When you are trying to impress on trial, it’s always nice to get a helping hand. That’s just what former England keeper Paul Robinson gave Brian Smikle as the Rovers keeper fumbled the trialist’s header to give Stanley victory over the Championship side.
In the double header at the Crown Ground on Saturday – where a Blackburn XI featuring Nuno Gomes beat Fleetwood 2-0 in the first encounter – it was a good show from Stanley in their first outing against league opposition.
A crowd of 1,879 turned up over the afternoon, giving the Reds a decent return for their home clash.
Paul Cook played a strong team with the Reds’ fans getting their first glimpse of new signings George Miller, Luke Clark and Bohan Dixon with Lewis Hatch having to sit out the match with bad blisters.
Trialists winger Aiden Chippendale, strikers James Gray and Adam Rundle, defender Tom Eckersley and Smikle got their chance as well as Cook runs the rule over them for the Reds League Two campaign. Smikle once destroyed the Reds playing for Cheltenham with then-boss John Coleman saying: "We allowed him to look like Lionel Messi."
And while he didn’t run the show it was his header who at least allowed the Stanley fans to go home with a win, while it boosted the Rovers’ supporters and their ‘Kean out’ chants as they continue their quest to see Steve Kean replaced as manager at Ewood.
Middlesbrough youngster Gray staked his claim by rattling the woodwork with one effort while Edinho did the same for Blackburn with the last kick of the game in a clash of few chances.
For the Reds, the likes of Luke Joyce, Dean Winnard, Craig Lindfield, Ian Dunbavin, Toto Nsiala, Michael Liddle, Charlie Barnett and Marcus Carver – who all started – got some valuable game time while Will Hatfield and Peter Murphy, Ryan Hopper, Andrew Dawber and Adam Stockdale all came on to play their part.
Great Harwood-born David Dunn was in midfield for Rovers and happily chatted with his former team-mate Stanley assistant Leam Richardson and another former Blackburn player Winnard.