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Burton Albion 1-Sheffield Wednesday 1 Match report by Jack Stout
Despite lacking many key players, Burton Albion forced a point out of play-off hopefuls Sheffield Wednesday.
Nigel Clough opted for a basic 4-4-2 formation. With the brewers lacking full backs, Tom Naylor filled in at left back, and Damien McCrory slotted in to his natural left-back position. Ben Turner and Jake Buxton completed the back four. Missing in midfield was the injured Matty Lund, the suspended Hope Akpan, and Jackson Irvine, who was in talks with Hull City over a potentional move. Due to the absentees, Kyle McFadzean shifted forward into the centre, alongside Luke Murphy. Sean Scannell made his league debut on the right, and Lloyd Dyer started on the left. Marvin Sordell partnered Lucas Akins up top.
The brewers bench contained Ripley, who was beaten to a start today by Bywater, Mousinhio, Flanagan, Palmer, Barker, Sbarra and Ben Mason, who recently joined Burton on a six-month long loan deal. Burton started brightly. Five minutes in, Damien McCroy’s shot was blocked, but the ball was soon back at his feet. This time he opted to cross to Sordell, but the brewers striker’s effort was just past the wrong side of the post. Former Burnley man George Boyd then had Wednesday’s first chance of the half, but his shot from the edge of the box went well wide.
The ball fell to Akins, who unleashed a venomous strike towards Westwood’s goal. The keeper palmed the ball away well, but Akins was in an offside position, and play was brought back. Just six minutes later, the a slightly over hit ball ended up in a 50/50 between Sordell and Westwood. The Wednesday keeper just got there first, before clattering Into Sordell. There was instant concern from Sordell, as the visiting man collapsed to the floor, clutching his face. After six minutes of treatment, Westwood hobbled back into his goal, despite substitute goalkeeper Wildsmith ready to come on. Sordell was definitely lucky to come away without a booking. Wildsmith did go on to replace the Wednesday number 1 moments later.
The 6 minutes of delay in the match rattled the brewers, who had dominated the first 25 minutes, as they struggled to string passes together. Fletcher powered into McFadzean, the ball spun away and was just kept in by another Wednesday man, who cut it back to the unmarked Gary Hooper who cleverly tapped home. The brewers tried to regain their momentum, Sordell cut inside, but his shot was deflected wide. From the resulting corner, Jake Buxton could only head straight at Wildsmith. Wednesday broke through again, and it was chipped back to Boyd, who slammed home, but the linesman had his flag up and the goal didn’t stand.
There was just seven minutes of added time. Burton couldn’t take advantage of the remaining seven minutes. Luke Murphy got a shot away just 1 minute in to the additional time, but it was way over. Wednesday would be happy about the result going into half time, but their performance didn’t match the score line. Burton had created many chances, but failed to put them away. The teams reappeared for the second half, and the brewers would be hoping to pull off another comeback, similar to the one against Birmingham.
However, try as they might, Burton couldn’t get into their flow. It took 13 minutes for the brewers to break through the Wednesday defence. Scannell weaved his way down the right, before cutting inside and forced a good save by Wildsmith at his near post. On the 64th minute Ben Mason came on to make his debut. The brewers had a throw in on the right. Naylor found Sordell who flicked it backwards. Mason challenged for the header, and the ball then fell to his feet. Instinctively, the loanee drilled the ball through the defender’s legs and the ball nestled itself into the far corner. The ball had been in play for less than six seconds.
Boyd’s outstretched leg connected with a deep cross but it was wide of Bywater’s post. Luke Murphy then leapt into the air to block a certain goal, as Wednesday pulled themselves on top. 83 minutes in, Turner advanced and found Mason, who turned again, but this time his shot from the edge of the area was high and wide. As 4 minutes of added time beckoned, a Palmer free kick was flicked on by Mason, but Flanagan couldn’t tap home at the far post. The points would end up being shared, as nether side could produce a finishing touch. Burton would be the happier out of the two sides, as they build up to two away games at Leeds and Norwich.
Jacks Man of the Match: Luke Murphy
BTV went along to a charity fundraising night for Burton Albion community Trust Ghana Project at Apne Restaurant to bring you all the details.