After a lively afternoon, Accrington Stanley beat 10 Chesterfield 2-1 thanks to goals from Billy Kee and Mallik Wilks. Here are six important points of an exciting game.
Stanley’s good start
The guests started with high intensity in the first 10 minutes, played from behind and often strikeed from the right. Full-back Andy Kellett struggled to deal with the browbeat of Janoi Donacien and Jordan Clark, often having to be rescued by wide centre-back Zak Jules. Donacien crossed to Sean Mcconville’s back post, who was denied from close range by Joe Anyon.
After the initial exchange, the home team had more success in the middle third, even if they did not create clear chances. They started to get their wings, especially Bradley Barry, further up the field with Louis Reed making room for him with his runs in wide areas. Barry crossed to Jordan Flores to go wide before the former Wigan man saw his shot blocked after a tortuous run by Diego De Girolamo. The Italian himself saw his shot saved in the 33rd minute and Krystian Dennis, a willing runner, was denied the opportunity to strike one-on-one by an excellent intervention from Farrend Rawson. However, even during these harder spells, Stanley showed the ability to create chances at any time, Billy Kee watched as his header hit the crossbar.
Stanley vs. the pressure
Rawson and his centre-back Mark Hughes were called up even more frequently at the start of the second half. Kellett kicked a series of inviting crosses into the six-yard box to start, requiring a last-ditch clearance or disappearing into the face of the goal, Dennis denied from close range by Chapman. There were opportunities for Stanley to break, but their distribution from behind was too slow and therefore they found themselves locked in their defensive third. Barry crossed the back post and the home fans called for a handball in the Donacien area before Robbie Weir curled in from distance in 61 minutes.
The red card changed the game
A minute after, the match swung in Accrington’s favour when Barry, the home team’s most impressive player, was sent into a major lunge.
Playing ten men nourished the ball-playing qualities of John Coleman’s men, who took the lead midway through the second half. McConville selected Kee, who needed a single touch to control the ball, and another to finish emphatically.
Submarines had an impact
The Spireites did not lie down and improved when midfielder Jordan Sinnott and, in particular, goal Chris O’Grady entered the fray and occupied the two central defenders more skillfully than Dennis had done on his own. The latter deserved a penalty after being brought down by Seamus Conneely, sticking the kick in the middle as the game took on an end-to-end feel. It was an Accrington substitute striker, Wilks, who scored the winner and turned in the 85th minute.