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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 09 Feb 13 at 19:35 PM

Ten-man Blues earn point at Stanley

Kevan Hurst earned ten-man Blues a share of the spoils away at Accrington Stanley with a stunning late strike to extend their unbeaten run to four games.

 

James Gray's goal just before the hour-mark gave the home side the lead before Ryan Cresswell saw red for an off the ball incident involving Stanley's goalscorer Gray.

 

Despite the man disadvantage, Blues levelled in the final ten minutes as Kevan Hurst hammered home a rasping drive from 25-yards.

 

Paul Sturrock made four changes from the 1-0 win at Leyton Orient, three of those enforced as Mark Phillips, Michael Spillane and Chris Barker missed out with injury while Alex Woodyard dropped to the bench. In came Anthony Straker, Luke Prosser, Marc Laird and Michael Spillane.

 

The hosts, without a goal in six hours going into the game, had the best of the opening exchanges. Lawrence Wilson and Gray both dragged shots wide of Paul Smith's goal though.

 

Blues' first real opportunity should have led to the opening goal. Kevan Hurst's excellent delivery caused a goalmouth scramble and despite Marc Laird and Cresswell going close, Accrington somehow managed to clear their lines.

 

Hurst's deliveries into the area were causing problems, but he almost caught Stanley goalkeeper Paul Rachubka unaware with his next dead ball delivery. The midfielder put slightly more on his in-swinging cross and Rachubka was forced to tip it behind for a corner.

 

Mickey Spillane, back into the side after being cup-tied in midweek, had a glorious chance to put Blues ahead, but his header from Sean Clohessy's cross went well over.

 

At the other end, the hosts then had a chance of their own as Gray ran clear, but he dragged his shot wide when one-on-one with Smith.

 

The second-half began in much the same vein as the first, but just before the hour the hosts were ahead. Straker's clearance from a long ball forward fell at the feet of Romauld Boco, who drove forward being teeing up Gray who applied a composed finish past Smith.

 

Minutes later and Blues' task was even harder as Cresswell saw a straight red card for an off-the-ball incident involving goalscorer Gray.

 

Despite the man disadvantage, Blues levelled in the 81st minute as Hurst hammered home from 25-yards following a lay-off from Laird.

 

Smith had to make a couple of fine saves in the dying embers of the game as Blues held on to extend their unbeaten run to four games.

 

Blues: Smith; Clohessy, Cresswell, Prosser, Straker; Hurst, Spillane, Laird, Leonard (Corr; Reeves (Lavery), Assombalonga (Woodyard). Subs not used: Bentley, Spicer.

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