By Jon Harries
First of all, I think it is only right and proper that I send my condolences to Russell Martin and his family following the death of his father. For anyone to go through this especially days before a big match and to still be on the side-lines speaks volumes of the man.
Accrington Stanley took on Shrewsbury on Tues night and took an early lead through Joe Pritchard although the keeper should have done better with the free kick. The Shrews equalised through an Aaron Pierre header (no surprise), but Shrewsbury thought they scored a late winner through Shaun Whalley only for Ryan Cassidy to equalise in the 5th minute of extra time knocking home his rebounded penalty miss.
The Dons have now won three away games in a row with a dominant 1-0 away win at the Valley, the magician Scott Fraser with the solitary effort, and I must recommend that you read Martin Atherton’s fantastic match report to get a flavour of the dominance of the Dons against high flying Charlton.
Accrington Stanley going into Saturday’s game at the Wham Stadium have the 6th best home record in League 1 so far this season. With two games in hand over most of the teams around them, 3 games in some cases, you could say Accrington Stanley are this year’s dark horses in the league.
Manager John Coleman has progressively built his squad using loans from Premier & Championship League teams and also delving into non-league football, plucking out hidden gems, developing them, and selling on for a profit, and this is the business model he has built at Accrington over 1,000 games in charge and it is starting to reap rewards.
In Andy Holt they have a Chairman much like our Chairman who loves the community and is everything Accrington Stanley. Goalkeeper Toby Savin is playing superbly and has kept 5 clean sheets in a row recently. They have three centre backs in Michael Nottingham, Ross Sykes, and Cameron Burgess who have been very steady and reliable and provide a solid base for the whole team. Midfielder Joe Pritchard has recently signed a new contract and is getting a run in the team and along with Sean McConville they have a goal scoring and creative winger who consistently provides goals and assists every season. Ryan Cassidy and Tom Allen are two young loanees from Watford and Newcastle United respectively who are starting to settle into League 1 life, and with Dion Charles they have a backup striker who chips in with a good handful of goals.
The main man for Accrington Stanley though is Colby Bishop the Nottingham born striker who started his career off at Notts County. He only started to get noticed when he signed for Leamington in 2017, scoring 33 goals in 53 appearances and it convinced John Coleman to take a chance and sign him up. Able to score a variety of goals Colby has settled into League 1 and is now starting to show the Accrington fans what he is all about. 12 goals in 38 appearances is an exceptionally good record at this level and when fit he is the first name on the team sheet. With such a physical presence it gives players like Cassidy Charles and McConville opportunities to run in behind. Still only 24 years old Bishop has not even hit his prime, therefore I fully expect a Championship club to come in for him sooner rather than later.
Predicted Line up
Poole – O’Hora – Keogh – Lewington – Harvie
Kasumu – Sorensen – Fraser
Morris – Jerome
There could be a case for George Williams to make his first league start after a solid performance against Barnet in the FA Cup. The left back position is also up for grabs as Ben Gladwin and Matthew Sorinola provide ample competition on that side. David Kasumu seems to have nailed down the defensive midfield role and Sorensen for me could be a key figure in this game. With Accrington being at home they will want to attack us therefore I expect there to be space in the middle of the park. Up top Morris is starting to get back to his best and alongside Jerome I feel a partnership could develop.
I predict a 1-1 draw as with the Accrington home record being so good and any sort of points return will be very well received.
As long as we don’t concede in the first 29 seconds, I will be a happy fan.
THE BIG MATCH PREVIEW IS SPONSORED BY
12 Drakes Mews, Crownhill, MK8 0ER
Tel No – 01908-565904