A break from league action as we turn our attention to the Emirates FA Cup. We host our first-round tie and welcome Sky Bet League One side Accrington Stanley.
In the Dugout
59-year-old John Coleman is in charge of Accrington in his second spell at the club. He began at Ashton United in 1997 as a player-manager and then left for Stanley three years later. He spent 14 years there before he left for Rochdale, Southport and Sligo Rovers. In 2014 he returned to Accrington where he has remained since.
Coleman on the first-round tie “I’m sure the Port Vale fans; the Port Vale players are looking forward to this game just like we are. They’ve been in a rich vein of form, Port Vale, they’re a good team. I’ve got a lot of respect for their manager he’s one of the good managers, good lads you can speak to on the same level. We can relate to each other and our teams and I’m looking forward to seeing him”.
Man with the Armband
Irishman Seamus Conneely captains Stanley and has been at the club since 2015. He spent his youth career at Mervue United. In 2007 the midfielder moved to Galway United where he spent five years before moving to England and signing for Sheffield United.
Whilst there he went out on loan to Alfreton Town. He moved back to Ireland to play for Sligo Rovers and three years later joined Accrington.
The 33-year-old was out injured for the first ten games of the season following an injury that occurred in May. His first appearance was in a crazy 3-3 draw away at Morecambe where he was brought on off the bench after 21 minutes. He has one assist this season picking up two cards in seven appearances.
Goalkeeper Toby Savin began his youth career at Southport before moving to Wigan Athletic, Everton, Crewe Alexandra and Accrington. At Stanley he was sent out on loan at Stalybridge Celtic before returning in the 2020/21 season and making his EFL debut.
It’s been a mixed season for Savin competing with teammate James Trafford for the starting role and has had spells on the bench. He has started the last six games keeping two clean sheets.
With six goals this season Colby Bishop is Accrington’s top marksman. A late winner away to Rotherham United in the Carabao Cup, a brace against Barrow in the Papa John’s Trophy and three goals in the league. Two of them in a 3-3 draw at Morecambe and a goal at home to Ipswich Town.
Last time out and recent form
Accrington have won two, drawn two and lost one of their last five games. A huge win over Leicester City U21s and a 3-2 win away to Charlton Athletic. Their two most recent games were both drawn against Portsmouth and Gillingham. Stanley’s one loss came against newly promoted Cheltenham Town.
Accrington travelled to Gillingham last time out which resulted in quite a dull affair. The teams had a combined ten shots on target but neither of them could get onto the scoresheet as it stayed 0-0.