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Match Previews

Preview: Imps v Accrington Stanley

5 December 2017

The Imps host Accrington Stanley tonight for the first time since 2011 as they look to make Round Three of the Northern Section of the Checkatrade Trophy.

Checkatrade Trophy form

Stanley's campaign started in mid-September as they defeated Middlesbrough Under-23s at the Wham Stadium.

The hosts came from behind twice to secure a 3-2 victory, thanks to goals from Scott Brown, Malik Wilks and an injury-time winner from Liam Nolan secured the three points.

It was Stanley's turn to fall to a late winner as they were defeated 2-1 at home by neighbours Blackpool. Danny Philliskirk gave the Tangerines the lead, before Eric Sousa levelled minutes later. But an 88th minute strike from Max Clayton denied Accrington an unbeaten start.

Stanley's final group game was away at the DW Stadium, and they secured an impressive 4-0 victory against their League One opponents.

Goals from Jonny Edwards, a brace from Eric Sousa and Mekhi McLeod secured John Coleman's side's progression to the knockout stages.

Last line-up in the Checkatrade Trophy:

Stryjek, Hornby-Forbes, Richards-Everton, Nolan, Rawson, Brown, Leacock-McLeod, Sousa (Clark, 87), Edwards, Wilks, Kee (Ogle, 4)

Coleman's pre-match comments

The Stanley boss has announced that he will be playing a strong side ahead of the Round Two clash.

Like the Imps, Accrington had a weekend away from league action following their FA Cup departure to National League side Guiseley, and Coleman is also looking to bounce back from his previous league outing which was a 2-0 defeat at Exeter City.

“We have had time off and we could get rusty and what we want to do is make sure we get our form back from the previous weeks." Coleman told Accrington Stanley's website.

“The players are disappointed, they are keen to put it right and I will put a strong squad out for Lincoln, as we did at Wigan in the last round."

The visiting boss has a similar outlook to the competition as Danny Cowley, who both see the competition as a realistic opportunity to get to Wembley.

“You have to be realistic. Accrington are not going to get to the final of the FA Cup or the League Cup but a number of League Two sides have made the final of the Checkatrade Trophy at Wembley." He added.

One to watch

Forward Billy Kee is one for the Imps fans to keep their eye on. The 27-year-old has 11 goals from 25 appearances in all competitions this season, and has formed a solid partnership up front with Kayden Jackson.

Kee didn't start in the opening two Checkatrade Trophy fixtures, however he did start in the 4-0 win at Wigan Athletic, but was brought off after four minutes. 

Despite being small in stature, Kee can offer a physical threat. 

He has 43 goals since joining Stanley from Scunthorpe United in the summer of 2015.

The Northern Irishmen came through the ranks at Leicester City, and first joined Accrington on loan in 2009 as a 19-year-old, scoring nine times in his maiden professional season.

Kee joined Torquay United in the summer of 2010, scoring nine more goals during that campaign, before joining Burton Albion, where the 27-year-old scored 42 league goals during his time at the Pirelli Stadium.

August 2014 saw Kee make the move to North Lincolnshire, where he failed to score in 12 substitue appearances, before making the return to the Wham Stadium via a loan spell at Mansfield Town.


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