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22:01 6th January 2012

Burton Albion 0-2 Accrington Stanley

Accrington Stanley followed Hereford United in inflicting a 2-0 home defeat on the Brewers. This is not the start that Albion were looking for as they went into 2012 and they had precious little luck as Kevin McIntyre's deflected free kick and Ryan Austin's looping header dropped into his own net off a combination of the woodwork and goalkeeper Ross Atkins.

Albion were forced into several changes for the visit of in form Accrington Stanley. Groin injuries kept out Aaron Webster and Billy Kee meaning recalls for Danny Blanchett and Justin Richards. Andy Corbett's suspension following his sending off against Hereford gave an opportunity for West Ham United loanee Callum Driver to sample his first Football League experience.

The Brewers, kicking towards the end populated by the home supporters could have been in front within 90 seconds. Accrington had already cleared one dangerous cross from Driver before Chris Palmer swung in a teasing cross from the left with Calvin Zola only inches from making contact in the six yard box. Albion also threw something of a surprise with a change of formation. With Accrington adopting a 4-3-3 line-up Albion countered that with Bolder, McGrath and Palmer playing a little deeper than normal allowing Jacques Maghoma to adopt a central position just behind the two strikers.

Albion continued to threaten and Zola tried to break the deadlock with a shot from the edge of the area that Ian Dunbavin held easily after Danny Blanchett had done well to find his teammate on the angle of the penalty area.

Accrington soaked up the Albion pressure and were close themselves when Micah Evans and Craig Lindfield broke dangerously and although the latter's shot was blocked Luke Joyce following up put a speculative cross cum shot not far beyond the far post.

The best chance yet for Albion came to Chris Palmer in the 22nd minute. Driver again showed eagerness to get forward and he produced an excellent cross that was glanced on by Zola. with perhaps more time that he realised Palmer took aim but leaning back could not keep his shot down as it sailed over the crossbar.

Burton continued to press and after Aristote Nsiala was shown a yellow card after a grappling match with Justin Richards the free kick was pumped into the area and Adam Bolder found space only to fire his effort over the bar as well.

For all of Albion's early endeavours it was the visitors who took the lead just after the half hour mark. A direct run from Evans spelt danger until a foul by Ryan Austin. Kevin McINTYRE stepped up to take the free kick and after a wicked deflection off the Albion wall the ball found its way past Atkins.

three minutes after going behind Albion had another excellent opportunity to score. Adam Bolder looked up and picked out Justin Richards in the centre but, almost with too much time, the striker was denied by a superb point blank stop from Dunbavin.

Accrington had a chance to go in two up at the break when Padraig Amond broke away and with no offside flag forthcoming the striker burst towards goal only to shoot wastefully wide with team mates more central screaming for a pass.

Albion finished the half on top after Chris Palmer had been brought down just outside the box. The midfielder forced a fine save from Dunbavin to concede a corner and when he whipped in the corner kick from the left Zola glanced a header wide of the post to close the half.

Half time: Burton Albion 0-1 Accrington Stanley

There was a delay at the start of the second half as Aristote Nsiala took a knock and stayed down in the centre circle and requiring some lengthy treatment before returning somewhat groggily to resume his place in the Stanley defence. Albion seemed a bit slow off the mark as well with Amond wasting another good chance when Atkins started to come for a cross and then hesitated allowing the irishman to get in a header which fortunately for Albion dropped wide of the post.

The Brewers had another let off when Ryan Austin made a challenge inside the area but as Jock Waugh seemingly went to blow his whistle the ball fell for Accrington to have a shot deflected wide when the outcome could easily have been a penalty to the visitors.

Just after the hour mark Albion made a double change with both wingers replaced. Chris Palmer making way for Cleveland Taylor and Jacques Maghoma coming off for Jimmy Phillips.

Albion's night got worse on 64 minutes as they fell two goals behind. Craig Lindfield took a corner and as Andy Procter jumped with Ryan AUSTIN his header skewed back towards his own goal before coming down off the underside of the crossbar with Atkins powerless to keep it out.

Atkins did considerably better in the 73rd minute when Amond tried his luck again from a central position with the keeper just tipping the ball over the crossbar.

The last change for the Brewers came with a quarter of an hour to go as the fresh legs of Adi Yussuf were brought on for Zola.

83 minutes gone and Albion could have been three down. A long clearance downfield left Evans in a chase with Tony James and as the on loan Blackburn man sped into the area he was met by Atkins dashing from his line to smother and save the day.

By this time Albion were almost praying for the final whistle and as the game ended Albion had made it two successive home games without a goal. Somewhat concerning with two away games to come.

ALBION: Atkins; Driver, James, Austin, Blanchett; Maghoma, Bolder, McGrath, Palmer; Richards, Zola. Substitutes: Poole, Moore, Yussuf, Taylor, Philliips.

STANLEY: Dunbavin, Winnard, Nsiala (Bender, 58), Procter, Lindfield, Joyce, Murphy, McIntyre, Evans, Amond, Hughes. Substitutes: Murdoch, Coid, Barnett, Stockley.

Referee: Mr. J.Waugh (South Yorkshire)

GOALS: Stanley - McIntyre (31), Austin (64 own goal)

Attendance: 2,486

    Data provided by Press Association


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