Betfred Sport

Match abandoned after serious injury

Accrington Stanley 1 Tranmere Rovers 2 (match abandoned)

The Johnstone’s Paints Trophy game between Accrington Stanley and Tranmere Rovers had to be abandoned after a serious head injury to Stanley defender Tom Bender.

Bender, 18, was making his first professional start for the club he joined recently on loan from Colchester United.

The incident (pictured) from which the injury occurred appeared to be rather innocuous but it left the young defender unconscious and laying on the Crown Ground pitch for over half an hour while the medical staff from both clubs and a qualified doctor from the terraces administered treatment.

A through ball was played through towards the Accrington goal and was chased down by Tranmere forward Lucas Akins. Stanley goalkeeper Ian Dunbavin came out to clear the danger and attempt to punch the ball clear. Akins got to the ball first but Bender’s momentum took him into the full force of the goalkeeper’s punch and he was out cold.

Thankfully, he has been given the all clear from the Royal Blackburn hospital after having a brain scan, and appears to have just suffered severe concussion.

The two teams agreed it was the best decision to abandon the match, which Rovers led 2-1.


Before the incident, it had been an entertaining affair. Both sides were trying to pass the ball about on the heavily watered surface, which made for a good spectacle.

Stanley had taken an early lead through a mistake by Tranmere defender Zoumana Bakayogo. Accrington’s Kevin McIntyre played in a low cross and Bakayogo stuck out a leg only to divert the ball past his own goalkeeper and into the net.

Rovers came back into it and equalised through centre-back Ash Taylor after 20 minutes. A Joss Labadie free-kick was flicked on by Ian Goodison and Taylor turned the ball home at the back post.

They took the lead on 35 minutes. Labadie made a marauding run down the left flank and his low cross ended at the feet of striker Mustafa Tiryaki who turned and fired home past Dunbavin.

As it is, those goals will not stand due to the abandonment and the game will be replayed. The date of the replay is yet to be confirmed.

By Paul Harper 

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