First-half goal blast sees Town get back to winning ways
Town blew away Accrington with a three goal blitz in the first-half to end a two month wait for a league win in style.
Kayden Jackson put Blues ahead against his former club early on and James Norwood doubled the advantage with his 10th goal of the campaign on the half hour.
Alan Judge all but sealed the three points just before half-time with his first League goal for Town, with Norwood and Jackson going close to adding to the scoreline after the break before Accrington grabbed a consolation goal on 85 minutes through a penalty from Offrande Zanzala.
Town had the final word though, Keane celebrating his 27th birthday with his sixth goal of the season.
Jackson forced a corner with Town’s first foray into Accrington territory, Luke Woolfenden denied the chance to defect the flag kick into the net by the close attention of Callum Johnson, the Stanley full-back then doing well to keep out Gwion Edwards’ excellent cross.
Dion Charles responded for the visitors with a burst into the box but James Wilson shadowed the danger but on 12 minutes Town were ahead, Woolfenden the creator with a run down the left and cross and Jackson claimed the last touch.
Town had a chance to make it two a minute later, Edwards recycled a cross with a neat header into Norwood but the striker failed to get a good connection on his volley and Ross Sykes cleared up.
Josef Bursik had an anxious look after Jackson’s cross was deflected into the air and through the ‘keeper’s hands but Luke Garbutt couldn’t take advantage, Town continuing to threaten a second - Luke Chambers close to getting on the end of a corner.
That second came in terrific style just short of the half hour, Norwood getting on the end of a ball over the top and chipping Bursik from the edge of the box.
Chambers forced Bursik into action with a header, Jackson’s pace unsettling the Accrington defence to set up Norwood but he dragged his shot wide, Judge then freed Jackson for a run at goal but Bursik came to the rescue of the visitors.
Town weren’t to be denied though and two minutes before the break Judge finished off a flick from Chambers with a left foot strike to put Blues in total command.
Norwood had a shot blocked as Town started the second-half on the front foot, Accrington making a double change early on with Zanzala and Aji Alese entering the fray.
Sykes did enough to head Jackson’s testing cross behind, Norwood just wide with a header from the corner, Charles smashed a left footer over as Accrington looked for a lifeline before Emyr Huws sent a long range effort high and wide.
The Wales international made way for Cole Skuse in Town’s first change, Teddy Bishop joining the action soon after as Paul Lambert shuffled his pack with Judge given the last 15 minutes off. Keane completing the subs, on for Jackson.
Keane had a sight of goal with his first touch but Mark Hughes spotted the danger, while at the other end Charles should have pulled a goal back from close range but his effort was deflected wide.
Accrington did score on 85 minutes through a penalty from Zanzala after James Wilson was penalised but Town had the final word with Keane’s drive into the net.
Town: Norris, Chambers, Woolfenden, Wilson, Edwards, Downes, Huws (Skuse 71), Judge (Bishop 75) Garbutt, Norwood, Jackson (Keane 75). Subs not used: Holy, Donacien, Dozzell, Kenlock. Booked: Chambers
Accrington: Bursik, Johnson, Hughes, Sykes, Finley, Pritchard (Alese 57), Bishop, Carvalho (Zanzala 57), Conneely, Charles, Opoku. Subs not used: Savin, Sherif, Barclay, Rodgers, Diallo. Booked: Alese.