ACCRINGTON Stanley will be hoping for their own fairytale of New York tomorrow, but manager Leam Richardson will be without Paul Rachubka after the goalkeeper failed in his appeal against suspension.
Stanley face Rotherham United in League Two and will be making their first visit to the New York Stadium, which opened in the summer and is rather grandly named after the area of the town in which it was built.
The Reds are now eight games without a win and yesterday lost keeper Rachubka to a three-match ban.
The 31-year-old recently joined Stanley on an emergency loan from Leeds after regular keeper Ian Dunbavin suffered a long-term shoulder injury.
He was sent off in Saturday’s draw with Plymouth but the ban was delayed to allow him to play on Boxing Day because an appeal could not be heard until the FA’s offices reopened after Christmas.
Rachubka has seen that appeal turned down, though, and Stanley now face a decision over whether to bring in another loan keeper before today’s noon deadline or whether to put their faith in 18-year-old Andrew Dawber.
Dawber does not yet have a professional contract but impressed in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy earlier in the season.
Stanley have now fin-ished their last two matches with 10 men after Dean Winnard was sent off in the 2-1 loss at Bradford on Boxing Day.
Richardson felt the red card, which means the defender will now serve a one-match ban tomorrow, was a major factor in the result but has vowed to lift his players once more in time for the trip to Rotherham.
“The result was a big blow for the lads,” said Richardson (pictured).
“I really felt for them. I was proud of them.
“When they give you everything like they did, you haven’t got a problem. I think if we’d had 11 men on the pitch we would have won the game. I wasn’t happy with the second booking, it happened right in front of me, the linesman said it was handball but his hand was by his hips.
“You’ll find eight, seven or six men on the pitch every week if that’s the case.
“It’s my job now to pick the lads up, it’s my job to dust them down, it’s my job to be positive and we’ll do that very quickly.
“Initially it does hit them hard but it’s my job to pick them up, that’s what I get paid for. I’ll educate them and the next time we come across that situation we’ll be better. I guarantee we’ll be better.”
Danny Schofield is back at Rotherham after the end of his loan spell at Stanley, although the midfielder is out of favour in South Yorkshire and is unlikely to feature tomorrow.
Stanley were beaten 2-1 by the Millers at the Crown Ground in a rearranged match late last month.