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FA Cup 1st Round: Accrington Stanley 1 Huddersfield Town 0

IT IS tough having to take a day off work especially to sit on the bench in an FA Cup tie - but when you score the winner it's worth it!

IT IS tough having to take a day off work especially to sit on the bench in an FA Cup tie - but when you score the winner it's worth it!

Andy Gouck was meant to be doing his job as a social worker in Blackpool on Sunday morning. But he had to take a day out of his holidays to face Third Division Huddersfield in the first round of the FA Cup.

He must have been gutted to see he wasn't in the starting eleven after losing his place following suspension last week as boss John Coleman went for a more attacking 4-4-2 formation. But it was all smiles when he told Coleman he would score the decider despite coming on in the 86th minute - and of course doing just that in the second minute of injury-time.

"I told John to put me on and I would score the winner," said the 31-year-old former Blackpool and Rochdale midfielder. "I am always confident of scoring and once I hit the ball I knew it was in, it was one of those."

It was deep into injury time, Jon Kennedy had hit a hopeful goalkick, Paul Mullin headed it back to Gouck and he volleyed home from 20 yards.

"It is high up there among important goals because it is the FA Cup with all the nostaligia and it is on television," said the hero. "And, of course, it is important for Accrington. Since I have come here it has been great.

"They are a good set of lads - despite a lot of them being Scousers! - and the fans seem to like my style of play. I have played a few games, scored a few goals and they seem to have taken to me."

Well, if they hadn't then, they will now.

Despite the draw being unkind to Stanley with a long trip to Second Division promotion hunters Bournemouth in the second round, Gouck will go down in Stanley history as the man who got them there live on BBC1. In fairness most people will agree it was cruel on Third Division Huddersfield who had battled since the 16th minute with ten men. Stanley know this situation only too well - and so do Huddersfield as this was their seventh sending off of their campaign.

And it was harsh. Jon Worthington did seem to be going for a shot rather than a tackle on Rory Prendergast as Stanley cleared their lines from a corner. Referee Mike Jones was well-placed and, after Prendergast collapsed clutching his ankle, Worthington was shown red for violent conduct. Television replays - and the BBC pundits - agreed that Worthington didn't deserve an early bath as there was no malicious intent.

"It was a ridiculous decision and we shall be appealing against it," slammed Town boss Peter Jackson.

However, Stanley may feel Town should have been reduced to ten men anyway when bandana-wearing Efe Sodje elbowed Paul Mullin in the face on 26 minutes.

Mullin's mouth was bleeding throughout the match and again, with the benefit of the cameras, it was clear that he caught the Reds striker. However, nothing was given.

And the Reds had yet another incident to feel aggrieved about when Sodje did handle the ball in the area soon after Justin Jackson's introduction on 68 minutes. The ball came in and Jackson was trying to turn when the ball bounced off the Nigerian's hand and down. However, ref Jones said it was Jackson who handled it.

It was a frantic game with limited goalmouth action. Stanley's best chance of the first half came from Huddersfield fan Dean Calcutt. His swerling shot was tipped over the bar by goalkeeper Ian Gray.

Town's two frontmen, the highly-rated Jon Stead and Andy Booth, had plenty of efforts on goal - 14 in all - but amazingly hardly any of them hit the target as they hit high, wide and long. It did look like it would peter out into a draw despite Coleman switching things with Jackson going up front and Lutel James dropping to the wing.

However his next sub proved an inspired one with Gouck whipping his shot past sub keeper Phil Senior - Gray had gone off with a broken hand just a minute before and will be out until the new year.

"I told the lads I would buy a Hollands pie for whoever scored the winner - but Goucky is always first in the queue for them anyway!" quipped Coleman.

But joking aside, he wasn't too impressed with the Reds performance in front of the 2.5m audience.

"I was a little disappointed that we didn't show the people what an attacking force we can be," said Coleman. "I think perhaps we were a bit edgey. We didn't hurt them enough - we can attack better than that."

Coleman also made a switch to bring on Jonathan Smith in the centre of defence to replace Steve Halford at half-time. Halford, sent off the week before at Gravesend, had already been booked and Coleman admitted it was for Halford's safety.

"Steve is always so committed, he doesn't like losing any challenge and we couldn't afford to have a lad sent off. But the memory which will stick in my mind is Goucky's goal. I didn't think we were going to score - I just couldn't see it - and Goucky always offers a threat. I was delighted - it was a tremendous goal."

And Coleman is hoping they don't leave it so late at Dean Court.

"It is a bit of an anti-climax with a draw like that but we will go there and give it our best shot. We have got a chance and we have learnt what it is all about from today and put in that situation again, we will play better."

Gouck added: "An away draw isn't the best but it is another league club and we will pit our wits against them and see if we can get a result."


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