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Match report: Accrington Stanley 2-1 Stags

19 August 2017

Mansfield Town slipped to their first defeat of the Sky Bet League Two season this afternoon as a last-gasp Billy Kee goal sealed a 2-1 win for Accrington Stanley.

Stags were the better side for much of the match, but after coming from behind, they couldn't find a winner at the Wham Stadium and left empty-handed following a stoppage time goal. 

The home side went ahead in the 10th minute when centre-forward Kayden Jackson produced an excellent turn in the box before firing expertly into the far corner from 10 yards out.

Frontman Lee Angol then got his first competitive goal for the club to get the Stags back on level terms. Fellow striker Danny Rose won a good flick and Angol got to the ball ahead of Accrington 'keeper Aaron Chapman and rolled it into the empty net.

And Stags were good value for their equaliser and looked the most likely to grab the winner throughout the contest, but former Stags' striker Billy Kee had other ideas as he bundled the ball home from a few yards out in the second minute of second half stoppage time. 

Stags' boss Steve Evans made one change to the side which defeated Forest Green Rovers last week, with winger CJ Hamilton making his first start of the season in place of midfielder Joel Byrom, who took a place on the bench. Subsequently, midfielder Will Atkinson moved inside to partner Paul Digby in the middle of midfield.

Defender David Mirfin returned to the matchday squad after missing last week following a precautionary note on a scan following the Carabao Cup game against Rochdale. He replaced winger Alfie Potter in the 18, who missed out with a slight calf strain.

Prior to kick-off, a minute's silence took place as a mark of respect to those who lost their lives in the catastrophic terror attack in Barcelona on Thursday afternoon. In addition, both sets of players donned black armbands to remember those affected.

Stags had the first attempt of the afternoon following a foul on midfielder Will Atkinson 35 yards from goal. Striker Lee Angol stepped up to take the set piece, but fired his effort high into the terrace behind the goal.

Steve Evans' men started really well and created a lovely attacking move in the fourth minute. Winger Paul Anderson spread the ball wide to over-lapping right-back Hayden White and he lofted a cross to winger CJ Hamilton at the back post, but his cushioned header down was claimed by Stanley 'keeper Aaron Chapman ahead of the lurking Angol.

Stags were in the ascendancy in the early stages and looked dangerous down the right-hand side. Midfielder Paul Digby rolled the ball to Anderson, who had drifted inside, and he carried the ball to around 30 yards out but hit a low shot straight at Chapman.

However, Accrington took the lead in the 10th minute. Hamilton was robbed of possession on the left and the ball was fired into the feet of Kayden Jackson in the box and he produced a good turn to get the better of Pearce before firing beyond Stags' stopper Conrad Logan.

Stags did their best to react to going behind, but were halted by Stanley slowing the game down with niggling free-kicks.

One of those free-kicks presented Stags with a great opportunity to equalise but, after Hamilton was brought down inches outside the box, left-back Mal Benning's effort just clipped the top of the wall and Chapman punched away.

Hamilton was looking threatening for the Stags and he was sent away down the left by Atkinson, but his cut-back towards Angol was deflected out for a corner. Anderson's in-swinging set piece was punched away by Chapman, before Pearce's penalty appeal was turned down from the resulting throw.

Stags then got back on level terms in the 25th minute. Logan played the ball long up-field and Danny Rose climbed really well to flick the ball on to strike partner Lee Angol and he beat 'keeper Aaron Chapman to it in the box before rolling it into the empty net.

The goal injected further life into the Stags and they were much the better side for the ten minutes following the equaliser. Rose was fouled on the left-hand side after receiving the ball from Mal Benning and from the free-kick, skipper Zander Diamond headed just wide of the upright after rising really well to meet Benning's delivery.

In a rare Stanley attack, the ball looped over the Stags' back-line and Hayden White did superbly to usher it back to Logan, who was caught by Jackson. Accrington fans wanted a penalty for White's tackle, whilst Stags wanted further action to be taken against Jackson for his challenge on Logan. However, referee Darren Bond dealt with the situation well and diffused the incident.

In the 38th minute, Stags had a good opportunity to go ahead. They came forward down the left-hand side and Angol's cross was deflected to the edge of the box, where the on-rushing Paul Digby could only drag his left-footed effort wide of the far post.

A few minutes later, CJ Hamilton was brought down on the corner of the Accrington box but Paul Anderson could only float his set piece into Chapman's arms.

The final chance of the half also fell to the visitors. Logan pumped the ball up-field with only a minute left of added on time and Stanley left-back Omar Beckles headed behind for a corner. Mal Benning travelled over to the right to take it and his in-swinging corner was headed just wide of the upright by Zander Diamond at the near post.

The sides went into the break all square, but Stags enjoying the lion's share of possession and chances.

It was a slow start to the second period, but Stags were still on top.
Rose, who was full of energy all afternoon, almost embarrassed Aaron Chapman as he closed down his clearance in the six-yard box and was only inches from blocking his ball forward and scoring what would have been a certain goal.

After initially doing well to turn away from Rose, Richards-Everton's ball forward was cut out by White and Paul Anderson produced a sublime touch to speed away from Beckles before winning a corner, which was cleared by the hosts.

The hour mark passed without a real chance in the second period, whilst Lee Angol was puzzlingly denied of a free-kick after clearly being fouled by Mark Hughes in the corner.

Stags enjoyed a neat passage of play in the 65th minute as White slipped a nice ball through to Angol, who had a low shot blocked.

A minute later and Angol was again in the thick of the action as he won a corner after Anderson had nicked the ball from Beckles.

Benning swung the corner in from the right but Krystian Pearce could only power his header wide at the back post.

With 16 minutes remaining, Steve Evans replaced CJ Hamilton with Omari Sterling-James as they went in search of a winner.

They had to be defensively aware, however, as the ball fell kindly for Jackson in the Stags' box and his low cross-cum-shot evaded the dive of Logan and Benning had to be alert to stab the ball out for a corner ahead of the lurking Jordan Clark.

Stags then introduced striker Jimmy Spencer in place of Danny Rose with 12 minutes left.

Pearce brought down Jackson on the right-hand side and Stanley winger Sean McConville whipped a dangerous delivery into the box but skipper Diamond was on hand to head away.

With four minutes left, midfielder Jacob Mellis replaced goalscorer Lee Angol.

After Stags won a corner through Omari Sterling-James, Krystian Pearce received a yellow card for bringing down Jackson on the counter attack.

The fourth official indicated there would be a minimum of four minutes added time and the game as still on a knife-edge.

And from the following passage of play, Accrington scored an unlikely winner.
After the ball was headed behind for a corner from McConville's free-kick, former Stags' striker Billy Kee bundled the ball home from the winger's delivery at the back post.

Despite Stags dominating much of the encounter, they ultimately left Lancashire empty-handed after a last-gasp winner from a familiar face.

STAGS' XI: Logan, White, Diamond ©, Pearce, Benning, Digby, Atkinson, Anderson, Hamilton (Sterling-James 74), Rose (Spencer 77), Angol (Mellis 86)

SUBS NOT USED: Olejnik (GK), Bennett, Mirfin, Byrom

STANLEY XI: Chapman, Hughes, Donacien, Richards-Everton, Nolan, Clark, Jackson, McConville, Beckles, Kee, Conneely

SUBS NOT USED: Brown, Edwards, McLeod, Jorgensen, Sykes, Dallison, Ogle

ATTENDANCE: 1,645 (481 Stags' fans)

REFEREE: Darren Bond

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