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Match Previews

Match Preview | Accrington Stanley (h)

16 February 2018

EFL Sky Bet League Two – The Hive London – Saturday 17th February 2018 – KO 3pm

Team News:

Dan Sweeney is available again after serving all of his three-game suspension. Ruben Bover is a doubt after going off at halftime against Notts County with a hamstring injury. Harry Taylor (metatarsal) and Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro (knee) are out.  Elliott Johnson (knee) and Dave Tarpey (knee) are long-term absentees.

Last Time We Met:

Accrington Stanley were convincing winners when the two sides met at the Wham Stadium earlier this season, beating Barnet 4-1.

Sean McConville gave Stanley the lead in the 35th minute but Barnet were handed the opportunity to get straight back into the game when Jack Taylor was fouled in the box.

Jamal Campbell-Ryce stepped up to take the penalty but fired the ball against the crossbar.

After the break, Accrington doubled their advantage through Jordan Clark, Jamal Campbell-Ryce hit back finishing low after Jack Taylor’s good break.

Billy Kee made it three before Kayden Jackson put the game beyond any doubt.


John Coleman returned to Accrington Stanley as manager on September 18, 2014.

In his first spell, he was in charge for 13 years from 1999-2012, taking them from the Northern Premier League First Division back into the Football League and reaching the League Two play-offs in 2010/11.

At the time of his departure in 2012, Coleman was the third longest serving manager in English football and was the longest servant in the Football League. Remarkably, he also had the unique record of improving their league finish every season (apart from one when he maintained the position) after he took charge in '99. He was Stanley's longest serving manager in their history as well as their most successful ever boss, winning three Championships and five cup competitions.

Coleman's successes started by winning the Northern Premier League Division One in 1999/00 and the Northern Premier League in 2002/03. He was then voted The Conference Manager of the season after leading Stanley to the league title in 2005/06.

After gaining promotion to the Football League in 2006, Coleman helped to establish the side in League Two.

In 2010/11, he guided the club to playoffs (their highest ever finish), where they narrowly missed on a place in the final to eventual winners Stevenage.

John joined Rochdale during the 2011/12 season and remained with the club until January 2013. He then took charge of Southport and Sligo Rovers before his return to Accrington in September 2014.

Before his first spell at Accrington, Coleman was player-manager at Ashton United where his side narrowly missed out on promotion, but the side did win the First Division Cup twice.

As a player, Coleman played for Kirby Town, Burscough, Marine, Southport, Runcorn, Macclesfield, Rhyl, Morecambe and Lancaster, scoring over 500 goals during his career.

His honours as a player include England Semi-Pro caps and several Player of the Year awards.


Billy Kee is the top scorer in Sky Bet League Two with 18 goals. He has also managed 8 assists.

The Northern Ireland striker returned for a second spell with Stanley last season and became a key member of the team.

His first taste of league football came with the Reds in a loan spell from Leicester City in 2009, followed by permanent spells with Torquay and Burton Albion that saw him cement a reputation as a dangerous lower league goalscorer.

His form brought a move to Scunthorpe but after a frustrating spell there he returned to the Wham Stadium, finding the net 17 times in 2015/16 as he led the Stanley line to great effect.

Kee scored 15 times during the 2016/17 season as Stanley pushed for promotion.

Last Time Out:

Accrington were 1-0 winners over Crewe Alexandra on Tuesday night to stay in second place in Sky Bet League Two. Crewe could have earned a point but poor finishing cost them as Stanley recorded their eighth win in nine games.

Kayden Jackson scored the only goal for Accrington in the 42nd minute, putting the ball home from Jordan Clark’s pass.


Ryan Watson joined Accrington Stanley on loan from Wigan Athletic in 2012. He made one appearance, his professional debut, against Morecambe in the EFL Trophy, before being recalled early. He joined Barnet in 2016 from Leicester City and has made 36 appearances in all competitions to date.

Ticket info:

Click here for tickets.

Keep up with the game:

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