pre-season action from the Sperrin Brewery StadiumAnother pre-season work-out for Albion but alas no goals as Nuneaton Town frustrated the Brewers on a mild evening in Warwickshire. Both sides had chances to score in a lively encounter but goalkeepers came out on top in this one with both attacks frustrated.
Former Burnley keeper Brian Jensen and ex-Torquay and Luton Town man Lathaniel Rowe-Turner. Jensen is looking for a new club after ten years at Turf Moor and had a trial with Bradford City on Saturday whilst Rowe-Turner, a former Leicester youngster would seem to be available from Luton Town where he is on the transfer list.
Albion were the ones asking all the early questions most motably down the left flank where Chris Hussey and Damien McCrory were paired together for the first time. It was Hussey who produced a peach of a cross on ten minutes that was just over the head of Dominic Knowles in the centre and Gavin Cowan had to hurriedly head over.
But it was the hosts who came closest to opening the scoring on thirteen minutes as some industrious work through the centre eventually worked an opportunity for Wes York to send a cross to the far post that was met with a firm volley by Phil Trainer who could only watch as his effort flew just wide of the post on its way back across goal.
Brown then thumped a header into the back of the net on the quarter of an hour mark but the eagle eyed assistant referee had the flag up quickly to rule the goal out for offside.
Burton came back strongly and Knowles was able to work a chance for himself on the edge of the area on 23 minutes but his shot lacked the power to seriously test Dimitar Evtimov in the Nuneaton goal.
Albion continued to press and looked the tidier of the sides in possession and they were close to opening the scoring on 41 minutes when Chris Hussey's cross in from the right hand side was headed back across goal by Alex MacDonald only for skipper Gareth Dean to clear the ball away off the goal line.
All in all it was a relatively quiet half for Jensen and Rowe-Turner as they looked to impress although there had been one or two nervy moments on crosses that Albion got away with and with the prospect of a much changed line-up for the second half.
Half time: Nuneaton Town 0 - 0 Burton Albion
As expected the Albion team for the second period showed no less than six changes. Liam Slade replaced Phil Edwards at right back whilst Marcus Holness came on in the centre of defence as Rowe-Turner switched to left back with Damien McCrory not reappearing for the second period. Jack Dyer came on for Alex MacDonald and on the opposite flank Jimmy Phillips replaced Chris Hussey. Lee Bell was a straight swap for Matty Palmer in the centre of midfield and Billy Kee made his first pre-season appearance replacing Michael Symes.
Kee almost immediately set up a chance for Knowles but pass carried a little too much and Evtimov was out smartly to reach the ball before the Albion striker as he tried to latch onto it.
Kee then worked a chance for himself from the edge of the area but on his weaker left foot he failed to seriously trouble the Nuneaton keeper.
Jensen was certainly being asked more questions in this half and he responded by getting behind several long range efforts and coming off his line well to cut out a couple of testing crosses.
Jusr after the hour mark there was another double change for Albion as Ian Sharps replaced Zander Diamond and Marcus Harness came on for Robbie Weir with Jack Dyer switching to a more central role.
It was a much more even game now and several substitutions from the home side gave them added impetus although Albion will have been glad to see the back of the lively Wes York on the wing and central midfielder James Armson who were the two stand out performers for Town in the first period.
Jensen was forced to make an excellent save low to his left on 71 minutes. A teasing cross was met by a firm header by Andy Brown was pushed to safety by the big stopper just when it looked like he might be beaten.
Burton weathered some pressure and then almost caught Nuneaton with a swift counter. Dominic Knowles broke the offside trap and laid a pass off to Jimmy Phillips and his curling effort had the substitute Nuneaton keeper scrambling and grateful to see the ball bounce wide of the upright.
Laurie Walker, the keeper in question then produced an excellent save late on to deny Knowles. Some neat and tidy passing in and around the edge of the penalty area eventually enabled Kee to find his fellow striker and as the young ex-Burnley man tried to lift the ball over the keeper he instinctively put up a hand to block the shot.
A late chance for Kee went begging as Harness swung over a teasing cross and the striker headed the ball wide of the post.
NUNEATON: Evtimov; Cowan, Dean, Armson, Adams, Brown, York, Pearson, Trainer, Andrew, Omar.
BURTON: Jensen; Edwards (Slade, 46), Hussey (Phillips, 46), Diamond (Sharps, 62), Weir (Harness, 62), MacDonald (Dyer, 46), McCrory (Holness, 46), Knowles, Palmer (Bell, 46), Symes (Kee, 46), Rowe-Turner. Substitutes: Lyness, Sharps, Holness, Bell, Dyer, Phillips, Kee, Slade, Harness, Doyle, Currie.