Burton Albion’s opening pre-season match ended in defeat in what was nevertheless a productive workout for Gary Rowett’s men.
The Brewers started the match with a mixture of youth and experience; Zander Diamond skippering a side that included trialists Shaun Wilkins and Jack Andrews as well as Academy prospect Isaac Currie.
In what was unsurprisingly a fairly low tempo affair, the Brewers’ threatened on 22 minutes when Michael Symes found Alex MacDonald in the area; however the former Burnley man was unable to get a strong enough connection to trouble the 'keeper.
Despite few chances for either side, it was the hosts who grabbed the lead on 33 minutes. The Brewers defence had remained largely untested throughout but they were beaten when a beautifully-timed Kane Richards header looped over Dean Lyness in the Burton goal for 1-0.
Half Time: Ilkeston FC 1-0 Burton Albion
The second half saw numerous changes for the visitors, with recent signing Chris Hussey making his first appearance for the Brewers in a line-up that also included former Derby County and Stoke City man Rory Delap.
Despite the change in personnel, the second half continued in much the same manner with both sides looking to build match fitness; although Burton’s increasing intent was evident as Robbie Weir and Michael Symes both went close in the early stages.
It was the Brewers who played arguably the better football and did so predominantly through their young Academy prospects; the likes of Liam Slade and Joe Doyle looking comfortable on the ball for the visitors.
On 63 minutes, the Brewers made a double substitution with Symes and the lively MacDonald making way for youngsters Marcus Harness and Leandro Browne.
It was the former who provided Dominic Knowles with the Brewers’ best chance of an equaliser 10 minutes later; the youngster showing good pace before playing the ball through to Knowles; however his cute lob was tipped over the bar by a diving Low in the Ilkeston FC goal.
Knowles effort was the last guilt-edged chance for the Brewers who ultimately fell to defeat; however the match, which was played out in high temperatures, sees Burton gain valuable match time ahead of Saturday’s trip to Alfreton Town.
Full time: Ilkeston FC 1-0 Burton Albion
Brewers 1st half XI: Lyness, Edwards, Diamond, Currie, Andrews, Wilkins, Bell, Dyer, Phillips, MacDonald, Symes.
Brewers 2nd half XI: Dunn, Delap, Sharps, Slade, Hussey, MacDonald (Harness 63), Weir, Palmer, Doyle, Knowles, Symes (Browne 63).