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16:18 29th December 2009

High Fives For Brewers On Home League De

If this is the Football League bring it on! The Brewers shook off the disappointment of two away defeats in the first week of the season to hit Morecambe for five at the Pirelli Stadium this afternoon.

Both sides went into the game having conceded five in midweek Carling Cup defeats to Championship sides but it was Albion who showed the best response to leave Morecambe bemused and bewildered by an attacking display of pace and power.

Greg Pearson was the tormentor in chief continuing his reputation for early goals. Last seasons top scorer scored twice, his first coming in the third minute and was joined on the scoresheet by Russ Penn, Shaun Harrad and John McGrath.

On loan Birmingham City goalkeeper Artur Krysiak was handed an immediate debut and there was also a recall for Jimmy Phillips on the left wing. Shaun Harrad was given an opportunity to impress, asked to partner Pearson in attack.

Albion got the dream start they longed for in just the third minute to settle any early home nerves. John McGraths corner was headed into the danger area by Guy Branston and as the ball was headed goalwards by Harrad, Pearson got a decisive touch to divert the ball past Barry Roche in the Morecambe goal.

The Brewers continued their encouraging start and could have extended their lead in the 13th minute. A free kick driven from his own half from Ryan Austin again exposed the visitors vulnerability from set pieces. Harrad timed his run well behind the napping defence and was just inches away from getting a clean shot on goal.

Albion did not have long to wait for a second goal. Jimmy Phillips worked his way to the bye line in the 16th minute and produced a cross that found its way to Russell Penn and the former Kidderminster midfielder gleefully swept the ball home from twelve yards.

Morecambe made sure that Albion could not enjoy a two goal lead for long. Within a minute of going two behind, former Altrincham midfielder Ian Craney was afforded too much space outside the box and curled home a low shot inside Krysiaks left hand post, setting Albion nerves jangling.

Penn threatened to double his tally in the 25th minute. A surging run towards the edge of the Morecambe box had the visitors defence on the retreat but the wingers touch just eluded him at the vital moment and allowed Danny Adams to clear.

Morecambe spurned a chance to equalise on the half hour mark. Phil Jevons was fouled just outside the area by Guy Branston but former Hereford midfielder Craig Stanley could not quite curl the resulting free kick on target. The Shrimps kept up the pressure and Krysiak again had to be alert to grab a close range Will Haining header.

Burton though restored their two goal lead in the 38th minute. Poor Morecambe defending gave Greg Pearson the chance to pick up the loose ball inside the penalty area. He managed to find his striker partner Shaun Harrad and the young striker worked room for a shot from the edge of the box that flew in off the inside of the post.

Harrad almost teed up a chance for Pearson moments later and Jacques Maghoma very nearly got in on the act with a shot from outside the box shortly after. The ex-Spurs man went even closer just before half time with a chance similar to Harrads that Roche just palmed round the post.

An action packed first half almost produced a fifth goal as Michael Twiss shook the Brewers woodwork with Krysiak beaten, the Albion defence fatally allowing the former Manchester United man too much space to run and shoot.

Phillips had an even later chance to put Albion in dreamland but his showed was parried to safety by a relieved Roche as the half came to a breathtaking close.

Morecambe made a change at half time with the overworked Darren Moss replaced a right back by Mark Duffy as the Shrimps tried to contain Jimmy Phillips.

The fourth goal that Albion had been threatening came in the 54th minute. A long clearance from Krysiak was missed by Harrad by not by Pearson. The striker picked up the ball and teased Danny Adams into a rash challenge inside the box and then stepped up and stroked home the resulting penalty.

Before Albion could draw breath, Twiss again thrashed another shot goalwards that rocked the woodwork.

The Shrimps gave themselves a lifeline in the 62nd minute. A swift counter down the right had the Brewers defence stretched. The ball was half cleared to the edge of the box where Phil Jevons was lurking and he drilled home a deflected shot past the diving Krysiak.

Pearson went close to a first hat-trick in Albion colours in the 71st minute. Racing onto a pass from Russ Penn he burst into the box but Jim Bentley used all his experience to make him fire a shot straight at Roche.

Paul Peschisolido made his first substitution seventeen minutes from time with Michael Simpson introduced to shore up the midfield and Shaun Harrad sacrificed from the attack. Almost immediately Pearson was denied again by Roche with Maghoma just unable to bag the rebound. Moments later Albion got their fifth when John McGrath capitalised on some slack defending to beat Roche to the ball and slide the ball into the unguarded net with fifteen minutes still to play.

With Morecambes defence all at sea and struggling to keep Albion at bay, there could have been more goals with Maghoma firing into the side netting having already had Roche scrambling to see a shot go wide of his post.

Robin Shroot was introduced late on for his home league debut as Jimmy Phillips left the pitch to an ovation from the supporters and with Morecambe pleased to see the back of the tricky winger.

A game that had been played in a great spirit was partially spoilt in the closing stages when substitute Mark Duffy went in high and late on Paul Boertien and was shown a straight red card even though the Albion man got straight up from what looked a very dangerous challenge.

Albion man of the match: Greg Pearson On a day when Albion went goal crazy the Brewers striker was unlucky not to bag a hat-trick and looked a constant threat to the Morecambe defence.

    Data provided by Press Association


    Burton Albion moved into the £7million Pirelli Stadium in 2005