High-flying Oxford United are the visitors to the Store First Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
As kick off approaches, the official website takes a look at all the things you need to know about the opposition.
Formed as Headington in 1893, the club joined the Southern League in 1949 and in 1962 as Oxford United were elected in to the Football League. They enjoyed a meteoric rise to the old Second Division before a spell in the lower reaches, but the arrival of Jim Smith as manager and Robert Maxwell as Chairman saw the club promoted as champions in successive season to reach the top division for the first time for the 1985-86 season.
With John Aldridge firing on all cylinders and Ray Houghton and Trevor Hebberd pulling the strings in midfield, the U’s more than held their own in the top flight, culminating in a Wembley win over QPR in the 1986 Milk Cup final.
However by the mid 90s the club was in Division Three and despite moving to the new Kassam Stadium in 2001 by 2006 they had been relegated to the Conference.
The following year they were beaten in the Conference play-offs but in 2010 they made it all the way to the final, beating York City to return to the Football League.
Why You Might Know Them…
The Us are currently the only team in League Two unbeaten away from home.
Chris began his career as an apprentice at Southampton and played 400 games for eleven clubs including Sheffield United, Rotherham and Nott County. He ended his playing career at Halifax and then became manager at the Shay in troubled times; there were only five registered players when he took over. However over the next six years he built a good footballing side who reached the play-off final (losing to Hereford) before crippling financial problems meant that Chris was fighting a tough battle every day. In the summer of 2008 he joined Bury as assistant manager and had helped them to second in League Two when he joined the U’s as successor to Darren Patterson.
From 13th in the Conference he took the team to the edge of the play-offs in his first season, then guided them to a Wembley play-off win the following season to secure their place back in the Football League.
One to Watch
Constable is a renowned goal scorer at League Two level and will certainly be one to watch for the Accrington back four this afternoon.
After signing permanently for today’s visitors in 2009, Constable has gone on to net an impressive 60 goals in just 169 appearances for the club.
After joining Oxford permanently in May 2009, James scored 29 goals including the team’s second in a 3-1 Play-off final win over York City at Wembley Stadium as they won promotion to the Football League.
He followed this up by being the club’s leading scorer in the first season back, when he became the first player to win a second Supporters’ Player of the Season award.
Accrington Stanley and Oxford United had never met until 2010 but since then have played each other on eight occasions.
Today’s visitors have an enviable record, winning four of those games. Stanley are yet to taste victory, with their best results coming in the shape of four draws.
Last season the sides met on four occasions, twice in League Two and twice in the FA Cup.
Last season the Reds lost on the final day of the league season against United but earlier in the season Lee Molyneux was amongst the scorers in a thrilling 3-3 FA Cup tie
The Reds picked up a hard fought point at AFC Wimbledon last weekend when they probably deserved all three but James Beattie’s side are still looking for their first league win.
They remain bottom of League Two.
Chris Wilder’s men have won two of their last five games in all competitions but are the only side in League Two yet to lose away from home
They are third with 21 points from their eleven matches so far.
Rob Atkinson is added to Stanley’s injury list with the hamstring problem he picked up at Wimbledon and James Caton is also a doubt.
James Gray and Shay McCartan return from international duty whilst Laurence Wilson and Michael Liddle are stepping up their returns to fitness but are unlikely to feature
United have no new injury concerns with winger Alfie Potter their major doubt. He has an ankle problem.
Oxford United Goalscorers
Danny Rose 4
Dean Smalley 4
James Constable 3
John Mullins 3
Alfie Potter 3
Accrington Stanley Goalscorers
Peter Murphy 2
James Gray 2
Kayode Odejayi 2
Danny Webber 1
Marcus Carver 1
Piero Mingoia 1
The Man in the Middle
Carl Boyeson (East Yorkshire)
So Far This Season: Nine games, 30 yellows, one red
Last Stanley Game: Stanley 1 Shrewsbury 1 – 21/04/12
Ahead of the game, manager James Beattie has been giving his thoughts to the official website