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Match Reports


22 January 2022

Burns and Chaplin strikes earn three points

Town came from behind to return to winning ways with a hard-fought victory over Accrington.

Ethan Hamilton gave the visitors an early lead but Wes Burns equalised before the break and a second-half strike from Conor Chaplin completed the turnaround.

Kieran McKenna made three initial changes to the starting XI with Kane Vincent-Young, Bersant Celina and Chaplin returning in place of Matt Penney, Sone Aluko and James Norwood respectively. 

A fourth alteration was forced during the warm-up, Tom Carroll taking the place of Lee Evans, who had pulled up with an injury, in the team, with new signing Tyreeq Bakinson being a late addition to the substitutes bench.

The visitors, having started strongly, took the lead on 15 minutes. Space opened up for Hamilton on the edge of the area, with the midfielder's low effort finding the bottom corner.

Town's first chance followed five minutes later but, after Chaplin was tripped 30 yards from goal, Celina's free-kick fell just wide of the mark.

Christian Walton, playing for the first time as a permanent Blues player, made an impressive reaction stop to tip Matt Butcher's prodded effort onto the underside of the crossbar.

Walton save Accrington (H).jpg

That save proved to be even more important less than a minute later as McKenna's side levelled proceedings. Having broke at speed, Celina played an inch perfect through ball for Burns, who won the foot race against Toby Savin to dink the ball over the Accy 'keeper and into the back of the net.

Celina continued to be Town's most dangerous outlet, his cross being met by Chaplin, who could only head over the top of the frame.

Accrington hit the crossbar for a second time late in the half, Nottingham's header following a Sean McConville corner grazing the top of the upright on the way over the top of Walton's goal.

The Blues enjoyed plenty of possession in the second period but lacked the final pass as they looked to move in front for the first time.

Carroll tried his luck on 63 minutes, his curling effort from range being parried away bt Savin.

Town's dominance told as they took the lead on 65 minutes. After Morsy was brought down on the right flank, Town's skipper picked himself up quickly to play a short pass to Janoi Donacien with the free-kick. Donacien took one touch before finding Chaplin, who worked the ball onto his right foot before rifling into the roof of the net.

Celina and Chaplin cele Accrington (H).JPG

Bakinson, two days after agreeing a loan deal from Bristol City until the end of the season, was introduced from the bench for his Club debut shortly afterwards.

Hamilton went the closest to find a last-gasp equaliser for Stanley but his free-kick from the edge of the area flew wide of the post as Town held on to claim the spoils.

Town: Walton, Donacien, Woolfenden, Edmundson, Burns, Celina, Carroll (Bakinson 73'), Morsy (C), Vincent-Young, Bonne (Norwood 76'), Chaplin (Jackson 90').

Subs: Holy, Burgess, Edwards, Pigott.

Booked: Carroll, Edmundson, Celina.

Accrington: Savin, Rich-Baghuelou, Hamilton, Butcher, O'Sullivan (Mansell 79'), Pell (Morgan 76'), Bishop, McConville (C) (Longelo 73'), Nottingham, Clark, Amankwah.

Subs: Isherwood, Rodgers, Procter, Nolan.

Booked: Nottingham, Pell, Longelo.

Attendance: 20,126 (131 away fans).

McKenna Accrington (H).jpg

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