ASFC vs Blackburn Rovers

vs
23/07/2014
Score: 2 - 2

Match Report

Stanley’s unbeaten pre-season continued with a 2-2 draw against Championship side Blackburn Rovers thanks to goals from Piero Mingoia and James Gray.

The Reds had to weather an early storm from the visitors, with David Dunn firing over, Alex Baptiste doing the same and Jordan Rhodes unable to convert when put through one on one with Andrew Dawber.

James Beattie’s side began to grow into the game and Gray blasted an early warning wide before they took the lead.

Kal Naismith was the architect of the opening goal, bursting down the right and centring the ball low for Mingoia to rifle past Paul Robinson from inside the 18 yard box.

An immediate Rovers repsone wasn’t forthcoming, with Gray only denied a goal by the linesman’s flag having headed a Josh Windass free kick into the net on 26 minutes.

Now Stanley tails were up and Gray drilled another effort wide before Robinson held onto a strike from Mingoia as they looked to extend their leads.

The Championship side had other ideas though and levelled before half time thanks to David Dunn. The midfielder latched onto a loose ball after the home defence failed to deal with a cross from Matt Kilgallon and lashed the ball into the net to make it 1-1.

Gary Bowyer’s visitors started the second period as they had the first, on the front foot, but were soon defending as Gray looked to play in Hatfield and his shot was deflected wide before Robinson was equal to a drive from Windass.

It was Stanley who did strike next and it was a stylish way to do it. A fine counter attack saw Gray in behind the visiting defence and the Northern Ireland under 21 striker finished emphatically past Robinson to make it 2-1.

The lead lasted just five minutes though, as Dawber’s clearance caused defensive problems and the young keeper collided with Rhodes with the ball presented to Cairney. Dawber left the field on a stretcher but not before the Rovers midfielder had levelled the scores.

Gray was inches from restoring Stanley’s lead when hsi 70th minute shot hit the right hand post but a raft of substitutions sooned brought the meaningful action to an end.

Luke Varney fired into the side netting late on for the visitors but neither side could find a winning goal.

Stanley: Dawber (Turner), Hunt, Aldred (Atkinson), Winnard, Liddle (Beverley), Naismith (Martin), Joyce, Windass (Goulding), Mingoia, Hatfield (Clunan), Gray (Ormerod)