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Match Reports

Sheffield United v Burton Albion

6 August 2013

Sheffield United 1 - 2 Burton Albion

Lightning really does strike twice and Burton Albion proved it as Chris Hussey struck his first two goals for the club to see off League One side Sheffield United for the second season in a first at the first round stage of the Capital One Cup.

After a first half of few chances Hussey lit the fuse on a much brighter second half opening the scoring with a neat right foot finish on 49 minutes and when skipper Michael Doyle equalised with a 30 yard screamer Albion had it all to do again.

They left it late, the fifth minute of added time to be precise, but there was that man Hussey again to power home a header that had Blades keeper Mark Howard beaten all ends up.

Gary Rowett made three changes for the trip to Bramall Lane, going in search of victory against the Blades in the first round of the Capital One Cup for the second season running. The defensive unit remained the same as for the season opener at Cheltenham but there were changes further up the pitch. Going into the game with a solid 4-2-3-1 formation, Rory Delap and Lee Bell were asked to play the midfield anchor roles with Adam McGurk making his debut on the right hand side of an attacking midfield three with Robbie Weir in the middle and Chris Hussey on the left. Michael Symes made his first appearance of the season as the lone striker. Bell's return from suspension allowed a full complement of substitutes with Adam Reed, Alex MacDonald and Billy Kee from Saturday's line-up all rested to the bench.

The first real chance of the game came from Sheffield United's first corner kick. Ryan Flynn curled the ball towards the back post and Harry Maguire headed over the bar after Jordan Pickford ccame to collect and was beaten to it.

A slick passing move from the home side on eight minutes briefly threatened to open up the Brewers rearguard but Callum McFadzdean blasted his early shot well over the crossbar.

McFadzean was much closer on 12 minutes when another patient build up  found him in space on the edge of the area but a crucial deflection off Ian Sharps took it wide of Pickford and more importantly the post.

Pickford had more than a few hearts in mouths when he raced from goal to try and clear with Holness getting his head to the ball but when Chris Porter tried to head home the loose ball, Pickford regained his position to scramble the ball round the post.

Albion began to show some more attacking intent and after Michael Symes had skied an ambitious shot from distance the Brewers first real chance arrived on 25 minutes. Chris Hussey managed to get a yard of space on his man down the left and when his low cross beat both Symes and Robbie Weir in the middle the ball arrived at the feet of McGurk who, perhaps surprised that the ball had reached him, prodded a shot goalwards that Mark Howard was grateful to grab hold of.

Pickford produced a smart save low to his left on 33 minutes as Chris Porter let fly from the edge of the area and Marcus Holness was on hand to complete the clearance before another Sheffield United player could capitalise on the rebound.

Darryl Westlake came surging forward from the back on 38 minutes and after a neat little trick to get him inside his man just inside the area but his left foot curling shot went just over the bar. Robbie Weir fired a dipping thirty yard effort over the bar but there was little else to threaten the scorers as half time came along.

Half time: Sheffield United 0 - 0 Burton Albion

Neither side made a change at half time and four minutes after the restart it was Albion who took the lead. Adam MuGurk worked space for a teasing cross and when Mark Howard could only palm the ball away under his crossbar the ball came to a waiting Chris HUSSEY who took a touch to control before drilling the ball back inside the far post off his unfavoured right foot.

Chris Porter, the former Rams striker went close to equalising for the Blades on 57 minutes when he latched onto Kevin McDonald's through ball but after Pickford beat away his initial shot with a smart save the striker then squandered the opportunity from the rebound pushing the ball wide of the far post.

Ryan Flynn then went closer for United with a teasing shot that took a slight deflection off a defender before dipping just over the crossbar.

The Blades quickly made their first substitution just after the hour mark and it was a straight swap in attack as young forward Lyle Taylor was introduced in place of Porter.

When the equaliser came in the 64th minute it was a moment of real quality from skipper Michael DOYLE. Flynn took a quick free kick playing the ball into the path of his captain and he let fly with a shot from thirty yards that left Pickford rooted to the spot as it flew into the top corner.

Taylor had his first run on goal on 69 minutes but offered the chance to shot after coming in onto his left foot he drilled a low shot straight into the body of Pickford.

The fleet footed youngster certainly made an impact after his arrival on the pitch and another jinking run a few minutes later a low shot went whistling past the far post much to the relief of Albion's young keeper.

With just under twenty minutes to play Albion's first change saw Robbie Weir given a rest and Matty Palmer given another taste of first team action.

Taylor was in the thick of it again on 75 minutes. Chasing down a backpass to Pickford the young striker took a blow from the ball right in the face which left him in a heap inside the penalty area as the ball flew away from goal to the relief of Albion's young custodian.

The introduction of another livewire forward, Febian Brandy gave Sheffield United more attacking impetus and with eight minutes remaining Albion made their final two changes as Rory Delap and Michael Symes were replaced by Billy Kee and Alex MacDonald.

The home side poured forward in an effort to finish the game in normal time with McDonald leading the charge on a barnstorming run and a late scramble inside the Albion penalty area was eventually tidied up by Pickford as the ball pinballed around inside the penalty area with scuffed shots and blocks aplenty.

It looked all set to end in stalemate and extra time again until the final minute of added when Albion broke forward and stung their hosts with a stunning winner. Substitute Alex MacDonald raided down the right and his cross was perfect into the centre for HUSSEY to thump home a close range header to sent the Albion followers behind the goal into jubilant celebrations.

There was just time for Taylor to hit one last effort towards goal but his snapshot went wide of the target and Albion had done it again. Into the second round of the Capital One Cup at the expense of Sheffield United.

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