Accrington 0-1 Stevenage (agg 0-3)

By Paul FletcherBBC Sport at the Crown Ground

Stevenage will take on 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 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.

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