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Cook’s men make a winning start
ACCRINGTON Stanley started their pre-season fixture list with a 4-1 win at Bootle on Saturday.
Stanley travelled to face the North West Counties Premier Division side following the postponement of John Coleman's testimonial game, due to take place against Rochdale at the Crown Ground.
Recent wet weather conditions forced the Reds to call that match off earlier in the week and it almost put paid to the new fixture too, with the Bootle pitch needing to pass an inspection for the game to go ahead.
Paul Cook was able to name Dean Winnard in his starting line-up, with the defender making his first appearance since ankle surgery in March, and new signing Lewis Hatch also started together with new professional Adam Stockdale and youth team keeper Andrew Dawber.
But the rest of the line-up was made up of trialists – including former Port Vale midfielder Marc Bridge-Wilkinson, who has been training with the club for the past two weeks.
The Reds were ahead after nine minutes when an unnamed trialist converted a cross from 20-year-old winger Aidan Chippendale, who was released by Huddersfield Town last month after spending part of last season on loan at Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
Bootle levelled seven minutes later but 20-year-old striker James Gray – formerly of Darlington and Northern Ireland under 19s, and son of former Burnley and Sunderland midfielder Phil Gray – then saw a shot cleared off the line for Stanley.
Accrington did regain the lead three minutes before half time thanks to a close range strike from midfielder Joe Holt, 22, who had a spell with Cammell Laird last sason after leaving Wigan - having previously had a loan with Swedish club Ostensund.
Stanley made wholesale changes at half time, introducing Craig Lindfield, Toto Nsiala, George Miller, Bohan Dixon, Luke Clark and more trialists.
On came 20-year-old striker Vadaine Oliver, recently released by Sheffield Wednesday, and ex-Rochdale winger Adam Rundle.
In the 66th minute the latter crossed for former Tranmere youngster Ellis Appleton to score.
Appleton then latched on to a through ball to add his second goal and make it 4-1.
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