie against Barrow, with Stanley aiming to complete an impressive league and cup double; Burnley host Blackburn Rovers in the other semi-final.

Accrington Stanley

Isherwood, Lowe (High 76'), Longelo (Adedoyin 46'), Nolan, Martin, Mancini (Alston 86'), Quirk, Moonan (C), Patrick, Sloane and Fernandes.

Subs Not Used: Riva and Lusiama.

Yellow Cards: Patrick.

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