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21:44 1th March 2011

Northampton Town 2-3 Burton Albion

The Brewers pulled themselves out of the League 2 drop zone with a thrilling 3-2 victory at Sixfields. A game of two halves does not even go near to secribing this game as Albion raced into a 3-0 lead only to be pegged back in stoppage time. A goal on the hour mark from skipper Andy Holt set up a tense last half hour but the Brewers produced some frantic and committed defending to hang on to the lead given them by Andy Corbett, John Mcgrath's screamer and a Chris Dunn own goal.

Brewers boss Paul Peschisolido opted to go for what he hoped would be a soild formation for the rearranged game against Northampton Town.

Saturday's home defeat to Rotherham United dumped the Brewers into the bottom two of the League 2 table and with away form a problem to date it was case of reverting to basics. The Albion manager made two changes to his team for the visit to Sixfields with Ryan Austin restored to the right back position following a hamstring injury. Andy Corbett retained his place in the side but the long serving Albion man was pushed further forward into the right side of midfield slot. Russell Penn moved from the right to a more central role supporting striker Greg Pearson in a 4-4-1-1 formation. The second change in personnel came in central defence where Tony James succumbed to a sickness bug allowing club captain Darren Moore to resume his partnership with Nathan Stanton.

A nervy start from both sides resulted in little action of note in the early minutes but a rasping drive from Northampton midfielder Josh Walker livened the game up and that was quickly followed by an oppoortunity for Greg Pearson. The striker pounced on a woeful backpass from Dean Beckwith but Cobblers keeper Chris Dunn spared the blushes of his defender with a good stop as the Albion striker tried to dink the ball past him.

Speedy winger Francis Laurent was given a chance to stretch his legs and test out Albion's defensive resolve but Paul Boertien did well to track back and put the cross behind for a corner.

Albion did put the ball into the net in the 16th minute through Adam Bolder but unfortunately the referee's whistle had already gone for a foul on defender Ben Tozer as John McGrath's free kick got launched into the penalty area.

Cobblers skipper Andy Holt was the first man to see a yellow card in the 19th minute. Ryan Austin went to make a routine clearance down the line and the Northampton man slid in catching the Albion man and leaving him in pain.

It was all smiles though for Albion three minutes later though as they snatched the lead. Jacques Maghoma teased his way into the area on the left hand side and when he slid a neat little pass through to Boertien, the left back looked up and put a great ball into the six yard box that evaded Russ Penn at the near post but left Andy CORBETT with a tap in at the far post.

Northampton wasted no time in going in search of the equaliser but Albion had keeper Adam Legzdins to thank as he got down low to his left to keep out a shot from the edge of the area.

Maghoma almost set up a second for Albion as the game flowed from end to end. He went past John Johnson on the outside and pulled the ball back to the edge of the area but, falling back, Adam Bolder skied his shot well over the crossbar.

Referee Pat Miller incurred the wrath of the home fans for producing two quick yellow cards to Laurent and Tozer. Laurenyt was perhaps harshly booked for a foul on Boertien and Tozer was booked for complaining

Things went from bad to worse as Albion scored twice in two minutes. Ryan Austin lost out in an aerial duel from a free kick and when the ball fell to John McGRATH the skipper smashed an unstoppable 30 yard volley into the back of the net.

If that was spectacular there was more than an element of the ridiculous about the third. Russ Penn was trying to work room for a cross on the left and when he hoisted the ball to the back post, keeper Chris Dunn, caught the ball but then proceeded to fall backwards and carry the ball into his own net.

Northampton gave themselves a chance in the closing moments of the first half. Michael Jacobs played in an excellent free kick and JOHNSON was on hand to turn the ball in from six yards out.

Half time: Northampton Town 1-3 Burton Albion

Buoyed by the goal just beford the break the hosts made a substitution at the start of the second half with striker Billy McKay introduced in place of winger Laurent.

The first chance of the second half though fell to Corbett again. Boertien cut back onto his right foot and crossed into the middle and the rejuvenated midfielder went to stab the ball home rathere than head it giving Dunn the chance to clear.

Northampton almost scored a bizarre second in the 56th minute. Another Jacobs cross, this time from the right looked innocuous enough as it curled beyond the far post but skipper Andy Holt got just enough on it to flick it back across goal and off the face of the far post.

Ryan Austin twice went close to adding to the list of unlikely scorers with two rasping free kicks. The first clearly deflected off a defender but referee Miller only saw fit to award a goal kick and then produced a finger tip save as Dun tipped another scorcher over the bar.

Things got nervy for Albion as Northampton reduced the arrears further on 61 minutes. Josh Walker swung in a free kick from just outside the area and HOLT was on hand to flick home a header past the outstretched hand of Legzdins.

The Cobblers thought they had got themselves an equaliser in the 66th minute when McKay slipped the ball past Legzdins but referee Miller further infuriated the home side ruling it out for a foul on Boertien. McKay then went close again with a header that hit the post as Albion's defence creaked dangerously again.

Corbett found himself in the book for a foul on Walker and Osman was then booked for a foul on Corbett as nerves frayed on both sides.

Albion's defending became even more frantic as the hosts continued to pump balls into the box for McKenzie and McKay to feed off. Only a series of blocks seemed to be keeping the ball out as the Brewers goal led an increasingly charmed life.

Holt was only inches away from an equaliser in the 81st minute as another long ball into the box caused problems. Marcus Hall undoubtedly stole a few yards with the free kick but when Legzdins could only punch as far as the edge of the area under pressure from McKenzie the home skipper drilled a low shot just wide of the upright.

Albion had chance to relieve the pressure when Maghoma won a free kick on the edge of the penalty area but the Brewers opted to try and run the clock down.

Northampton threw on Courtney Herbert in attack in the last minute of normal time in place of defender Ben Tozer and Albion's response in stoppage time was to bring on Lewis Young in place of Jacques Maghoma.

NORTHAMPTON: Dunn, Hall, Beckwith, Osman, Holy, Johnson, Jacobs, McKenzie, Tozer (Herbert, 90), Laurent (McKay, 46), Walker. Substitutes: Rodgers, Thornton, Wedderburn, Herbert, McKay, Gherasim, Built.

ALBION: Legzdins; Austin, Stanton, Moore, Boertien; Corbett, Bolder, McGrath, Maghoma; Penn; Pearson. Substitutes: Poole, Walker, Ellison, Phillips, Young, Dyer, WInnall.

Referee: Mr. P.Miller (Bedfordshire)

GOALS: Northampton - Johnson (45+1); Albion - Corbett (22), McGrath (37), Dunn og (39)

Attendance: 3,423 (173 away)

    Data provided by Press Association


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