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Accrington Stanley: Plotting promotion 10 years after Football League return

15 April 2016

Ten years after making their Football League return, Accrington Stanley are battling for another promotion, this time to Sky Bet League 1.

It was Saturday 15th April 2006 when a Paul Mullin goal was enough to see off Woking to secure the Conference title and Stanley's return to The League after a 44-year absence.

John Coleman was the man in charge of the club then and, since returning in September 2014, he has guided them steadily up the Sky Bet League 2 table.

Ahead of Saturday's clash against Lancashire rivals Morecambe, Coleman's men are third in the table, in the automatic promotion spots, two points clear of fourth-placed Bristol Rovers.

“Everyone was expecting us to blow up, pretty akin to what they are doing this season to be honest,” the manager said, reflecting on 2006 and comparing it to the current campaign.

It was a win over Luton Town last time out that moved Accrington into the top three for the first time this season, and that match was the most recent of a seven-game unbeaten run.

It features four other wins and two draws, and now they come up against a Morecambe side who beat Stanley for the first time in the league in 10 years, in the reverse fixture in August.

Club captain Seamus Conneely is confident he and his team-mates can maintain their form and stay in the top three, at such a crucial time with only five matches remaining.

“If we win all our games now we will be up and it’s a great feeling to have,” he said. “But we know it’s one game at a time. Hopefully we can carry it on against Morecambe. I know it’s a cliché but it’s five cup finals.

“Morecambe is a local derby, we have no midweek game so we have plenty of time to prepare, and we will be aiming for a win.

“We believe we can win. We have had the belief all year that we can go up automatically. We believe we are as good as anyone in the division.

“We have shown it a few times that we can stand up to the teams with the bigger budgets and fan bases. Hopefully we will achieve something this year.”

Find out if Accrington can continue their promotion form, and mark the 10-year anniversary of their return to The Football League, by following goal updates on Twitter via @SkyBetLeague2.

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