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21:43 9th February 2010

Cheltenham Town 0-1 Burton Albion

Shaun Harrad scored his fourth goal in six games to boost the Brewers up to ninth in the League 2 table and just three points off the play-off places. The former Notts County striker is in a rich vein of form and struck after just seven minutes with a superb volley that ultimately sealed the points.

The Brewers were looking to extend their unbeaten run to five matches with a tricky away fixture at strugglers Cheltenham Town. The original game was called off just before Christmas but Brewers boss Paul Peschisolido was looking for Albion to keep up their good run, naming an unchanged side for the fourth successive match.

Burton started brightly and with Jacques Maghoma and Aaron Webster linking well down the left they forced a corner after six minutes. The hosts failed to clear properly as John McGrath's attempted ball forward skewed up into the air. Tom Parkes headed the ball onto Shaun HARRAD who set himself perfectly to volley home from twenty yards.

After a bright start Albion deservedly took the lead after just seven minutes. Jacques Maghoma and Aaron Webster combined well to win a corner down the left and when Cheltenham failed to cleae their lines, John McGrath's ball into the middle was headed to Shaun HARRAD by Tom Parkes and the in form striker had time to set himself for a thumping volley into the roof of the net from twenty yards to bag his tenth League goal of the season.

Cleveland Taylor was close to a second for the Brewers after a superb one two with Harrad but Scott Brown in the Cheltenham goal got down well to push his effort wide.

The Robins were mainly restricted to long range efforts with Josh Low and Marley Watkins both failing to trouble Artur Krysiak in the Burton goal.

Maghoma and Steve Kabba had the home defence stretched with another neat interchange that saw the winger burst into the penalty area before driving a ball across the box that eluded everyone including Taylor steaming in at the back post.

Joss Labadie, a midfielder on loan from West Bromwich Albion, who scored against the Brewers on the opening day of the season for Shrewsbury Town went closest for the Robins with a low shot that forced Krysiak to drop low to his left but it was a comfortbale save as Albion came under pressure at the back.

Half-time: Cheltenham Town 0-1 Burton Albion

After a brighter opening to the second period by the home side Albion almost caught the Robins with a swift counter attack as Harrad sprinted onto Maghoma's pass but coming in on the angle the striker's shot was blocked by Brown with Kabba unable to pounce on the rebound. Almost immediately Cheltenham went up the other end and Krysiak had to rush out to smother the ball as Elvis Hammond looked to pounce.

Michael Pook became the first man in referee Andy Woolmer's notebook after a strong challenge on Steve Kabba that at first glance looked fairly innocuous.

Cheltenham manager Mark Yates sent on his big guns just after the hour mark as vastly experienced strike duo, Julian Alsop and Barry Hayles were brought on to breathe life into the Robins attack.

It was Albion who went closest to the next goal though as Aaron Webster rose well at the back post to head John McGrath's free kick into the grateful arms of Brown after Penn had been fouled on the right hand side of the penalty area, Danny Andrew quickly following Pook into the book for the foul.

Hayles and Alsop proved a handful for Tony James and young Tom Parkes but despite picking up a cut to the head the young defender stuck to his task well.

The Brewers continued to look dangerous on the break and even when Cleveland Taylor was withdrawn with eighteen minutes to go there was no respite for the Robins with Jimmy Phillips ther man to replace him. Goalscorer Shaun Harrad was also replaced with fourteen minutes to go making way for Greg Pearson.

Labadie had another effort on goal deflect safely into the arms of Krysiak as the hosts cranked up the pressure and as the clock ran down.

The Albion goal had a lucky escape in the 83rd minute. Alsop managed to outjump Tony James and a rare error by Parkes saw a weak back header to Krysiak fall short and straight at the feet of Hayles. The former Premiership striker tried to guide the ball in off the outside of his boot but contrived to steer the ball well wide of the target from just outside the six yard box.

Hayles had a more difficult chance shortly after with Alsop again the provider but having been forced wide he could only shoot into the arms of Krysiak at his near pot.

It all threatened to get rather unsavoury in the closing stages as Danny Andrew rashly diving in on Kabba as he threatened to break down the left. Russell Penn's reaction sparked a melee that saw Tom Parkes and Barry Hayles booked and Andrew shown a second for the tackle that started it all.

Kabba then saw yellow for a tangle with Andy Gallinagh as Greg Pearson surged into the penalty area as the game came to a fractious close.

ALBION: Krysiak; Corbett, James, Parkes, Webster; Taylor (Phillips, 72), Penn, McGrath, Maghoma; Harrad (Pearson, 76), Kabba. Substitutes: Poole, Walker, Gilroy, Thompson, Knowles.

CHELTENHAM: Brown, Bird, Townsend, Pook, Gallinagh, Richards (Hayles, 61), Hammond (Alsop, 61), Watkins (Hutton, 68), Low, Andrew, Labadie, Substitutes: Ridley, Haynes, Puddy, Lewis.

GOALS: Albion - Harrad (7)

BOOKINGS: Cheltenham - Pook - foul on Kabba (56), Andrew - foul on Penn (62), Labadie - dissent (86); Albion - Phillips - foul on Low (80)

Referee: Mr. A.Woolmer (Northamptonshire)

Attendance: 2,593 (201 away)

    Data provided by Press Association


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