Accrington Stanley boss names the one Bristol Rovers played that impressed him

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A rehearsed set-piece ended up being the winning formula to Accrington’s 1-0 win over Bristol Rovers

Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman has picked out Sam Finley as the best Bristol Rovers player from Saturday’s win.

Finley, who played under Coleman for two seasons at the Wham Stadium, played the entire match, as the Gas fell to their second consecutive home defeat.

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The 30-year-old had praise for Rovers, praising their quality in all departments of their team, whilst taking pride in earning a clean sheet at the Memorial Stadium.

Stanley had been three places higher than Rovers before kick-off and had their own selection issues with players ruled out through injury but

He said to Accrington’s YouTube channel: “Back-to-back clean sheets is the holy grail for us. It was a tough game, we knew what to expect from Bristol Rovers, they have got quality all over the park.

“Sam Finley matureness of a superb player at this level. Great control of the game and had a big influence on it today.”

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Of his assessment of the game, the 59-year-old believed his side could have scored more chances, especially in the first-half.

Ultimately, a quickly-thought of set-piece saw Joe Pritchard pick himself up from the floor and header home after the ball was returned quickly to their taker.

Accrington had a lesser share of the ball but boasted more shots with 15 to Rovers 14, whilst getting four on target against James Belshaw.

“Our lads stuck to the task really well,” he added. “We had the lion’s share of the opening exchanges, disappointed that we didn’t capitalise with goals. We didn’t really make their keeper work. They are always going to get the crowd behind them and always have a go at us in the second-half.

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“We’ve got a well-worked goal. You’re like a cabaret singer, set-piece routines, you can’t just have one, you have to have 14-15 as a singer. Thankfully we were alert enough to get that one off and a great header by Joe (Pritchard).”

Rovers’ winless run was something that Coleman was aware of prior to kick-off, with it one win in seven before kick-off on Saturday.

Joey Barton’s side haven’t tasted victory since defeating Oxford United 1-0 in mid-August in what was their third match of the campaign, courtesy of a goal from John Marquis.

Since then they have had to deal with injury and suspension issues, which have affected the managers ability to choose a consistent team.

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A 6-3 defeat to Lincoln City last weekend prompted a change in the side and their anxiety was something Coleman picked up on.

“Bristol would have been anxious about last week,” he said.

“You tend to go a bit longer and a bit quicker than you should. They have got good passers of the ball and they can play through the lines.

“They are anxious and desperate for results. We were last week and I know exactly how they are feeling, you just need a little bit of luck.

“We got a little bit of luck today. John Marquis is at an angle and it could have easily gone in and then you’re hanging on for dear life in extra time.

“I think we just about shaded it on the balance of how we got into their half regularly and made regular chances, thankfully we took them.”

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