Accrington (A) Report

Today’s game was abandoned with just 18 minutes to play with the scores level at 1-1-after Connor Hall’s goal cancelled out Chris Maguire’s fortuitous opener.

The pitch was awful from the start, but after torrential rain late on, the referee had no choice but to call the game off. The pitch was truly unplayable and now Sunderland will have to wait for news of a potential replay.

After two games in the cup, Sunderland returned to league action and made their first ever trip to the current Accrington Stanley.

Accrington and Sunderland have met before, but that was the old Accrington before they reformed in 1960. The lads came out 3-0 winners in an FA Cup tie back in 1894.

Despite several pitch inspections, the game went ahead as planned. Jack Ross made a few changes from the FA Cup game away to Walsall, as George Honeyman and Chris Maguire were back in the starting eleven.

Stanley made a positive start to the season and were in the playoff positions, but a poor run of form in November saw drop down to 11th going into the game.

The opening ten minutes were about as stop-start as you could imagine as the pitch as the pitch made good football almost a pipe dream. Where Adam Matthews was operating was almost unplayable, the ball wouldn’t travel more than a few yards before getting stuck in the mud.

Sunderland’s first effort came through Max Power whose long-range attempt whistled a few yards wide of the post. Maguire’s free-kick deflected off the wall and fell to Power who hit it well but didn’t get the accuracy.

In-form Aiden McGeady had the best chance of the game early on. McGeady chested down a brilliant Josh Maja cross and hit it on the half volley brilliantly, however, it flew just over the crossbar.

It was a game of few chances in the difficult conditions, on the half-hour mark Accrington had their best chance as Jordan Clark’s effort from outside the box was dragged just wide.

Stanley could have been ahead after some good passing play down the right-hand side, the cross in was punched away poorly by Jon McLaughlin and fell to Sam Finley who tried to lift it over the keeper but only found the roof of the net.

Bryan Oviedo who came on for an injured Matthews almost made the breakthrough just before the break as his free-kick went under the wall and nearly caught out Connor Ripley who scrambled to his right to save.

To say this wasn’t a classic was a huge understatement, neither team could get anything going and it became scrappier and scrappier as the game went on. The referee was the busiest man on the field in the opening 15 of the second half.

Out of absolutely nothing, Sunderland scored one of the strangest goals you’re likely to see. Chris Maguire charged down Ripley’s kick and the keeper’s clearance was poor, Maguire blocked the kick and it deflected into the back of the net.

Stanley soon drew level, however with an even scrappier goal, Luke Charman crossed it in and then it was chaos in the box. Connor hall managed to tuck it home after a flurry of attempts on goal which Sunderland couldn’t clear.

But the heavens soon opened, and the conditions became unplayable. The ball in areas just wouldn’t move with so much standing water on the pitch.

Final Score: 1-1

ALS Man of the Match: Chris Maguire

Alex Miller