Accrington Stanley 1 Blackburn Rovers 3: ACCRINGTON Stanley boss John Coleman admits the Reds owe a big debt of gratitude to Premiership clubs Blackburn and Burnley if they survive their current crisis.
The Clarets put on a match for the Reds at Turf Moor raising around £30,000 last month.
And Blackburn brought a strong team to the Crown Ground on Tuesday night and, with a crowd of 2453, that could swell the coffers by over £15,000 as they look to crack the £308,000 which has to be paid to the tax man in less than two weeks time.
And Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce - despite priming his players for their big derby clash with Burnley on Sunday - gave the fans something to shout about with a strong Rovers side.
Martin Olsson, Gael Givet, Jason Roberts, Benni McCarthy and Morten Gamst Pedersen all were in the starting eleven.
Coleman, meanwhile, gave some trialists a run out in the first half with French full back Julian Sourice, Liverpudlian defender Chris Rimmer and Ross Lloyd and Louis Melo, who have been around the club since the summer, getting a start.
As it happened, Rovers won 3-1 with Pederson firing home a first minute free kick, Franco Di Santo scoring on the stroke of half-time and Marcus Marshall adding a late penalty. In between Stanley striker Michael Symes, in a rich vein of form, slotted past keeper Jason Brown while Ian Dunbavin had to be lively to keep out a string of Rovers chances.
But the scoreline was secondary to a bumper crowd, a good atmosphere and, most importantly, a financial boost.
"You’re only here for the Stanley" sung the home fans - too true - and, after joining in with the chants against Blackburn at Turf Moor, the Reds supporters changed their allegiance to, at times, have a bit of a go at the Clarets for the Rovers’ faithful.
It was all in good spirits and Coleman admitted he enjoyed the hastily arranged Rovers friendly, who are on international break ahead of the derby showdown.
"It was a good run out for both sides and it gave me the chance to have a look at a few trialists," said Coleman.
"Everyone got at least 45 minutes and I was pleased with the team Blackburn put out. Their manager gave their main players half-an-hour run out and that was good because the crowd hadn’t been kidded and they got to see quality. I am grateful to both Blackburn and Burnley for what they have done. Both have fielded strong sides and given us a chance to earn some money."
Coleman had a clash with Adrian Heath’s American side Austin Aztecs last night as they strive to continue raising the money ahead of the October 28 deadline. Many fans from other clubs have supported Stanley in their hour of need.
The Reds boss continued: "It is difficult as you feel like you are asking the same people for money on a day to day basis and it would have been nice to spread it more nationally but the people around the north have really rallied around us and we must give a big vote of thanks for them.
"I think people who have come to watch and support us - whether in league games or friendlies - this season will have enjoyed it.
"There is still a place for this kind of football. I have watched a few Premiership matches this season and it does become something of a different sport.
"I like the product we serve up as we try and play as good a football as we can and it is a different product to the Premiership but it does not lack excitement.
"It was another good atmosphere and, as usual, our fans were very imaginative with their songs."
ROVERS: Starting XI: Brown, Ramm, Olsson, Lowe, Jones, Givet, Hoilett, Kalinic, Roberts, McCarthy, Pedersen
STANLEY; Starting XI: Dunbavin, Sourice, Rimmer, Murphy, Melo, Joyce, Melo, Lloyd, G King, McConville, Ami