Unbeaten run ends as Town go down to Bishop brace
Two first-half goals from Colby Bishop ended Town’s unbeaten start to the season in League One.
The striker headed in from a deep cross just past the quarter hour and then kept his nerve from the penalty spot just before the break.
Jon Nolan and Luke Woolfenden saw efforts cleared off the line and both teams ended with 10 men after Armando Dobra and Ross Sykes were dismissed late on as that 11 match run came to a halt at the WHAM Stadium.
James Norwood, Flynn Downes and Kane Vincent-Young all missed out through injury with Paul Lambert making four changes to the team that beat Fleetwood before the international break, with Toto Nsiala making his first league appearance of the season after recovering from a hamstring injury.
Former Accrington striker Kayden Jackson had a sight of goal inside the first few minutes but his shot was half blocked and eventually cleared as Luke Garbutt waited to pounce.
Jordan Clark responded for the home side but Luke Chambers, sporting a head bandage after a collision with Offrande Zanzala, saw off the danger, the Town skipper then threatening at the other end as he looked to get on the end of Garbutt’s free-kick.
Jackson and Alan Judge linked up well as Town broke, Sykes in the right place to clear, Tomas Holy holding firm from Sean McConville’s delivery but the Town ‘keeper was beaten on 17 minutes, Bishop the first to a deep cross and he buried his header in the bottom corner.
Accrington were enjoying good possession down the right flank, with another cross from Callum Johnson causing alarm in the Town box, while at the other end goalkeepe Dimitar Evitmov had to clear under pressure from Jackson, Johnson again the supplier for the home side with Zanzala heading over from a good position.
Town were inches away from an equaliser just past the half hour, Clark clearing the ball off the line after Gwion Edwards’ shot had been diverted goalwards by Nolan, at the other end the ever-willing Johnson caused another scare for Town with a burst into the box, Chambers averting the danger, then Zanzala couldn’t control his flick from Clark’s cross.
Chambers blocked Sam Finley’s shot after more good work by Clark but on 39 minutes Stanley doubled their lead, Bishop scoring from the spot after Nsiala was penalised to put the home side in command at the break.
Town made two changes at half-time, Dobra on for his League debut, Danny Rowe also on with Nsiala and Andre Dozzell making way.
Dobra was immediately in the action, linking up with Judge to create an opening down the left, Garbutt then seeing a free-kick come to nothing, Dobra immediately showing a willingness to run at the opposition as Town forced a run of early corners.
Rowe fired well wide from distance but Accrington continued to create from the right and Bishop saw a header cleared six yards out, Holy then gathering at the near post from Clark’s delivery and seconds later from Finley’s 25 yarder.
Clark, who carried a real threat for the home side, burst past two Blues but dragged his shot well wide when better options were on, Town then denied again with a goalline clearance from Sykes to keep out Woolfenden’s close range effort following Garbutt’s free-kick.
Anthony Georgiou replaced Judge midway through the half in Town’s final throw of the dice, Johnson seeing yet another cross cleared by Woolfenden as Accrington looked to grab a third.
Dobra and Sykes were both shown a red card 10 minutes from time after a flare up, Town’s Academy scholar pleading his innocence as Chambers ushered him off the pitch.
Evitmov saved at full stretch from Georgiou as Town searched for a way back into the game, Dion Charles firing over with a chance to settle it for the home side but those two Colby goals proved enough to see Accrington across the line.
Accrington: Evitmov, Johnson, Hughes, Sykes, Clark, Finley, Zanzala (Charles 74), McConville (Pritchard 78), Bishop, Conneely, Opoku (Alese 66). Subs not used: Bursik, Edwards, Kaba Sherif, Carvalho. Sent-off: Sykes. Booked: Opoku, McConville.
Town: Holy, Chambers, Woolfenden, Nsiala (Rowe 46), Edwards, Skuse, Nolan, Dozzell (Dobra 46), Garbutt, Judge (Georgiou 65), Jackson. Subs not used: Norris, Donacien, Huws, Keane. Sent-off: Dobra. Booked: Nsiala, Edwards, Nolan, Dobra.