The Brewers Reserve side began their Central League campaign with a 2-0 defeat to Gateshead at the Pirelli Stadium. The young side found the more physical Gateshead eleven, a tough proposition with the Tynesiders dominating the first half with Michael Sweet giving them an early lead. Albion did improve after the break, with plenty of endeavour, but struggled to really create many clear opportunities and Gateshead sealed the win with a late Callum Patton goal.
With a number of first team players featuring in the Birmingham Senior Cup win at Coleshill, Albion fielded a youthful side with Dean Lyness starting between the sticks along with Isaac Currie, Kyle O’Mahoney, Liam Slade and Harry Austin starting in defence. Matty Palmer began alongside Joe Doyle in the centre of midfield with Marcus Harness and Billy Bennett on the flanks. Sam Croucher and Ben Cowdrill started the game up front.
Gateshead had the first chance of any note in the eighth minute as Lyness comfortably held Patton’s low shot. Whilst at the other end Cowdrill saw a tame effort stopped by Gateshead keeper Jordan Nixon. The Tynesiders then took the lead in the 13th minute, Patton found SWEET who raced into the box and drilled his shot into the bottom corner of the net.
Gateshead nearly doubled their lead in the 26th minute, James Marwood’s shot beat Lyness but just drifted wide of the post. The Tynesiders had another great opportunity on the half hour mark as Marwood played in Liam Gormley on the wing who brushed off the challenge of Slade and crossed to an unmarked Sweet who headed over at the back post.
Currie was booked in the 39th minute for a late challenge on Patton as Gateshead continued to press forward and look the most likely to test the goalkeeper. Gormley and Patton combined well to set up Rob Ramshaw who fired his shot over from the edge of the box.
Half Time: Burton Albion 0-1 Gateshead
The second half began in similar fashion as Marwood saw his 20 yard free kick skim narrowly over the crossbar after Austin had tripped the Gateshead midfielder. And a couple of minutes later Patton found space out wide and scooped an angled shot wide.
Devarn Patterson replaced Bennett in the 53rd minute as Albion seeked an improvement going forward with an adjustment to the formation to 4-3-3. Austin went close to grabbing an equaliser, the Albion centre back drilled a 20 yard shot just over the bar after the Gateshead defence failed to clear their lines from an Albion corner.
The next twenty minutes were played at a more pedestrian pace due to a number of stoppages with neither side really creating much in the way of chances. Leandro Browne replaced Croucher in the 71st minute as Harness went close to scoring an equaliser, the young Albion attacker did well to connect to Cowdrill’s low cross which was well saved by Nixon.
Albion made their final roll of the dice in the 80th minute with Matthew Andrews replacing Cowdrill. But Gateshead made sure of the win in the 88th minute as the Albion defence failed to deal with substitute Luke Carr’s run, who squared to PATTON, who had the simple task of finishing from close range.
Full Time: Burton Albion 0-2 Gateshead
Albion: Lyness, Currie, O’Mahoney, Doyle, Slade, Austin, M Palmer, Bennett (Patterson 53), Croucher (Browne 71), Harness, Cowdrill (Andrews 80). Substitutes: Patterson, Didlick, Browne, Andrews.
Gateshead: Nixon, Roberts, Galpin, Ramshaw, Lilley, Mole (Luke 45), Sweet, Marwood (Barton 62), Gormley, Patton, Ravenhill (Carr 62). Substitutes: Barton, Carr, Luke.
Referee: Mr J. Roskelly
Goals: Gateshead – Sweet (13), Patton (88).