Pre-season action against the SaddlersThe Brewers entertained League 1 side Walsall in their penultimate pre-season friendly ahead of next weekend's Capital One Cup tie that kicks off the new season and came away with a morale boosting 2-1 victory thanks to goals from Robbie Weir and Billy Kee.
The former Tranmere midfielder seemingly cannot stop scoring right now and Kee also netted with a fine finish to enhance his chances of starting the game against Sheffield United in a weeks time.
After an encouraging start with a flurry of pressure and corners the Brewers disappointingly fell behind to a sloppy goal in just the sixth minute. A low free kick from the right was not dealt with at all well by a ponderous Albion defence and Will GRIGG was on hand to poke home the loose ball.
The forward was close to a second not long after when he guided a header on target from another set piece but Ross Atkins produced an excellent reaction save to keep it out.
Adi Yussuf was looking dangerous in attack for the Brewers and twice he was just off target with efforts that didnt quite test veteran keeper Jimmy Walker in the Walsall goal.
The Saddlers had shouts for a penalty after a scramble saw a shot deflected wide, possibly off a Burton hand but the Brewers hit back on 29 minutes to equalise in fine style.
Adebola did well to push forward down the left channel and after spurning the easy lay off to Jacques Maghoma he turned and fired in a low cross. Although Yussuf was not able to capitalise on the chance the ball came back out for Robbie WEIR who was able to turn and fire into the roof of the net from fifteen yards.
Richard Taundry twice tried his luck for the visitors as Walsall pressed forward but his first effort was straight into the midriff of Atkins and the second one two minutes before half time flew safely over the crossbar.
Half time: Burton Albion 1-1 Walsall
Albion made two changes at the start of the second half with Billy Kee replacing Dele Adebola and Nathan Stanton coming on in place of Andy Corbett in the right back slot.
Weir, developing a real taste for goalscoring tried his luck again in the 49th minute after an excellent interchange of passes involving Yussuf and Kee.
Worryingly Jacques Maghoma had to leave the field just five minutes into the second half after a challenge from James Chambers meant he had to be assisted to his feet and down the tunnel. He was quickly replaced by Chris Palmer, an ex-Walsall player.
As the thunder and lightning encased the stadium making conditions increasingly difficult it was Walsall who created the next opening as Stoke loanee Florent Cuvelier drove a low shot beyond the fingertips of Atkins and also the post.
Walsall then proceeded to make five changes to freshen up their side for the remaining thirty minutes of the game.
It didnt disrupt their flow though as they continued to look the more likely to score the next goal. Ashley Hemmings, a former Wolves youngster wasnt far away with a driven shot just over the crossbar.
Matty Palmer was given another opportunity to impress coming on for Lee Bell and he almost made an instant impression as Cleveland Taylor made a good interception which allowed the young midfielder to stride forward and fire just wide of the post from the edge of the area.
Four more substitutions from the visitors this time did seem to have an adverse effect as Albion grabbed the lead in the 79th minute. A fine goal it was too as the ball was played across the pitch from Chris Palmer to Billy KEE and the striker calmly took a touch away from his marker before curling a sumptuous effort around the keeper and into the far corner from the edge of the 'D'.
A minute later and it could have been three as this time Kee turned provider for Yussuf who took a touch but then saw his left foot shot blocked away for a corner.
Evan Garnett got a late appearance for the final few minutes as he replaced Cleveland Taylor but didnt really get a touch to show what he could do.
The game finished with a late chance for the Saddlers but substitute Aaron Williams fired high over the before prompting referee Steve Rushton to blow the whistle for full time immediately after.
Burton: Atkins; Corbett (Stanton, 46), Diamond, Holness, McCrory; Taylor (Garnett, 88), Weir, Bell, Maghoma (C.Palmer, 53); Yussuf, Adebola (Kee, 46). Substitutes: Lyness, Green.
Walsall: Walker (Grof, 64), J.Chambers, Taundry, Butler, Holden (Featherstone, 64), Brandy (Baxendale, 64), A.Chambers (Purkiss, 64), Cuvelier, Grigg, Paterson (Bowerman, 64), Hemmings. Substitutes: Downing, George, Benning, Morris, Williams.
Referee: Mr. S.Rushton (Staffordshire)
GOALS: Brewers - Weir (29), Kee (79); Walsall - Grigg (6)