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12:36 29th December 2009

Cherries Pick Off the Brewers

Brett Pitman foiled Albions chances of picking up a deserved share of the spoils on the south coast with a stunning 86th minute winner at Dean Court.

The leading scorer had been pretty anonymous for the majority of the game but popped up with the winner with a 25 yard lob over Artur Krysiak just when it looked as if Albion would make it three successive away draws on the road. It would not have been undeserved point for Albion who more than matched the league leaders and in fact created the better chances throughout the game. The goal came just moments after Greg Pearson had spurned probably the best chance with a shot across the face of goal.

Brewers boss Paul Peschisolido made two changes to his side after the home defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge last Saturday. With Guy Branston serving his one match suspension after being red carded against the Daggers club captain Darren Stride came into the side for his first start in the Football League. There was also a change on the right side of midfield with Russell Penn rewarded for some good form in the reserves with a starting spot at the expense of Andy Corbett who dropped to the bench. Although Stride was restored to the starting line-up it was John McGrath who was handed the captains armband in the absence of Branston.

Whilst Albion were only able to name six substitutes due to a registration issue with new signing Serge Makofo the league leaders were stretched even further only naming three substitutes for the game due to a lengthy injury list and an enforced transfer embargo preventing them bringing in new players. There were some familiar names to Brewers fans in the Cherries line-up with former Woking keeper Shwan Jalal and ex-Salisbury winger Liam Feeney both playing for the hosts.

Albion had the first sight of goal as early as the second minute. Shroot moved in from the wing and exchanged passes with Walker before seeing Jalal save his right foot shot with his legs. Shroot continued to enjoyed a lively start to the game and almost caught Lee Bradbury unawares just inside the area but his shouts for a penalty fell on deaf ears. The Brewers continued to look positive and Russell Penn fired a speculative 25 yarder over the bar in the seventh minute.

Bournemouth began to settle and with Feeney causing problems down Albions left the hosts had Albion penned back.

Shaun Harrad found himself in referee Singhs notebook after a feisty duel on the halfway line with Cherries defender Jason Pearce, the Albion striker twice tugging his opponent back as he tried to surge forward.

Albion continued to show confidence going forwards and Walker forced Jalal to save to his right after good work by Shroot and Harrad. The play quickly switched to the other end where Feeney foxed Boertien to send in a juicy cross that Albion smuggled behind for a corner.

The Brewers were close to taking the lead with a smare move in the 39th minute. McGrath, Penn and Shroot combined from a corner routine and as Shroot cut in towards goal the Bournemouth defence held firm to keep him out.

Down the right side of the field looked Albions best bet with Russell Penn several times beating the full back only for Pearce and Scott Guyett to clear their lines each time.

Roared on by a vociferous home support in the second half the Cherries looked for a much improved second half showing and with winger Josh McQuoid starting the half promisingly the hosts had Albion on the back foot in the early stages.

Despite the home pressure it was Albion who had the clearest chance so far in the 56th minute, Shaun Harrad turning on the edge of the box but dragging his shot wide of the post after a slip by Scott Guyett.

Harrad was joined in attack by Greg Pearson just before the hour mark as Richard Walker was withdrawn.

Robin Shroot became the second Albion player in the book after a clumsy challenge and he was then the victim of a late challenge from Anton Robinson that attracted a yellow card for the Cherries player.

Referee Jarnail Singh had to be replaced with twenty minutes to go with assistant Andy Davies taking to the middle in his place.

Jimmy Phillips was introduced for Robin Shroot, clearly unhappy to be substituted and the former Stoke winger was quickly into the action on the left.

Bournemouth almost grabbed the lead in the 78th minute. Liam Feeney, beginning to look dangerous again on the left put in a cross from the left and he found the unmarked Steve Fletcher who headed towards the top corner only for Artur Krysiak to pull off a superb save to deny him and leave him with his head in his hands.

Albion still continued to pose a threat and Pearson forced another save from Jalal with a run across the box and a shot smothered to his right before Phillips dragged a shot disappointingly wide with the defence backing off.

Pearson had an even better chance in the 85th minute. Capitalising on a lapse in the Bournemouth back line he raced towards goal, turning Guyett inside out before dragging a low shot across the keeper and wide of the far post.

It proved to be an important miss as Bournemouth snatched the lead in the 86th minute. Feeney knocked the ball into substitute Alan Connell and he instantly found Brett Pitman who from fully 25 yards managed to guide the ball first time over Krysiak and into the back of the net.

Albion man of the match: John McGrath another influential performance from Albions midfield talisman prompting most of Albions best moves.

    Data provided by Press Association


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