Accrington Stanley 1-0 Burnley: Match Report

24 August 2016 09:34

Matty Pearson's late strike sees Accrington stun Premier League Burnley

Matty Pearson's winner in the final minute of extra time ensured Accrington pulled off an EFL Cup shock in their first-round meeting with Premier League neighbours Burnley.

The Clarets fell at the first hurdle for the third successive season as a club stationed nine miles away from them in east Lancashire recorded a 1-0 victory in the first competitive meeting between the two since Accrington were reformed in 1968.

There was little incident in a dull contest that was finally livened in the 120th minute when Pearson pounced to turn home after a mad scramble followed Sean McConville's cross.

There were 10 changes to Burnley's starting line-up from the one that defeated Liverpool 2-0 on Saturday with Sam Vokes, one of the goalscorers that afternoon, the only player to retain his place.

Andre Gray, the other scorer against the Reds, was only on the bench a day after the Football Association charged him with the homophobic tweets he sent four years ago and which resurfaced at the weekend.

It meant Sean Dyche's fringe players were given a chance to impress a manager who rarely changes his XI from week to week, although few, if any, gave him reason to contemplate changes against Chelsea at the weekend.

Pearson fired into the side netting and defender Mark Hughes volleyed wide as the hosts looked to ruin debutant Nick Pope's hopes of a clean sheet.

Winger Michael Kightly was busy at the other end, finding Vokes as the Welshman drilled one shot wide, while Johann Berg Gudmundsson almost reached another pass ahead of goalkeeper Elliot Parish.

Kightly was involved again at the end of the first period when his cross was nearly turned in at the far post by Lukas Jutkiewicz, who, in his third season at Turf Moor, is still yet to score for the Clarets.

Gray was warming up at the start of the second period when Jutkiewicz headed wide again from a Vokes cross, with Dyche no doubt thinking a late night could be prevented with his introduction.

And he was called for in the 67th minute right after ex-Clarets forward Shay McCartan snatched at an attempt teed up by John O'Sullivan.

There was no uplifting effect on his team-mates, though, and the game meandered towards extra time with Gudmundsson's shot from a cut inside all Burnley had to show for their efforts.

They nearly fell behind late on too, after the otherwise-faultless James Tarkowski lost his footing at a crucial moment. Substitute Rommy Boco stole in behind him as Tarkowski slipped to the deck and pulled back for fellow replacement Paddy Lacey, whose tame attempt went wide.

Extra-time was almost avoided anyway courtesy of Gray. Gudmundsson rolled the ball back to the striker having collected a pass across from the left but goalkeeper Elliot Parish was out quickly to repel Gray's attempt which went straight into his body.

Both sides had chances to break the deadlock in the first period of extra time, Accrington substitute Arron Davies seeing a deflected shot land on the roof of the net with Pope stranded and Scott Arfield seeing an attempt tipped around the post by Parish.

It was looking increasingly as though one of the stoppers would be the hero in a penalty shoot-out, though Pope ensured he made an impact before then by scooping away Boco's goal-bound header.

Then, finally, Accrington found the net at the death as the Clarets defence failed to clear a McConville cross, allowing Pearson to step up and stab in a late winner and send Stanley through to the third round for the first time in the club's history.


Source: PA


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