Meet Town's opposition: Coming off a 5-1 loss, Stanley 'won't park bus'

Accrington Stanley's Colby Bishop during the Sky Bet League One match at the Energy Check County Gro

Accrington Stanley striker Colby Bishop tends to enjoy playing against Ipswich Town - but will he today? - Credit: PA

Ipswich Town travel to Accrington Stanley tomorrow (3pm) looking to build on that 6-0 win over Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday night and extend their three-game unbeaten run. Mark Heath takes a look at Stanley.

File photo dated 27-03-2021 of Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman is interviewed after the fina

Accrington boss John Coleman saw his team lose 5-1 to Oxford United on Tuesday night - Credit: PA

The story so far

Stanley sit 12th in League One, exactly mid-table after 10 games. They started the season strongly, winning five of their first seven games in league and cup, but enter this match on a bad run of form.

They were crushed 5-1 at Oxford on Tuesday night, a game in which long-time boss John Coleman described the U's as 'ruthless' - but insisted his side weren't outclassed.

"Oxford were the better team but I thought we actually played quite well, and I know that sounds strange after losing 5-1," the Stanley boss told the Lancashire Telegraph.

“They were just clinical in front of goal, whereas we keep making individual errors which are costing us goals. We gifted them at least three goals tonight.

"I honestly thought we were the better team in the second half even though we have ended up losing (the half) 3-1. They were just ruthless in front of goal.

“It is a concern for us, though, that we’ve conceded 12 goals in three games."

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As Coleman said, that mauling was the latest in a very leaky run for Stanley - before Tuesday's tonking they'd drawn 3-3 with Morecambe, lost 4-1 at home to Wigan and went down 2-1 at table-toppers Sunderland.

They've not won since September 4, a 1-0 victory over Shrewsbury. Since then, they've lost three and drawn one, conceding 14 goals and scoring just six in the process.

Hosting Town, a side bursting with confidence after their big win in midweek, is probably the last thing they'd want.

No bus parking

Despite the two sides' vastly differing midweek fortunes, Coleman insists he will not set out to fight off a Town siege for 90 minutes.

"One thing I will say is we're not going to play Ipswich, who've scored six during the week, and try and park the bus," he said.

"I'd never do that. I'd never do that to my own fans. It's not in my nature - and when it comes into my nature, I'm better off packing it in.

"We'll be going out to try and win the game on Saturday. We'll look at and try and address the defending, because that helps you win games, defending properly - but you need to try and score goals to win games."

Accrington Stanley's Colby Bishop during the Sky Bet League One match at Wham Stadium, Accrington. P

Colby Bishop has been a thorn in Town's side before - Credit: PA

One to watch

Colby Bishop is a man most Town fans will be wary of this afternoon.

The physical striker, who was linked with a move to Town in the summer, has always proved a handful for Ipswich in the four games he's played against them.

Most notably, Bishop shone in October 2019 when he scored both goals to condemn Paul Lambert’s side to defeat in a televised clash at the Wham Stadium. Town’s season never really recovered. 

He's scored 12 goals in both his League One season so far, and has bagged three in this campaign - including two goals and an assist in Stanley's last three games.

Town will need to be alive to his threat this afternoon.

Paul Lambert's Town lost 1-0 to Accrington in the FA Cup in 2019. Picture Pagepix

Paul Lambert's Town lost 1-0 to Accrington in the FA Cup in 2019. Picture Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Not a happy hunting ground

Town had never played Accrington until January 2019, when they were dumped out of the FA Cup 1-0 on their first visit to the Wham Stadium.

Then rock-bottom of the Championship, with Stanley in their first season in the third tier, it was a mild cup upset.

Stanley then repeated the trick when the sides met as equals later that year - the Colby Bishop inspired win described above.

Fans arrive for the FA Cup fourth round match at the Wham Stadium, Accrington.

Town have only ever won once at Accrington Stanley - Credit: PA

And, though they beat Stanley twice at home in 2020, it wasn't until this March that the Blues finally got their first-ever win at Accrington, a 2-1 triumph with new boss Paul Cook watching on.

Of course, that game was played before an empty stadium. Things will be very different tomorrow.

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