Pre Season Action from the Moat Ground
The Brewers eased themselves to a comfortable win over neighbours Gresley FC running out 4-0 winners at the Moat Ground. Goals from Justin Richards and youngster Devan Patterson in the first half were matched by strikes from Ben Cowdrill and Adi Yussuf in the second period.
As on Saturday Gary Rowett opted for different teams in each half for the visit to Gresley FC. New triallists included former Halifax and Sheffield Wednesday man Steve Haslam and ex-Leicester City defender Robbie Nielsen. Youth team triallist Devan Patterson started in attack with Justin Richards as Calvin Zola missed out with a slight injury picked up on Saturday against Aston Villa.
Gresley had the first real chance in the fourth minute. A hesitant clearance from keeper Dean Lyness smac ked into Gresley striker Dean Oliver but the striker was foiled at the near post as Lyness made amends for his error.
Albion quickly broke up the pitch and a surging run from Jacques Maghoma resulted in a deep cross to the far post the Cleveland Taylor volleyed over the crossbar from a first time effort.
Oliver then firted wastefully over after sneaking in down the left channel of the box.
Robbie Weir almost fired in another spectacular effort following his goal on Saturday on 21 minutes. Another teasing cross from Maghoma found the midfielder in space and his volley crashed back off the crossbar with Gary Hateley in the Gresley goal helpless.
Twenty five minutes were on the clock when Albion broke the deadlock. Albion exposed some room on the left and a delightful ball from midfield allowed Damien McCrory to pick out a precise pass to Justin RICHARDS in the middle, the striker calmly side footing the ball home into the bottom corner.
Maghoma, always looking dangerous down the left cut inside on 33 minutes and fired a fizzing shot wide although Hateley appeared to have it covered had the shot been on target.
The former Tottenham midfielder then latched onto a delightful through ball from Lee Bell but defender Michael Nottingham stuck out a leg to just take the ball off his toe as he shaped to shoot.
Richards had a good chance to make it two in the 41st minute when another cross from Maghoma on the left caused problems but Albion's frontman could not quide his header on target.
McCrory then picked up his second assist of the half in the 43rd minute when he slid a pass through into the path of youngster Devan Patterson and he calmly found the back of the net although Hateley got a good hand to ball without being able to keep it out.
Half time: Gresley 0-2 Burton Albion
Burton began the second half with a completely different side the notable inclusions beiing Steve Haslam, a triallist with the Brewers some eight years ago and also Robbie Neilson, formerly of Hearts and Leicester City who also spent time with Albion last season.
After some good possession football at the start of the half Albion made it three on 52 minutes. Jimmy Phillips curled in a cross from the left and when Tom Gutteridge could only push Adi Yussuff's header against the post the ball came back out favourably for youth team striker Ben COWDRILL to put the ball into the empty net.
Cowdrill was almost through on goal for a second on the hour mark but a mis-timed challenge from Dan Douglas halted him as he was about to burst beyond the last defender.
Richard Hanslow was close to getting on the scoresheet for Gresley shortly afterwards. Twisting and turning inside the penalty area he managed to get a shot away but Ross Atkins was down sharply to his right to smother the ball.
Yussuf did well to make a chance for himself using his strength on the edge of the area to turn and create space for a shot but his left foot effort was somewhat scuffed and went wide of the post.
The young striker only had to wait about another minute to get his goal as he scored in similar fashion to Cowdrill. Young defender Harry Austin crossed from the left and this time Cowdrill headed against the woodwork with the ball falling for YUSSUF to stroke home easily from close range.
Jimmy Phillips then surged into the box and fired towards goal only for his effort to hit a defender and loop over the crossbar for a corner that failed to produce anything of note.
Hansllow continued to look dangerous for the Moatmen with two close efforts in the latter stages of the game. Firstly turning and firing wide of the far post and then at full stretch putting the ball into the hands of Ross Atkins.
Jimmy Phillips then crashed the ball against the inside of the post from 25 yards out as Albion looked to round the evening off with a fifth goal. The former Stoke winger was then denied by Gutteridge on the Gresley goal and the keeper was alert enough to get straight up and deny youngster Matty Palmer the chance to convert the rebound.
Full time: Gresley FC 0-4 Burton Albion
Gresley: Hateley, Garton, Gough, Strzyzewski, Nottingham, Attwood, Spencer, Jepson, Oliver, Massingham, Goodfellow. Substitutes: Gutteridge, Barrett, Hanslow, Lyons, Roome, Douglas, Betteridge, Wilson, Bryant, Hancock.
Albion 1st half: Lyness, Corbett, Diamond, Stanton, McCrory, Taylor, Weir, Bell, Maghoma, Richards, Patterson. Substitutes: Allen, Spears, M.Palmer, Slade.
Albion 2nd half: Atkins, Haslam, Holness, Green, Austin, C.Palmer, Dyer, Neilsen, Phillips, Yussuf, Cowdrill (M.Palmer, 80). Substitutes:Allen, Spears, Slade.
Referee: J.Thornhill (Derby)
GOALS: Albion - Richards (25), Patterson (43), Cowdrill (52), Yussuf (73)