Daggers v Accrington MATCH PREVIEW

IT WAS touch and go whether Accrington were going to be able to fulfil this fixture after the club were served with a winding up order over outstanding debts owed to HM Revenue and Customs.

by MIKE SIMMONDS

IT WAS touch and go whether Accrington were going to be able to fulfil this fixture after the club were served with a winding up order over outstanding debts owed to HM Revenue and Customs.

The club would have gone out of business had they failed to pay off a tax bill of �308,000 by Wednesday, November, but it was announced on the Tuesday, that the account had been settled.

"It's a tremendous relief for myself and the fans," said managing director David O'Neill.


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"It's been an absolute nightmare over the last eight weeks. With all the twists and turns along the way there's not a strong enough word for it."

Strangely enough, since Stanley have been in such serious problems, their form on the pitch has picked up hugely.

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Barring a 1-0 defeat to league leaders Bournemouth in October, they have won their last six encounters on home soil, including cup successes over Salisbury (FA Cup) and Bury (JPT).

High-flying Shrewsbury Town were also defeated, while both Darlington and Cheltenham have felt the wrath of Stanley's sword.

In such stormy waters, it was imperative the club had a strong manager at the helm, and in John Coleman, the third longest serving boss with over 10 years service, they have just that.

In fact, Accrington, currently 14th, just five points off the play-offs and through to the second round of the FA Cup are enjoying their best season since returning to the Football League in 2006.

Midfielder Robert Grant has been the one of the main source of goals for Stanley this season, with nine to his name already, including doubles against Cheltenham, Crewe and Bury.

The rest of the Stanley squad is made up mainly of youngsters, after Coleman lost Accrington legend Paul Mullin during the close season as the striker opted to surprisingly move to Morecambe.

The boss did bring in experienced striker Michael Symes to fill the void and it has been a good move so far, with the former Shrewsbury and Bradford man nothing eight goals so far.

But since then, the club have been hit with a transfer embargo, meaning that they are unable to add to the 19 players in their squad whether it be permanently, or on loan, further proving just what an excellent job Coleman has done this season.

TEAM NEWS

Daggers: Daggers right back Abu Ogogo completes the final match of his suspension while Danny Spiller is still missing with injury.

Striker Josh Scott is expected to shake off a slight knock, while Matt Lockwood should also be fit after missing the FA Cup defeat to Huddersfield with a dead leg.

Both loan signings Adam Miller and Nana Ofori-Twumasi are expected to be in the squad.

Accrington: John Mullin could well be back on the bench, but Leam Richardson, Chris King and Chris Turner will all miss out.

WE'VE MET BEFORE

Accrington are something of a bogey team for Daggers, with Stanley enjoying six victories to two overall.

In fact you have to go back to December 18, 2004 for the last time that Daggers won at Stanley, when Lee Goodwin, Chris Moore and Matt Harrold scored in a 3-0 triumph.

Only Tony Roberts and Anwar Uddin from the team that won that day remain at the club, and on their last three trips, Daggers haven't managed even a goal.

Daggers have fared better on their travels at Stanley, with their two victories coming on the road, while both of last season's games ended in a goalless draw, and Daggers have gone three games without scoring against their hosts, since Peter Cavanagh put through his own goal in the 3-1 home reverse on October 14, 2007.

ONE TO WATCH

Michael Symes - after spending the majority of the last three years out on loan, the 26-year-old midfielder is benefitting from the stability of regular first-team football at Accrington.

Has an excellent goalscoring role from central midfield and Daggers will have to keep their eye on the former Everton trainee.

FROM THE DUGOUT

"I don't want them to accept second best and lately they haven't been," said Stanley boss John Coleman.

"I've never known confidence to be so high in the club while we've been in the Football League."

PREDICTION

Daggers to finally breach the home side's defence in a close 1-1 draw.

Can Daggers emerge victorious against Accrington? Email: mike.simmonds@archant.co.uk

The Post is now on Twitter, so if you follow twitter.com/Post_DagRed then you will get up to the minute updates on goings on at Victoria Road.

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