Date: 18th February 2007 at 10:26am
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Some people might say that Accrington is possibly the worst ground in the Football League. I’d disagree.

On the whole Accrington was one of the best away days in a while. Filled with jokes, humour, songs and a County win all made it a contender anyway.

When we left the house at 10 to make our way up to the Palace in Woodley we said we would take a draw. Accrington is a tough place to go to, they score a lot of goals and they’ve got good support. Little did we know that 12 hours later we would be approaching home again wondering why we even questioned that we wouldn’t win?!

So, Snooker Palace beckoned, and after thrashing my brother and then two other challengers in the beautiful game of Snooker it was time to board the coach.

OK, we’re going to Accrington. 40 minutes away. We had just reached Denton when somebody shouted ‘The toilets locked’, it turned out the toilet was broken and the driver pulled over to allow this person to go. What the driver didn’t know is that half the coach would get off and mount the side of the motorway to ‘go’ there. Imagine turning onto the motorway and seeing 30 County fans using a mount as a toilet. Someone must have took a picture, it’s bound to get on Soccer AM!

After a bit of traffic we arrived in Accrington at about 1:15, and again somebody wanted the toilet so the driver pulled over at the first pub. The drivers instructions were ‘You can get off here if you want to go to this pub’, people misunderstood though, and got off thinking it was a toilet break and then we’d board the coach again and head towards the ground. So with the coach emptied bar just 2 people, the coach driver drove off thinking all the other 45 people were getting off to go the pub, leaving a handful of people without coats, which they had left on the coach, and therefore without tickets that were in the coats, and a bit of a mini crisis.

Sorting out that the coach was at the ground and the people would be able to get on the coach to get their tickets, we walked down through the pubs. The first one was a huge pub, and had a fair few Blackburn fans in watching the Arsenal-Blackburn cup game, yet again I won at Pool aswell.

Then we moved down into the Accrington ‘town centre’ which looked like a bit of a back street in Stockport. The pub we went in there had to be a gay bar. One drink there and then we decided we’d get a minibus down towards the ground as it was a 20 minute walk and two people were ‘cropped’ and wouldn’t be able to walk that far.

So finally we got towards the ground at about 2:15. Two final pubs were there to visit, both opposite each other and both were full of County fans and had County fans stood outside singing. Another plus was the chippy next to the pub, selling lovely chips, even though they insisted on calling Chip Barms Chip Tea Cakes. When a County fan nicely pointed out that tea cakes contained currants, the women serving wasn’t too happy and didn’t seem to want to discuss the subject anymore!

After a chat with a few County fans, we decided to go into the ground at about 2:55. Everywhere was packed, I don’t know how they could allocate a specific number of tickets for the terrace when there are all sorts of shapes and sizes of County fans. What was known that 1400 tickets had been sold out, and somehow they all had to fit into the terrace.

We found a space in the top corner, and there we found the Shelbourne contingent that had come over for the weekend. HISC formed a link with Shelbourne when Jim Gannon was playing at Shelbourne, and people involved with HISC and around HISC used to go over every year and even after Mr Gannon left Shelbourne they still went over forming a friendship between fans. It was the Shelbourne fans second local away derby they had seen, last time they were over they watched Chester away last season when County won 2-1, and today they were hoping for a similar result.

And it was finally too the match after a huge build up. Adam Griffin replaced Adam Proudlock, with Anthony Pilkington going upfront and Adam Griffin going onto the left hand side.

You can always tell what kind of County are going to turn up. At Bury, we saw the awful County. We conceded a goal straight away and you just knew what was going to happen. Well, when Anthony Pilkington latched onto an Adam Griffin through ball and rounded the keeper, you could tell that it was going to be a good day. Pilkington couldn’t find any County players to slot the ball into the empty net though, and an Accrington defender easily cleared the ball.

Jason Taylor went close minutes later, Anthony Elding flicked the ball down into Taylor’s path, but his shot was high and wide and ended up on the amateur pitch behind the away end.

Accrington were slowly finding their feet, and County were quite happy for Accrington to pass the ball round in the middle of the park. Any time they tried to find the killer pass though they failed, and County knew with the defence on form it would be extremely hard for Accrington to find that killer ball.

Rob Clare had a chance as he got on the end of a good free kick by Michael Rose, but his header flew wide of the post.

County should have really been in the lead moments later though. A corner was first headed by Anthony Elding, and it was saved by Kazimierczak, it came back out to Rob Clare who saw his header blocked on the line, and then Dominic Blizzard saw his header saved by a diving header from Alan Rogers on the line,

Then Anthony Elding had another shot cleared off the line, this time by Leam Richardson – and it really could have been 3-0 to County at this point.

But it took County until first half injury time to take the lead finally in a decisive break away. Accrington started with the ball, and with a long throw being taken they decided to commit a lot of men forward – probably thinking the half time whistle would come soon. However, Dominic Blizzard did fantastic to win the ball and put it into the feet of Anthony Pilkington. Pilkington rounded the first Accrington defender, leaving it four County players on one Accrington defender. The Stanley defender went towards the ball, and Pilkington slid the ball across for Griffin, who also had Poole and Elding queuing up behind him, and Griffin used his right foot to slot the ball past the Accrington keeper in front of the County fans and to send the County fans mental behind the goal.

So the half time whistle went, and with the tunnel situated right next to the County fans two people were coming in for a lot of stick Accrington manager John Coleman, and the referee. Coleman never stopped moaning all the way through the half, and the referee could have give County two or three penalties yet was ready to jump on any County foul.

However, the second half saw a huge turnaround from Accrington.

The first chance fell to Paul Mullin. County were on the counter attack, and Taylor had tried to play Poole free, however the ball hit the referee and rebounded into the path of Mullin and it took a good stop from Wayne Hennessey to keep the ball out.

County fans then saw a side of Wayne Hennessey we had never seen in the previous 6 and a half games. He made a mistake. No way. Can’t believe it, but thankfully when he did drop the cross it only went out for a corner and didn’t end up in the back of the net!

And when previously, a mistake like that would have seen heads go down and a goal conceded, the next cross was confidently collected by Hennessey to chants of ‘Wales Number One’ from the County fans behind the goal.

Anthony Elding could have doubled County’s lead when he got to Rob Clare’s cross and decided to shoot first time, the Accrington keeper parried it away in a fantastic save.

David Poole was then replaced by Tes Bramble, and Anthony Pilkington went out onto the right with Tes going upfront.

And it was a good job Tes was there as an Accrington free kick was swung in perfectly to meet the player ghosting in at the back post, but Bramble got up above the player and headed the ball clear before volleying it out to a roar of approval from the County fans.

County only had one more real chance, a Rob Clare 25 yard shot which was effectively saved by Kazimierczak.

Finally Accrington had a free kick in the dying minutes, but Whalley could only find the County wall and that was about all of that.

Another County win, seven on the trot, no goals conceded and the 1400 County fans in the away end, aswell as the 200 in the Accrington end stuck around to clap and cheer the players, Jim Gannon and Peter Ward off the pitch in another good performance.

The trip home was fairly quick, and was made funny by somebody sat at the front singing and telling jokes on the microphone.

A good day out. A good result. Seven good results infact, and just eight points off 1st place? Champions anyone!?

 

5 Replies to “Accy 0-1 County – Good Performance”

  • lol, i took a photo of the county fnas peeing on the Denton sign, and shall be sending it into Socer AM. Great report, great result, I agree, it was a proper ground with proper fans. EIEIEIO,,,,,,,,,

  • Jack Beltin Report, just as I remember the game (through beer affected vision). I agree about Accrington. Loved the place, the pubs the ground and well done the Stanley Ultras for their support behind their goal.
    A great away day was had by our our group too. Train at 9am…. Accy by 11… into a town centre pub and then another. And another. The Stanley fans we met were good value and I now really hope that Accrington stay up. Up to the Grey Horse opposite the Oak Lea by 1 pm and a quick tray of chips from that superb chippy you mentioned. Top atmosphere, top ale and low, low prices.
    I think the ground and terracing makes for a day out (as long as the sun shines) – back to old school football supporting. Magic.
    Got to say Griff was my MOTM although I could have swore he had put his shot wide. Still cant work out how that went in.
    Anyone think the ref was the worst seen this season? Absolutely diabolical !!
    Great to be part of the reception the players got at the end of the game.
    Had to laugh at the sing songs at Accy station, Blackburn station and Bolton Station. Far too many too drunk to stand let alone sing. Get in tune lads!! Finish back in Stockport in the Crwon under the viaduct. 10/10 away day.

  • One of the many highlights for me was the Lancaster Bomber ale in the Grey Horse. Plus the drunken wobbly singing on Accy station at 6 pm. Classic County drinken singing at its worst. Loved it. ps. Anyone bump there head when we scored on the tin roof (stand to the right of the away end?)

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