Accrington 0 - 1 Stevenage (agg 0 - 3)
Stevenage will take on Torquay in the League Two play-off final after substitue Chris Beardsley scored the only goal at nine-man Accrington to give his team a 3-0 aggregate victory.
The tie turned decisively in the away team's favour when Stanley had two men sent off in as many minutes midway through the second half.
The first was for a late challenge by Joe Jacobson on Lawrie Wilson and was quickly followed by a red card for Sean McConville, who appeared to throw a punch at an opponent seconds after the initial dismissal.
And Beardsley guaranteed Stevenage's passage through to the final with his crisp strike close to the final whistle.
Stevenage arrived with the luxury of a two-goal advantage after their first-leg victory at Broadhall Way on Sunday, and put in a professional defensive performance during which they experienced relatively few scares.
Visiting keeper Chris Day stopped a McConville header, while Stevenage midfielder Stacy Long shot wide from a good position in the opening half.
Graham Westley's Stevenage won the Blue Square Bet Premier last season and will complete back-to-back promotions if they triumph at Old Trafford on 28 May.
It promised to be a very difficult evening for Stevenage against a Stanley team that had lost only one of their last 19 league games, and scored three or more goals in eight of their last nine home fixtures.
Accrington predictably made all the running as they tried to claw their way back into the tie, but against a resolute and professional Stevenage outfit they struggled to break down their opponents.
Striker Terry Gornell and Jimmy Ryan both had efforts blocked, while the highly-rated Ryan also missed from 20 yards.
Stanley won a free kick in a promising position but Sean Hessey's thunderous strike deflected into the grateful arms of Day, while Ian Craney shot wide after running menacingly at goal, and McConville saw a header cleared.
The home team were trying to play their way through the Stevenage defensive structure but the flow of the game was not helped by a series of injuries that resulted in seven minutes of stoppage time at the end of the opening half.
Stevenage trio Craig Reid, Joel Byrom and goalkeeper Day all required treatment during the first half, as did Stanley's Andrew Procter and McConville.
A late challenge by Stevenage striker Darius Charles on McConville drew an angry response from several Stanley players, who were not slow to direct their protests towards referee Russell Booth.
But a frustrating half for Accrington could have been far worse if Long had not missed an excellent opportunity for the away side.
Stevenage worked the ball from right to left and midfielder Long twisted one way then the other to create space but shot wide from 14 yards.
Stanley almost forced their way back into the tie early in the second half after McConville connected with an excellent teasing cross from the right but his header was brilliantly saved by Day.
The home team were finally starting to enjoy a little more time on the ball in attacking areas, although a narrow miss from Charles and a header over from substitute Byron Harrison gave a reminder of the away team's threat.
Darren Murphy then went very close for the visiting side as they enjoyed a good spell of their own, with keeper Alex Cisak requiring two efforts to prevent his effort from crossing the line.
And any hopes of a dramatic comeback for Accrington ended after the quick-fire double dismissal, before Beardsley put the result beyond doubt with his late goal.
- 01 Cisak
- 03 Winnard
- 04 Hessey
- 12 Edwards Booked
- 26 Jacobson Dismissed
- 06 Procter
- 07 Ryan Booked
- 11 McConville Dismissed
- 14 Joyce
- 27 Brady (Turner - 62' )
- 24 Gornell
- 25 Dunbavin
- 05 Long
- 13 Richardson
- 08 Barnett
- 10 Putterill
- 16 Turner
- 09 Lindfield
- 16 Day
- 02 Wilson (Winn - 90' )
- 03 Laird
- 04 Charles Booked (Beardsley - 77' )
- 14 Roberts
- 25 Henry
- 07 Murphy Booked
- 08 Long
- 13 Byrom
- 24 Bostwick
- 10 Reid (Harrison - 45' )
- 29 Welch
- 31 Marjarson
- 17 Winn
- 20 Beardsley
- 26 Harrison
- 27 Maamria
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The final whistle goes and the game is over.90:00 +3:47
Byron Harrison takes a shot. Save by Alex Cisak.90:00 +0:56 Substitution
Substitution Peter Winn joins the action as a substitute, replacing Lawrie Wilson.90:00 +0:56
Shot by Darren Murphy from outside the box goes high over the target.90:00 +0:30
Handball decision goes against Phil Edwards. Joel Byrom takes the free kick.89:11
Assist on the goal came from Lawrie Wilson.89:11 Goal scored
Goal! - Chris Beardsley - Accrington 0 - 1 Stevenage Chris Beardsley fires in a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Accrington Stanley 0 (0)-(3) 1 Stevenage.87:50
Lawrie Wilson is caught offside. Sean Hessey takes the indirect free kick.86:28
Free kick awarded for a foul by Byron Harrison on Phil Edwards. Sean Hessey takes the free kick.85:56
Chris Beardsley has an effort from just inside the box that misses to the left of the goal.84:42
The ball is crossed by Lawrie Wilson.84:15
The ball is crossed by Darren Murphy, Header from close range by Chris Beardsley misses to the right of the goal.83:20
A cross is delivered by Lawrie Wilson, Phil Edwards makes a clearance.82:58
Stacy Long has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the goal.81:23
Phil Edwards takes a shot. Chris Day makes a save. Outswinging corner taken by Chris Turner from the left by-line, Darren Murphy manages to make a clearance. Corner taken right-footed by Chris Turner, Byron Harrison makes a clearance. The ball is delivered by James Ryan, save made by Chris Day.80:48
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Terry Gornell by Joel Byrom. Sean Hessey takes the indirect free kick.80:12
Phil Edwards gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Chris Beardsley. Joel Byrom takes the direct free kick.76:06
Michael Bostwick produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick. Corner taken by Stacy Long played to the near post, save by Alex Cisak.76:06 Substitution
Substitution Chris Beardsley is brought on as a substitute for Darius Charles.76:06
Free kick awarded for a foul by Sean Hessey on Darius Charles.
Foul by Terry Gornell on Ronnie Henry, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Chris Day.73:54
Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Chris Turner, Darius Charles manages to make a clearance.72:55
Ronnie Henry takes the indirect free kick.72:55 Booking
Booking James Ryan is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.72:30
James Ryan gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ronnie Henry.69:37
Free kick taken by Chris Day.69:37 Dismissal
Dismissal Sean McConville receives a red card for violent conduct.68:39
Indirect free kick taken by Chris Day. Foul by Sean McConville on Scott Laird, free kick awarded.68:39 Dismissal
Dismissal Joe Jacobson sent from the field by the ref for professional foul.68:39
Joe Jacobson challenges Lawrie Wilson unfairly and gives away a free kick.68:21
Chris Turner sends in a cross, clearance by Michael Bostwick.67:43
Stacy Long sends in a cross, clearance by Joe Jacobson. Darren Murphy takes a shot. Save by Alex Cisak.65:49
Free kick awarded for a foul by James Ryan on Darius Charles. Chris Day takes the free kick.64:56
Free kick awarded for a foul by Mark Roberts on Sean McConville. Sean Hessey restarts play with the free kick. Sean McConville delivers the ball, Darren Murphy manages to make a clearance. The ball is sent over by Chris Turner, clearance by Ronnie Henry.64:25
Byron Harrison produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the right-hand post.63:36
Darius Charles produces a left-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that misses to the left of the target.62:52
The ball is sent over by Dean Winnard, Lawrie Wilson manages to make a clearance.61:17 Substitution
Substitution Chris Turner joins the action as a substitute, replacing Ian Brady.59:20
Sean McConville has an effort at goal from outside the box missing to the wide left of the goal.58:45
The referee blows for offside against Darius Charles. Sean Hessey restarts play with the free kick.57:05
The ball is delivered by James Ryan, Sean McConville takes a shot. Chris Day makes a save.56:59
The ball is delivered by Joe Jacobson, Mark Roberts manages to make a clearance.56:06
Free kick awarded for a foul by Lawrie Wilson on Joe Jacobson. Sean Hessey restarts play with the free kick.54:18
The ball is swung over by Lawrie Wilson, clearance by Joe Jacobson.53:34
The ball is delivered by Darius Charles.52:56
Luke Joyce challenges Lawrie Wilson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Ronnie Henry.51:54
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Michael Bostwick by Terry Gornell. Chris Day takes the free kick.51:35
Byron Harrison is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Alex Cisak takes the indirect free kick.51:12
The offside flag is raised against Terry Gornell. Chris Day takes the indirect free kick.50:11
A cross is delivered by Ronnie Henry, save made by Alex Cisak.48:27
The ball is delivered by James Ryan, save by Chris Day.45:01
The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.45:00 +7:12 Half time
Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.45:00 +5:10
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Andrew Procter by Darius Charles. Alex Cisak takes the indirect free kick.45:00 +4:24
James Ryan produces a cross, Chris Day makes a save.45:00 +3:31
Craig Reid gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Phil Edwards. Free kick taken by Alex Cisak.45:00 +2:38
The ball is swung over by Joe Jacobson, Michael Bostwick manages to make a clearance.45:00 +1:50
Alex Cisak restarts play with the free kick.45:00 +1:50 Booking
Booking Darius Charles is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.45:00 +0:59
Free kick awarded for a foul by Darius Charles on Sean McConville.45:00 +0:14
Corner from the left by-line taken by Joel Byrom, clearance by Phil Edwards.45:00 Substitution
Substitution Craig Reid goes off and Byron Harrison comes on.44:06
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Stacy Long by Terry Gornell. Chris Day takes the free kick.43:18
Darius Charles concedes a free kick for a foul on Phil Edwards. Indirect free kick taken by Sean Hessey.42:41
Foul by Terry Gornell on Scott Laird, free kick awarded. Indirect free kick taken by Chris Day.41:27
Foul by Ian Brady on Michael Bostwick, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Michael Bostwick. Shot from long range by Mark Roberts goes wide of the left-hand post.40:18
Terry Gornell gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Mark Roberts. Chris Day takes the free kick. Stacy Long produces a left-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the left of the target.39:40
Sean Hessey restarts play with the free kick.39:40 Booking
Booking Phil Edwards is cautioned by the ref for dissent.39:34
Foul by Darius Charles on Phil Edwards, free kick awarded.38:58
Free kick awarded for a foul by Sean McConville on Chris Day. Chris Day takes the indirect free kick.36:25
Sean Hessey concedes a free kick for a foul on Darius Charles. Ronnie Henry takes the free kick.35:46
Sean Hessey takes the indirect free kick.35:46 Booking
Booking Darren Murphy goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.35:26
Darren Murphy concedes a free kick for a foul on Luke Joyce.34:00
Outswinging corner taken by Stacy Long, Alex Cisak makes a save.30:18
Ian Brady challenges Mark Roberts unfairly and gives away a free kick. Chris Day takes the free kick.29:06
Darius Charles gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Andrew Procter. Indirect free kick taken by Phil Edwards.27:11
Foul by Terry Gornell on Joel Byrom, free kick awarded. Chris Day takes the indirect free kick.25:31
Joe Jacobson challenges Lawrie Wilson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed by Stacy Long, Sean Hessey manages to make a clearance. Corner taken by Stacy Long from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Terry Gornell.23:40
Shot from long distance by Ian Brady misses to the right of the target.22:19
Foul by Terry Gornell on Michael Bostwick, free kick awarded. Chris Day takes the indirect free kick.19:00
A cross is delivered by Stacy Long, Dean Winnard makes a clearance. Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Stacy Long played to the near post, save by Alex Cisak.18:36
The ball is delivered by Craig Reid, clearance made by Dean Winnard.17:08
Sean McConville fouled by Mark Roberts, the ref awards a free kick. Sean Hessey has an effort direct from the free kick, save by Chris Day.15:00
Long range shot from Sean McConville misses to the left of the target.13:26
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Andrew Procter by Darius Charles. Sean Hessey takes the free kick.12:15
Sean McConville takes a outswinging corner to the near post, James Ryan takes a shot. Mark Roberts gets a block in.10:53
The referee blows for offside against Sean McConville. Chris Day takes the free kick.8:29
The ball is swung over by Terry Gornell, Scott Laird makes a clearance. Craig Reid gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Phil Edwards. Indirect free kick taken by Sean Hessey.7:36
James Ryan has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide left of the goal.7:07
Corner taken by Sean McConville, Darren Murphy manages to make a clearance.6:49
Unfair challenge on Sean Hessey by Darius Charles results in a free kick. Sean Hessey takes the free kick.5:25
Darren Murphy gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Joe Jacobson. Indirect free kick taken by Sean Hessey.4:24
Ronnie Henry fouled by James Ryan, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Joel Byrom, clearance by Phil Edwards.2:06
James Ryan delivers the ball.0:00
The match has kicked off.
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