Molyneux fires Reds to safety

BY foxsports • April 20, 2013

Tony Pulis insisted there was never any panic in the Stoke camp after his side's vital 2-0 victory over QPR at Loftus Road.

With only one win since the turn of the year, the Potters faithful have been somewhat disgruntled of late after being dragged into a relegation battle.

However, a reflective Pulis insisted all was calm down at the Britannia, regardless of the outcome at Loftus Road.

"It was a great result for us today," Pulis told Sky Sports.

"But even if we would have lost, we still had four games to get the points we needed to stay up.

"It was important the players understood it wasn't do or die."

After a period of stability in the Premier League, the Potters have found themselves in the unusual position of fighting for their top flight status; a fact that Pulis believes may have had an effect on the players.

"After seven years of success in our own right, we have not been used to being where we are," he added.

"We haven't been getting the breaks, but today we did and it made the difference."

Bournemouth showed off their credentials with a comprehensive victory which saw goals for Steve Cook, Harry Arter and Brett Pitman, as Lee Miller's 50th minute goal for Carlisle proved only to be a consolation.

The Cherries' return to the second tier after an absence of 23 years could be confirmed on Saturday evening if third-placed Brentford fail to beat lowly Hartlepool in the late kick-off.

Doncaster could have sealed promotion but were beaten 1-0 by Notts County.

The defeat, in which Joss Labadie scored the only goal in the 14th minute, saw Rovers slip into second place, one point behind Bournemouth.

At the other end of the table, Scunthorpe boosted their slim chances of escaping from relegation with a 1-0 win at MK Dons.

Karl Hawley scored for the Iron in the 41st minute to leave them with a mathematical chance of avoiding the drop if they can beat Swindon, Colchester lose to Carlisle and they can engineer a three-goal swing in the last game of the season.

Portsmouth took the shine off Sheffield United's charge into the play-offs when they beat them 3-0 at Fratton Park.

Shaun Cooper, David Connolly and Jed Wallace all scored in the first half to leave the Blades on the wrong end of a defeat, but they remain in sixth place with two games left to play.

Joe Edwards' first minute goal for Yeovil saw them claim a 1-0 win over Crewe, while fellow promotion hopefuls Swindon beat 10-man Stevenage 3-0.

Aden Flint opened the scoring for Swindon ahead of Stevenage striker Daniel Lopez's 39th-minute dismissal before his 73rd minute score sandwiched Gary Roberts's strike as the home side climbed to fifth place.

Jean Yves Mvoto's last-minute goal for Oldham saw them climb their way to safety as they beat Crawley 2-1.

Matt Smith's 56th minute strike was cancelled out by Crawley defender Mark Connolly's header midway through the second half, but Mvoto had the final word as Oldham moved clear of the bottom three.

Elsewhere, Preston beat Tranmere 1-0 thanks to Jeffrey Monakana's first-half stoppage time goal while Walsall drew 1-1 with bottom side Bury.

Febian Brandy opened the scoring for Walsall in the 22nd minute but a last minute equaliser by Efe Sodje earned relegated Bury a point.

Meanwhile, Leyton Orient beat Coventry 1-0 thanks to Dean Cox's 45th minute strike and Colchester drew 0-0 with Shrewsbury.

After a scrappy start by both teams, Pompey took the lead after 21 minutes. Patrick Agyemang sent over a looping cross following good work by Jed Wallace on the right-wing and Shaun Cooper headed powerfully into the bottom left corner of the net.

The home side, whose fans completed a buy-out of the club on Friday night, doubled their lead just three minutes later when Wallace fired a low ball into the six-yard box which David Connolly poked home from point-blank range.

And just after the half-hour Wallace got his name on the score sheet, side-footing home from eight yards out after a fine left-wing run and cross from Connolly.

The Blades, who confirmed their place in the League One play-offs but saw their hopes for automatic promotion end with the defeat, offered little going forward and looked disorganised in defence.

A disallowed Chris Porter header on the stroke of half-time was the closest they came to breaching the Pompey defence.

As early as the second minute Molyneux made sweet contact with a 30-yard free kick and Rovers keeper Steve Mildenhall could only palm the shot into the roof of the net.

Rovers were unable to summon up a meaningful response and it was Stanley's 131 supporters in a crowd over over 7,000 who were celebrating along with their team at the final whistle.

Molyneux's goal was one of few moments of excitement in a scrappy first half, which saw Accrington defend strongly.

It took Rovers 23 minutes to register a shot and even then Tom Parkes' effort was straight at goalkeeper Paul Rachubka.

Young midfielder Ollie Clarke, making his first start for the home side, put in their best first half effort just before the break when his dipping volley narrowly cleared the crossbar.

The second half was a similar story with Rommy Boco heading wide in the 53rd minutes, passing up a great chance to double Accrington's lead.


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