Date: 9th February 2008 at 6:53pm
Written by:

IAN CRANEY took full advantage of his striker role on Saturday afternoon at a bright Deva Stadium, slotting home the winner for Accrington Stanley in the dying moments, ending a run of 5 defeats in 6 games in League Two.

The last point that Stanley had been managed to pick up was against Chester at the Fraser Eagle Stadium, in a game that would have thrilled the neutrals in the ground, ending with a 3-3 scoreline.

Stanley’s new loan signing Aswad Thomas didn’t take long to introduce himself to the travelling Stanley support, scoring his first professional goal within 14minutes, and completing his brace deep into the second half. Bare in mind that Thomas is a centre back aswel.

Leam Richardson, who is enjoying a rich vain of form sent the ball sailing forward and was inch perfect to the debutant Thomas, who signed on loan from Charlton Athletic last week, who took the ball down well to slot past an on rushing John Danby.

But Stanley’s lead was cut short, and after just five further minutes of play, Paul Butler was on hand to pull City level, a team who have now only picked up two points from their last 10 League Two fixtures.

Kevin Sandwith whipped his free kick in to the Stanley penalty area, to see his ball fall to John Murphy who delicately nodded the ball back accross the face of Ian Dunbavin’s goal to find the on running skipper Butler who put the ball in from close range.

Stanley gaffer John Coleman was left with his head in his hands after just 30minutes of play, as Chester came from behind to snatch a undeserved lead at the Deva Stadium. Mark Hughes showed why he is being watched by Championship clubs when he skillfully took the ball to the by-line to knock it perfectly to Murphy, who’s looping shot just crept over Dunbavin’s line.

The game was going in the way of Bobby Williamson’s men, as Chester began to take control of the game. First defender James Vaughan saw his effort from 30 yards out fly inches wide of Dunbavin’s post, before on-loan Liverpool forward Craig Lindfield saw his goal disallowed for offside.

Goalscorer Thomas almost got a second just after the hour mark, but his header was fantastically stopped by Danby, following substitute Shaun Whalley’s precision corner. But Thomas did grab a second just moments later, when he pounced on Ian Craney’s saved shot, to add to his tally.

The action was well spread out entering the last ten minutes as the game went from end to end, firstly Craney saw his difficult turn and shot fire over the bar, before Dunbavin superbly clawed out Murphy’s close range bullet header, to turn it over for a corner.

Craney got himself onto the scoresheet in the closing minutes of the game firing the ball past a helpless Danby to bring all 3 points back to East Lancashire.


CHESTER CITY: Danby, Vaughan, Butler, Roberts, Wilson, Hughes, Dinning, Grant (Partridge 76), Sandwith, Murphy, Lindfield (Holroyd 76).

Subs Not Used: Palethorpe, Rutherford, Kelly.

Booked: Butler.

Goals: Butler 20, Murphy 34.

ACCRINGTON STANLEY: Dunbavin, Branch, Thomas, Roberts (Whalley 46), Richardson, Mannix (Todd 53), Proctor, Harris (King 79), Edwards, Craney, Mullin.

Subs Not Used: Arthur, Doughty.

Booked: Richardson, Proctor, Thomas.

Goals: Thomas 14, 68, Craney 90.

Att: 1,957

Ref: Uriah Rennie (S Yorkshire).