Thursday 7 January 2021

Bishop's move for Accrington?

Charlton face Accrington Stanley at The Valley tomorrow in front of the television cameras, never a good omen.   Moreover, they are likely to face ex Leamington ace Colby Bishop who has scored 42 goals for Accrington since joining them from the Brakes in 2019 for an undisclosed fee.

He was a formidable force with an eye for goal when he was at Leamington and Accrington scouts have been at Harbury Lane for the last few home games eyeing another likely recruit, given how their investment in Bishop paid off.

Accrington Stanley are being seen as the dark horses for promotion out of League One but have not played since drawing 0-0 with Blackpool on December 19th. Two scheduled games immediately after Christmas, against Doncaster Rovers and Sunderland, were postponed due to Covid-19 outbreaks in their opponents’ squads before a third, at home to Portsmouth, fell foul of a frozen pitch last weekend.

Friday’s trip to Charlton will be their first game in three weeks and also the first of at least 31 league and cup games between now and May 8. Put another way, it will be a game every 3.9 days across four months.

'As it stands now, I’d be amazed if League One and League Two weren’t extended to the end of May,” Accrington boss John Coleman told The Athletic. 'It’s going to be very difficult getting all those games in, particularly when we’ve got more bad weather ahead of us. That’ll undoubtedly lead to more postponements.'

“It’s going to be physically impossible to fit the games in the way we’re going. I don’t make the rules, I just abide by them.'

League One has easily been the division worst hit by the pandemic. Thirty-four fixtures have so far been lost and six of them have involved Accrington, who were first hit by a coronavirus outbreak that saw 19 players and staff return positive results in mid-October.

That has left Accrington with as many as five games in hand on other sides in the league. Winning four of them would, in theory, take them to the top of League One.

The coming weeks and months will be used to play catch-up but Coleman is already braced for more postponements. 'I still don’t think we’ve seen the peak of it yet,' he says.

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