npower League Two action from the Pirelli StadiumA day of superb finishing earned Burton Albion an impressive 4-0 victory over Oxford United. Calvin Zola got things going with a 20 yard volley into the top corner before Maghoma bent an effort in off the cross bar from 18 yards just before the break. A chipped freekick over the wall from Maghoma made it 3-0 before the Congolese wide man turned provider for Zola to net his second with a volley from inside the area.
Brewers boss Gary Rowett was forced into one change from the side that beat Rochdale seven days ago, with Cleveland Taylor coming in for the injured Chris Palmer for the visit of Oxford United. Striker Billy Kee returned to the bench after international duty.
Oxford United's new signing Luke O'Brien started on the bench for the U's.
In a bright start to the match both teams looked to attack from the outset. Sean Rigg flashed a dangerous ball across the face of the Burton goal before Weir's 20 yard effort at the other end was deflected away for a corner.
Michael Raynes then headed a corner kick over the bar in the ninth minute when he should have tested Tomlinson on his home debut for Burton. A minute later Marcus Holness almost embarrased visiting keeper Ryan Clarke when his long ball from the halfway line almost found it's way into the net.
Lee Bell won a freekick 20 yards from goal in the 17th minute which he took himself, hammering a shot straight into the wall. Damien McCrory was first onto tyhe rebound and his dipping volley cannoned back off the cross bar. McCrory was again first to the loose ball and this time his left footed shot was blocked and cleared away by the U's defence.
Burton took the lead in the 26th minute thanks to a piece of brilliance from Calvin ZOLA who sent a superb volley from 20 yards into the top corner of Clarke's goal.
Anthony O'Connor had to be alert two minutes later, getting a crucial foot to Potter's near post cross as Smalley looked to level things up straight away.
Stuart Tomlinson came to deal with a long throw into the area from Capaldi in the 38th minute, in doing so he left Diamond and Smalley on deck with the referee blowing his whistle to stop the game just before Damien Batt rifled a 25 yard shot into the Burton net.
Burton added a second just before the break when Jacques MAGHOMA stroked the ball into top corner from 20 yards following Zola's lay off. It could have been three soon after when Paterson's back header from close range fell just the wrong side of the post.
Half time: Burton Albion 2-0 Oxford United
Chris Wilder made two changes at the break, replacing Sean Rigg and Daniel Boateng with Jon-Paul Pittman and Tom Craddock. Oxford almost levelled straight from the retsart when Zander Diamond deflected substitute Craddock's eight yard shot over the bar. Craddock had another opportunity a minute later, sidefooting Pittman's cross just wide of the near post.
Burton had to endure some pressure ealry in the second half but could have grabbed a third when Paterson found room on the edge of the area to curl the ball just wide of the top corner. A dangerous back header from Damien Batt then almost allowed Paterson in again but Clarke was off his line quickly to clear the danger.
Jon-Paul Pittman had made a difference since coming on at the breal and he brought a fine save out of Tomlinson who tipped over his fizzing shot from the edge of the area. With that, Gary Rowett replaced Cleveland Taylor with Jack Dyer to counter the added threat from Wilder's men. Andy Corbett was then into the action, replacing Matt Paterson in the 57th minute. Corbett went out to the right of midfield with Zola becoming the lone front man.
Tony Capaldi went into the referee's book in the 64th minute for a foul on Zola as he looked to latch onto Maghoma's ball forwards. And MAGHOMA stepped up to punish the Oxford defence, clipping the 20 yard freekick over the wall and into the corner of the net to make it 3-0.
It was 4-0 a minute later, Calvin ZOLA grabbing his second, volleying in Maghoma's cross from the left as Burton threatened to run riot.
Michael Raynes was booked in the 70th minute for a foul on Maghoma as he surged forwards oncew again, this time McCrory stepped up to hit the freekick left footed but his effort was tame and into the wall.
Zola was replaced in the 75th minute to a standing ovation as Justin Richards took his place. And Oxford were close to getting one back three minutes later when Pittman's low ball through the six yard box was turned just wide of goal by Diamond.
Raynes then went close in the 82nd minute when he headed a corner wide of goal. Deane Smalley was then replaced by Tyrone Marsh.
Full time: Burton Albion 4-0 Oxford United
Scorers: Burton Zola (26, 66) Maghoma (45, 65)
Referee: Mr R. Clark
Brewers: TOMLINSON, O'CONNOR, DIAMOND, HOLNESS, MCCRORY, TAYLOR, WEIR, BELL, MAGHOMA, PATERSON, ZOLA. Subs: ATKINS, CORBETT, WEBSTER, STANTON, RICHARDS, DYER, KEE.
Oxford: CLARKE, BATT, RAYNES, WRIGHT, CHAPMAN, HESLOP, SMALLEY, RIGG, POTTER, CAPALDI, BOATENG. Subs: BROWN, PITTMAN, COX, WORLEY, O'BRIEN, MARSH, CRADDOCK.