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17:05 8th January 2010

County Spoil Brewers Christmas Party

Notts County ran out 4-1 winners in front of nearly 6000 fans at the Pirelli Stadium. A Lee Hughes hat trick, his third a contraversial penalty, and a Ricky Ravenhill thunderbolt put County out of sight of the Brewers.

A fantastic first half ended with the Brewers trailing 2-1,Ricky Ravenhill and Lee Hughes netted either side of a Steve Kabba strike. Both sides set out to attack resulting in a pulsating open first 45.

The recent postponed fixtures had enabled Paul Peschisolido to name an unchanged eleven of the side that demolished Aldershot Town 6-1 on December 12th. Notts County travelled to the near sell out Pirelli Stadium under the stewardship of caretaker manager Dave Kevan.

The reverse of this fixture earlier in the season ended as an entertaining 1-1 draw at Meadow Lane.

Only one minute in and Artur Krysiak was forced into a superb save to deny Karl Hawley. An attack down the right had set Hawley through on goal but Krysiak flicked up an arm to parry the ball away.

Two minutes later and Lee Hughes tested Krysiak, this time the Polish keeper made a more comfortable save.

Burton had their first chance on six minutes. Gilroy's cross was challenged for in the air by Aaron Webster, the ball broke free and Steve Kabba's over head effort looped narrowly wide.

And four minutes later Kabba had a glorius chance to open the scoring. Gilroy again with the ball in from the right and Kabba, unmarked and six yards out, headed wide.

Notts County took the lead in the 13th minute through a stunning strike from Ricky Ravenhill. Darren Stride had cleared a near post corner but Ravenhill met the ball on the volley 20 yards out and hit it sweetly past Krysiak.

The game continued at a brisk pace, with neither side showing any signs of rust following the lack of football in past weeks. Kabba continued to pose the Brewers' main threat but Hughes and Hawley also gave the Burton defence plenty to handle.

Greg Pearson came to life on the half hour mark. Tony James played the ball down the channel and when Schmeichel hesitated Pearson crashed an effort off the cross bar.

Pearson was then guilty of missing a sitter. Russell Penn played a great ball to Gilroy who rolled the ball across the face of the six yard box, but Pearson could only divert the ball wide on the slide.

Kabba finally put one away for the Brewers on 38 minutes. James floated in a freekick for Webster to head on. Kabba managed to reach the flick on and guided the ball past the stranded Schmeichel.

Lee Hughes restored County's lead on the stroke of half time. Burton dithered in their own half and Hughes pounced to slot past Krysiak.

Three minutes into the second half and Lee Hughes doubled his tally for the afternoon. Craig Westcarr's through ball sliced open the Brewers defence and Hughes was never going to miss from 12 yards out.

Notts County were awarded a penalty three minutes later when the referee ajudged Krysiak to have brought down Hughes in the area. Hughes stepped up to smash home his hat trick goal.

Jimmy Phillips came on to replace Paul Boertien and Guy Branston in place of Darren Stride.

Krysiak made a superb save to deny Hawley on 59 minutes as Notts County continued their second half assault on the Brewers.

On 66 minutes Richard Jackson made a great last ditch challenge to deny Westcarr from 12 yards out, the early sting now taken out of the game by County's commanding lead.

Hughes was replaced on 75 minutes amid controversial scenes. The striker had gone down in the area claiming a penalty. When the referee signalled a goal kick the Brewers players protested that Hughes, who had earlier been booked, should have received his second yellow. Harrad was booked amongst the melee and Hughes waved goodbye to the baying Brewers support as he was replaced by Luke Rodgers.

The Brewers were awarded a penalty of their own in the 86th minute. Branston crossed the ball to Harrad who was hauled down by Jackson. Kabba's penalty was superbly saved by Schmiechel.

Krysiak made another tremendous saved from Matt Ritchie's drive which was heading into the top corner.

Four minutes of injury time was played out as County took all three points home.

Brewers Man of the Match: Artur Krysiak - Not at fault for any of the goals and a string of good saves kept the scoreline down.

    Data provided by Press Association


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