A well-drilled Exeter City were held to a goalless draw at the Wham Stadium.
Chances were few and far between for both sides as Tim Dieng and Matt Jay go closest for the Grecians.
306 Grecians fans made the journey to Lancashire and were entertained with a solid away performance and another point on the board.
On his return to the touchline following the birth of his baby boy, Matt Taylor made five changes to his side to face Accrington. New loan signing, Rekeem Harper took his place on the bench.
The home side almost celebrated an early goal through Korede Adedoyin. The striker swivelled on the edge of the box and unleashed a fierce half-volley which fizzed wide.
Jack Sparkes let fly in the tenth minute for City’s first effort of the afternoon. A neatly worked short corner fell to the wing-back on the edge. His drive was always curling away, however.
Just a couple of minutes later, Stanley registered their first shot on target. Ethan Hamilton put his laces through a 30-yard free kick. Jamal Blackman parried the ball into safety and claimed on the second attempt.
Straight up the other end, Tim Dieng got thrusted into the action. Latching onto a loose ball the Frenchman went for goal from an acute angle but found his shot in the away end.
Sam Stubbs took a knock to the head after quarter of an hour. A new shirt and fetching black head bandage to boot, the big centre-half soldiered on.
Accrington looked dangerous on the long throws.
Doug Tharme did comically send one into orbit with an unexplainable noise, but his next attempt caused some trouble. A stutter and a lob into the six-yard area pinballed to Joe Pritchard on the slide, who sliced wide.
Tim Dieng almost capped off a superb team move for City on the half-hour mark.
Sam Nombe intercepted the ball mid-way inside the Accy half. His forward ball to Dieng was laid to Archie Collins on the half turn. A threaded ball to Jevani Brown was slightly overhit, but the Jamaican was able to sit the ball up to the back post where Tim rose highest. A desperate Accrington leg kept the scores level.
Words can’t really describe what happened on the stroke of half time but somehow the ball kept out of the net.
Accrington were lumping balls into the City box en masse and a unhealthy mix of hopeful hacks, a bundle of swipes and some miraculous defending from Pierce Sweeney eventually got the ball clear. But for thirty seconds it was absolute carnage in the Exeter box.
The second half started fairly cagey. Sam Stubbs found himself in the book for a dubious foul on Adedoyin on 56 minutes.
With 27 minutes to play Rekeem Harper came on for his first taste of City football, filling in for Harry Kite.
It was Harper’s battling which opened the first shot of the second period. Scrambling play from the new recruit let the ball fall to Tim Dieng who turned and from thirty yards, blazed over.
City looked brighter for the substitution, and it was new boy Harper who was found on the edge of the box by Collins from a corner. His shot was deflected wide.
The Grecians would have been aggrieved had Stanley taken the lead in the 77th minute.
Archie Collins was seemingly sliced down in the middle of the park. With Matt Taylor fuming with the fourth official Accrington won a soft free kick for themselves. Hamilton, who had set his sights in the first half, went low again with his effort which flashed wide.
Introduced with 12 minutes to go, Matt Jay almost headed City in front. A deft lofted ball to MJ at the back post was met quite as planned underneath the crossbar.
Luckily the same can be said for Stanley sub, Matt Lowe who got on the end of a wicked free kick with three minutes left on the clock.
City asked for a couple of “seen-them-given” penalties in the final few stages, but ultimately nothing separated the two teams on a sunny day in the North.
Accrington Stanley: Jensen, Clark (Longelo 56’), Hamilton (Whalley 83’), Astley, Coyle, Leigh (Lowe 73’), Pritchard, McConville ©, Rodgers, Adedoyin (Woods 83’), Tharme
Subs: Savin, Sangare, Conneely,
Exeter City: Blackman, Key, Sweeney ©, Stubbs, Diabate, Sparkes, Collins, Dieng (Jay 78’), Kite (Harper 63’), Brown, Nombe (Cox 90’)
Subs: Brown, Grounds, Caprice, Coley
Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge
Attendance: 2,170 (306 away)
City are next in action at the Park on Tuesday night as Papa John's Trophy football returns with the visit of Newport County.