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Match Reports

REPORT: Stockport County 1-5 Stanley

Gough, Procter, Harper and Popoola all score as Under-18s conclude their campaign in five-star style

6 May 2023

Match Reports

REPORT: Stockport County 1-5 Stanley

Gough, Procter, Harper and Popoola all score as Under-18s conclude their campaign in five-star style

6 May 2023

Accrington Stanley Under-18s concluded their 2022/23 campaign in five-star style as Ged Brannan and Scott Rogers' side cruised to a comfortable 5-1 victory over Stockport County at the Wham Stadium, with Brandon Gough, Will Procter, Calvin Harper and Anjola Popoola all on the scoresheet.

Having already faced both Preston North End and Salford City on Tuesday evening and Thursday afternoon respectively, the Reds made five changes to the starting XI that suffered a 3-0 home defeat to The Ammies.

Stanley's Owen Devonport, who has scored 11 times for the Under-18s and Under-23s since the turn of the year, had the first chance of the game; but he could only head a deep Josh Smith cross into the side-netting.

However, Brannan and Rogers' side opened the scoring on 14 minutes when Gough sent a long-range free-kick towards goal and his set-piece evaded County goalkeeper, Harry Campbell, to curl inside the far post.

Gough continued to ask questions of Stockport's defence and the 17-year-old midfielder almost doubled his tally a minute before the half-hour mark; but his in-swinging corner landed on top of Campbell's crossbar.

Stanley added a second goal on 49 minutes, with Procter slotting an effort past Campbell from close range.

The Reds were then awarded a penalty two minutes after the hour mark when Popoola was brought down inside the area, and Harper made no mistake from 12 yards to grab his 32nd Under-18s goal of the season.

It looked as though the 18-year-old, who has also scored twice for the Under-23s, had made it 33 in as many games on 65 minutes, but the striker's effort was ruled out for a foul on County's Cameron Bradbury-Allen.

With 17 minutes left to play, Jamie Crowther's 11th-place side pulled a goal back through James Barry.

However; substitute Popoola then deservedly got his name on the scoresheet to restore Stanley's three-goal cushion and the 15-year-old added a fifth in second half injury-time, turning home a low Procter cross.

Brannan and Rogers' Under-18s side end their 2022/23 campaign as runners-up in both the Youth Alliance League and Lancashire FA Youth Cup, as well as reaching the third round of this season's FA Youth Cup.

Accrington Stanley

Clayton, Pickles, Devonport (Harper 60'), Gough (Tunstall 74'), Hall, High, Kelly (Popoola 54'), Newton (Poilly 46'), Procter, Smith and Young.

Subs Not Used: Rogerson.


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