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Match Reports

REPORT: Stanley 2-1 Wrexham

Woods brace sees Stanley leapfrog Blackpool into top spot in this season's Central League

15 February 2023

A Josh Woods goal either side of half-time saw Accrington Stanley Under-23s leapfrog Blackpool into top spot in this season's Central League as Ged Brannan and Andy Gray's side made it nine games unbeaten across all competitions following a 2-1 victory over Wrexham at the Stanley Sports Hub.

Full-back Mitch Clark and captain Seamus Conneely were both named in the starting XI, with Michael Nottingham also drafted onto the bench after playing 18 minutes for the first team the night before.

Brannan and Gray's side, who are still undefeated in the league, began the game the better of the two; as Conneely shot wide of the near post and Leslie Adekoya headed off target inside the opening half hour.

After scoring Stanley's second goal in last week's 3-0 win at Huddersfield Town, Oliver Patrick's long-range effort at goal then forced visiting goalkeeper Kai Calderbank-Park into a good save on 36 minutes.

However, the deadlock was broken just four minutes later when Jack Nolan crossed from the left-hand side for Woods to slot home at the back post; the striker's third goal in his last four Central League games.

Anthony Mancini then had a great chance to double the lead on the stroke of half-time, but the French midfielder could only fire his shot over the crossbar.

The visitors grew into the game and eight minutes after the break; Max Clayton, a week after keeping a clean sheet on his Under-23s debut, did well to deny a close-range effort at goal from winger Jacob Milner.

Woods then grabbed his second goal of the afternoon on 59 minutes and Nolan was again the provider, as the 21-year-old's pinpoint cross was headed home in superb fashion by Stanley's number 39 at the far post.

However; David Jones' Wrexham side, who have taken five points from five games, responded almost immediately to reduce the lead to just the one goal when defender Ryan Austin converted from a set-piece.

The Red Dragons' player-coach then had a good chance himself to equalise on 80 minutes, but the former Wolverhampton Wanderers and Burnley midfielder could only drag his shot wide of the target.

Next up for the Reds is a top of the table clash with Blackpool at Bamber Bridge's Sir Tom Finney Stadium on Tuesday 28th February, 1pm kick-off; before hosting Huddersfield on Tuesday 7th March, 1pm kick-off.

Accrington Stanley

Clayton, Clark (Henderson 59'), Perritt (C), Moonan, Sloane, Conneely (Nottingham 46'), Patrick, Mancini (Trickett 86'), Nolan, Woods and Adekoya (Devonport 78').

Subs Not Used: Riva and Poilly.

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