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Accrington 1 City 1
Alan Connell chose the perfect moment to break his City goal duck and rescue a late draw at Accrington.
Connell came off the bench to level six minutes from time and earn the first away point of the season at the third attempt.
It was also City’s first goal at the Crown Ground since 2008 and ended a run of three straight defeats on Stanley soil.
Phil Parkinson had switched to a 4-3-3 formation and the onus was on the two wingers to work off James Hanson . That was certainly the case in a first half when City were well on top without scoring. Kyel Reid fizzed an early half-volley just over before Zavon Hines latched on to Hanson ’s flick-on to force Ian Dunbavin into a punching save.
Jon McLaughlin was back in the City goal and had an uncomfortable moment from a poor backpass by Luke Oliver . But the visitors were asking the questions and Gary Jones and Hanson combined to tee up Hines, who drove against the far post with Dunbavin beaten.
Hanson should have broken the deadlock in the 26th minute but his hanging header from a Hines cross was cleared off the line by Luke Joyce.
Accrington failed to muster a single shot on McLaughlin’s goal in the first half. The closest they managed was a lofted through ball from Lee Molyneux that just eluded target Padraig Amond by the penalty spot.
George Miller shanked their first effort well wide three minutes after the re-start but Stanley picked up their game. City did not look the same threat as they had done before and Reid fired high over the away terrace.
Inevitably, Accrington’s first shot on target broke the deadlock with 17 minutes left. Will Hatfield found room on the right wing to cross low and Padraig Amond had a simple tap-in past McLaughlin.
Alan Connell was thrown on and nearly fashioned an equaliser after good work in the box by Jones.
But he went one better with six minutes left. McLaughlin’s long kick was flicked on once again by Hanson and the sub latched on to it to beat Dunbavin with a cool lob.