Date: 25th July 2006 at 2:35pm
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We take a look at one of the League Two new boys Accrington Stanley.

Accrington Stanley Football Club were re-formed in 1968, when they returned after successfully applying to join the Lancashire Combination league.

The ‘Old Stanley` resigned themselves from the Football League in 1962, and wouldn`t play another game until they re-joined the Combination League in 1968.

Thankfully there were people in the town who were determined that it wouldn`t be the end, and in 1968 the ‘New Stanley` were born.

In the 77/78 season, the last of Stanley`s in the Lancashire Combination, they became champions for the second time in ten years.

The North West Counties league was formed in 1982, and Stanley were elected to division one – where they spent nearly £40,000 on the pitch which they had so many problems with throughout the seventies.

Floodlights were put into Crown Ground, ready for Accrington`s move to the NPL league, and they left the North West Counties league on a good note finishing runners up to Stalybridge Celtic.

In Accrington`s first season in the Northern Premier League they finished second and missed out on promotion. However after South Liverpool put in their resignation they were promoted to the Northern Premier League Premier Division.

In 1992 Stanley reached the second round of the FA Cup proper, where they were beaten 6-1 by Crewe. However 10,581 turned up, as the game was played at Blackburn`s Ewood Park, the highest FA Cup attendance of that round.

Stanley had competed in many seasons in what was now the Unibond Premier Division, and they narrowly escaped relegation back in 1994. However in 1998 Stanley were to be relegated when they finished bottom of the Premier Division, and were sent back down to the Unibond First Division.

In 1999, ahead of the 99-00 season, the current management team of John Coleman and his assistant Jimmy Bell were appointed and they take Accrington Stanley back up to the Unibond Premier Division as Champions in their first season at the helm.

In 2002-2003 they would be promoted to the Nationwide Conference when they finished as champions in the Unibond Premier League with exactly 100 points.

The first two seasons would see Stanley finish tenth in the Conference both times. In 03-04 they would also reach the Third Round of the FA Cup beating two league teams before being beaten off Colchester United in a replay.

Then in 2005-2006 the long awaited return to the Football League happened as Stanley finished Nationwide Conference champions.

11 points was the gap between them and Hereford United who finished second, and Accrington finished the season holding on to the first placed spot they had held since 3rd December 2005 when they beat Altrincham 1-0.

From the 3rd December 2005-29th April 2006, Stanley lost just three games – they lost at home just twice all season.

Paul Mullin was Accrington`s top scorer, finishing with 19 goals for the season, whilst Gary Roberts scored 15 goals throughout the season.

Roberts has been linked throughout the summer with a move to League One Yeovil Town, but recently this move has been ruled out Yeovil.

Mark Boyd has been the only played to leave the Crown Ground this summer, when he joined up with Conference side Southport.

Stanley have made three summer signings to date, Julien N`Da, Andrew Todd and Sean Doherty are the three.

William Hills are predicting a comfortable season for Accrington, making them 16/1 in the outright betting.