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17:20 31st March 2012

Burton Albion 0-0 Crawley Town

The Brewers made it four points and two cleans sheets in a week as they deprived promotion chasing Crawley Town of all three points in their quest for automatic promotion to League 1.

Chances were at a premium for the Brewers against a fast and powerful Crawley side but showing the same indomitable spirit as on Tuesday night there were relatively few scares for Albion keeper Ross Atkins as his back four afforded him great protection to secure Albion's first goalless draw for almost a year.

Albion were unchanged following Tuesday night's victory over Gillingham. There was more interest in the Crawley team as they had to make do without centre halves Claude Davis and Pablo Mills. Kyle McFadzean was able to play having appealed his violent conduct charge on Friday evening.

In blustery conditions it was Crawley who had the first clear chance inside the first minute as a long clearance from Michel Kuipers was helped into the path of Gary Alexander who fired just wide with Ross Atkins at full stretch.

Right midfielder Scott Davies was also close from a simmilar position as Billy Clarke picked out his team mate before drilling a low shot wide of the far post.

It was definitely Crawley on top in the early stages but Albion were almost gifted a chance as Crawley got sloppy at the back. Greg Pearson intercepted a stray pass across the back line but instead of shooting tried to thread a pass through for Justin Richards and Crawley were able to recover possession.

Hope Akpan was close with a rising drive on 23 minutes that must have got the merest of fingertip touches from Ross Atkins as it went over the bar with referee Roger East signalling a corner that allowed the visitors to maintain the pressure on the Albion defence.

There was danger for Albion on the half hour as Maghoma was adjudged to have felled Kyle Mcfadzean just outside the penalty area but Atkins produced another smart save to push Davies shot over the bar when Dean Howell rolled the free kick short to him.

Billy Clarke was close again on 36 minutes when a burst from Sergio Torres opened up the space for his team mate but given an opportunity to shoot on the edge of the area he pulled his shot wide of the far post.

Jimmy Phillips tried his luck in the 44th minute as he cut inside form the left but his shot lacked the power to seriously trouble Michel Kuipers as Albion at least finished the half on a high.

Half time: Burton Albion 0-0 Crawley Town

It was more of the same at the start of the second half and only an excellent tackle from Jacques Maghoma in the 53rd minute denied Sergio Torres as he prepared to shoot from twelve yards out to the left of the goal.

The Albion midfielder was injured in the process of making the challenge and as Albion surged forward moments later he was unceremoniously bundled over by John Dempster.

The free kick was wasted and allowed Crawley to burst out of defence and Albion were thankful to Adam Bolder for a vital interception as Billy Clarke's cross threatened to find one of a number of team mates racing into the area form the right.

Albion relieved ther almost constant pressure to win their first corner of the game on 62 minutes.. Although it failed to result in a clear cut chance it allowed the Brewers to create a period of pressure on the Crawley goal.

Andy Corbett picked up a yellow card for a pull on the shirt of Sergio Torres as an Albion move broke down and Crawley tried to launch a swift couter attack.

Mcfadzean also went into the book for a not so subtle handball offence as Albion looked to create an opening and moments later Greg Pearson displayed a neat turn in the box to win a corner off the former Alfreton Town defender.

Arsenal loanee Sanchez Watt was brought on in place of Clarke on 74 minutes and within a minute he had been shown a yellow card for a foul on Nathan Stanton. The Albion skipper then survived vociferous appeals for a penalty as he slid in to deny Dean Howell at the far post. The challenge was clean enough but there was more than a hint of the ball hitting the hand as the ball looped up but referee Roger East waved away the visitors appeals.

Kuipers was almost caught out by a rasping shot from Maghoma but neither Philliips or substitute Lionel Ainsworth were advanced enough to capitalise on the loose ball as it rebounded off the keeper.

Albion could have snatched it late on but after wriggling his way into the area Richards fired across Kuipers but could not quite find the top corner that would have sent the Burton fans behind the goal into raptures.

Crawley were still pushing for a winner in stoppage time with Josh Simpson firing wastefully wide after a scramble on the edge of the Burton penalty area but it was the last real scare for the Brewers who defended like trojans to the end and fully deserved their point from a powerful Crawley side.

BURTON: Atkins; Corbett, Stanton, Austin, Webster; Maghoma, Bolder, Dyer, Phillips; Richards, Pearson. Substitutes: James, Ainsworth, Taylor, Clucas, Ada.

CRAWLEY: Kuipers, Davies, Howell, McFadzean, Akpan, Clarke, Torres, Alexander, Simpson, Bulman, Dempster. Substitutes: Watt, Neilson, Shearer, Cummings, James.

Referee: Mr. R.East (Wiltshire)

    Data provided by Press Association


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