(((STREAM>))) Stream: Accrington Stanley v Carlisle United Live 5 September 2023
The club reached the Football League Two play-offs during the 2010–11 season, one of the most successful in its history. A run of 1 loss in 19 games, from February till May, saw the club finish in a best-ever 5th position, eventually losing to League Two newcomers Stevenage in the Playoff Semi-finals. The season saw the emergence of Jimmy Ryan as a star in the making, along with a number of others, including goalkeeper Alex Cisak and midfielder Sean McConville. In the domestic cups, Stanley reached the 2nd round of the League Cup, losing 3–2 to Premier League team Newcastle United. The club actually won the 1st-round game of the Football League Trophy away to Tranmere Rovers, but was then forced to resign from the competition after fielding the ineligible Ray Putterill in the game. The club also reached the 2nd round of the FA Cup, but lost to fellow League Two side Port Vale.
This was following a serious head injury to young defender Thomas Bender in the initial tie. Andy Holt's stewardship (2015–present) On 28 October 2015, the board of Accrington Stanley voted to approve local businessman Andy Holt's takeover of the club. Holt, whose company What More UK sponsored, and still sponsor, Stanley's Wham Stadium, attained a majority share of 75% in Accrington Stanley, in return for clearing the club's £1. 2m debt as well as providing the club with further funds of £600, 000. Stanley's chairman, Peter Marsden, remained as chairman whilst five new people joined the club's board.  At the time of the takeover, Stanley had been on the verge of folding due to crippling debts and its inability to fund day-to-day running costs, including wages and its suppliers.
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 Due to its precarious financial situation, the club had been accepting sponsorship deals at a value lower than what should have been demanded. Holt's involvement with Stanley began in July 2015, when Holt attended Stanley's pre-season friendly at home against local rivals Burnley, which they won 4–2. It was during this game that Holt got an insight into the dire state of Stanley, having discovered that the club's bar was unable to serve spectators as a result of its failure to pay its suppliers.  In his first season as owner of the club, the 2015–16 Football League Two season, the club narrowly missed out on promotion to League One on the final day of the season, having been held to a 0–0 draw with Stevenage. Stanley were then defeated in the semi-final of the League Two play-offs, losing 3–2 on aggregate to AFC Wimbledon, with Wimbledon going on to defeat Plymouth Argyle 2–0 in the play-off final.
5 wins in the final 12 games were enough to secure a 17th-place finish and another season in the 4th tier of English Football. However, the club failed to win a game in the FA Cup and League Cup, losing to Huddersfield Town and Leicester City respectively. Performance during the 2008–09 season improved, with the club achieving a modest 16th-place finish in League Two. A run of 6 League wins in the last 12 games was a nice way to finish the season.
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The town's original club, named simply Accrington, were founder members of the Football League in 1888, though folded just six years later. The current incarnation of the club entered the Lancashire Combination and moved on to the Cheshire County League after winning the Combination title in 1977–78. Stanley won Division Two of the Cheshire County League in 1980–81 and became founder members of the North West Counties League in 1982, before being placed in Division One of the Northern Premier League five years later. They were promoted to the Premier Division in 1990–91, though were relegated in 1999. The early 21st century saw the club win three promotions over the course of seven seasons under the stewardship of John Coleman to gain a place in the Football League. They won three divisional titles in each of their three promotions: Northern Premier League Division One (1999–2000), Northern Premier League Premier Division (2002–03) and the Conference National (2005–06).
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