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16:58 11th September 2010

Rotherham United 3-3 Burton Albion

Pre-match all the attention was on Rotherham goal machine Adam Le Fondre but the Brewers have their own lethal hitman in Shaun Harrad. Le Fondre notched his sixth of the season to put the Millers 3-0 up before half time but a second half hat-trick from Harrad left him level in the goal scoring charts and rescuing an impressive point for his side when all looked lost at half time.

The Brewers may well have wondered how they were behind at half time as clinical finishing from the Millers meant that Albion's impressive approach play was rendered unsuccessful.

Manager Paul Peschisolido was forced into two changes from last Saturday's 3-0 victory over Hereford United. Both of the starting centre halves from that game were ruled out,, Nathan Stanton (hamstring) was ruled out at the start of the week but partner Darren Moore was also unable to play still feeling the effects of bruised ribs following his collision with an advertising hoarding. His absence meant that Ryan Austin, out since last November was thrust back into the starting line-up alongside last season's player of the year, Tony James. The game marked Russell Penn's fiftieth appearance for the club since becoming Albion's record signing last summer.

There was also a surprise return to the substitutes bench for long serving winger Keith Gilroy. The Irishman has been recovering from groin surgery but was able to take his place on the bench.

The Brewers got off to the worse possible start going behind after just fifty seconds. Jacques Maghoma was penalised for a foul thirty yards from goal but that did not deter Kevin ELLISON who stepped up and bent the ball around the wall and in off Adam Legzdins right hand post.

Albion's response was bright and positive and with Shaun Harrad looking lively a couple of corner routines, fresh off the training ground almost paid dividends with Rotherham having to produce some good blocks to keep their lead in tact.

Johnny Mullins of the home side was the first player to see a yellow card from referee Graham Salisbury for a late and clumsy challenge on Maghoma and Albion almost profited as John McGrath's free kick was headed into the danger area by Austin and Exodus Geohaghon just prevented Richard Walker from latching onto the loose ball in the six yard box.

The dangerous Adam Le Fondre found time and space down the right in the nineteenth minute but was too wide out to shoot and fortunately for the Brewers his crossing ability did not match his shooting prowess and Albion were able to clear.

Albion were given an opportunity to score from a set piece when Geohaghon, doing his best octupus impression fouled Richard Walker just outside the penalty area but Aaron Webster's free kick was straight into the defensive wall.

Against the run of play the Brewers found themselves two goals down in the 34th minute. A long throw in from Geohaghon found the Brewers defence rather flat footed and skipper Ryan CRESSWELL timed his run to perfection to head comprehensively past Legzdins.

Four minutes later and the Brewers were three down. Ellison broke the offside trap to race away down the left flank and when he delivered the ball into the six yard box there was only one man going to get there first. As the Albion defence melted away in front of him, LE FONDRE stole in to poke home his sixth goal of the season.

Things got worse after the goal when Aaron Webster limped off handing a club and Football league debut to young defender Kevin Grocott.

Ellison threatened to repeat his first minute trick in the final minute of the half. After Ryan Austin had been booked for a foul the winger's 30 yard effort went high and not very handsomely wide of the target.

Half time: Rotherham United 3-0 Burton Albion

Whatever Rotherham could do in the first half the Brewers tried to do in the second and Shaun HARRAD notched his fourth of the campaign just 51 seconds into the second period. There seemed little danger as the ball was played back towards keeper Andy Warrington but the Albion striker was onto the ball in a flash to poke it beyond him and into the empty net.

The goal gave the Brewers a huge lift and when Andy Corbett launched a ball forward it looked at first as if Richard Walker would get there first but Andy Warrington came out of his goal to smother at the feet of the striker.

Paul Peschisolido made his second change of the afternoon in the 57th minute. Jimmy Phillips was introduced for Lewis Young and immediately settling into a left side role with the influential Maghoma switching to his more natural right hand side.

Referee Salisbury infuriated the home fans by turning down what looked a reasonable free kick shout as Le Fondre went down under McGrath's challenge but seconds later Phillips was into the action straight away winning a penalty for the Brewers in the 60th minute as Jjohnny Mullins brought him down and leading scorer HARRAD stepped up to thrash the ball down the middle as Warrington dived to his left.

It made it into a very open game, Albion looking more confident striving for an equaliser and Rotherham looking for a fourth to try and put the game to bed again. Danny Harrison went closest with a long range effort that had Legzdins scrambling across his goal but watching the ball fly wide of his right hand upright.

Le Fondre found himself in the referee's notebook again in the 74th minute but there was relief for the Brewers as it was for a yellow card after an altercation with Russ Penn, the Albion midfielder also having his name taken.

With fifteen minutes to go, Paul Peschisolido made his final change hoping that Greg Pearson, on his 100th appearance for the club could fashion an equaliser in place of Richard Walker.

Harrad was inches away from his first Football league hat-trick with thirteen minutes to play as a loose ball fell to him kindly and his rising drive was denied the goal it deserved by a combination of Warrington's fingertips and the crossbar. Albion also had a decent shout for a penalty from the resulting corner as Maghoma appeared to be bundled over.

HARRAD did not have long to wait for that elusive hat-trick. With seven minutes to play Pearson did well to hold up the ball inside the box and when he played the ball short to his right the Brewers leading scorer was not going to miss with a precise shot into the corner of the net.

ROTHERHAM: Warrington, Mullins (Holden, 65), Cresswell, Geohaghon, Newey, Law, Taylor, Harrison (Bradley, 77), Ellison, Warner, Le Fondre. Substitutes: Annerson, Marshall, Ani, Fenton, Pope.

ALBION: Legzdins; Corbett, James, Austin, Webster (Grocott, 40); Young (Phillips, 57), Penn, McGrath, Maghoma; Walker (Pearson, 75), Harrad. Substitutes: Poole, Gilroy, Ellison, Dyer.

Referee: Mr. G.Salisbury (Lancashire)

GOALS: ROTHERHAM: Ellison (1), Cresswell (34), Le Fondre (38). ALBION: Harrad (46, 61 pen, 83)

Attendance: 3,516 (314 away)

    Data provided by Press Association


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