npower League 2 action from the EBB StadiumBurton Albion tonight sit in their highest ever position in the League Two table after a gritty 2-1 victory at the EBB Stadium against in form Aldershot Town. The home side had not lost under the new management of Andy Scott and it looked as if that might continue when they took a third minute lead through on loan striker Paul McCallum but a superb come from behind performance saw Albion equalise a minute before the break through Robbie Weir, his sixth goal of the season and a stunning volleyed effort from Michael Symes ensured that Albion were the only side in the top seven at start of play to come out with all three points on what could be a pivotal night in the race for promotion from League Two.
Pre match injury doubts Billy Kee and Jacques Maghoma both missed out on the trip to Hampshire as Gary Rowett made two changes in personnel for the visit to the Shots. Calvin Zola returned to the attack to partner Michael Symes whilst Adam Drury came back into midfield but swapped wings with Alex MacDonald with the in form Burnley loanee moving to the left and the youngster from Manchester City slotting in on the right hand side.
Aldershot, in good form since appointing Andy Scott as manager had former Brewers loanee Lionel Ainsworth in their starting line-up.
Albion got off to the worst possible start as the Shots took the lead in just the third minute. It owed a great to the skill and foresight of West Ham loanee Paul McCALLUM. The young striker flicked a long ball over the head of Zander Diamond before exchanging passes with Craig Reid and firing low beyond Stuart Tomlinson from an acute angle.
Burton's first real opening came on nine minutes when good work from Symes and Zola found MacDonald on the left but after cutting in from the left he ballooned a curling right foot shot well off target. The Brewers looked dangerous again shortly after when Symes again started a move that resulted in Anthony O'Connor sending in a looping cross from the right that Symes met with his head but which he could not quite steer wide enough of Glenn Morris in the Shots goal.
Burton continued to probe away at the Shots defence and they were almost gifted an equaliser on 27 minutes when Sonny Bradley made a hash of an attempted clearance but Michael Symes lurking at the far post could not quite turn and beat Morris.
Peter Vincenti almost grabbed a second for Aldershot two minutes later as Albion momentarily switched off but a superbly timed challenge from Anthony O'Connor inside the box meant that the worst Albion conceded was a corner.
McCallum was looking a real threat for the home side and he had Tomlinson at full stretch with a snap shot from 22 yards on 37 minutes but the Albion keeper was able to guide the ball wide of the post.
Forty one minutes were on the clock when another chance came Albion's way. A long throw from Alex MacDonald caused problems in the Shots defence and when the ball fell nicely for Symes he turned inside the box but saw his volley fly just wide of the upright.
Albion were back on terms again though on 44 minutes. Another long throw from MacDonald from the right hand side was again only half cleared and when Zander Diamond teed up Robbie WEIR the midfielder drilled through a ruck of players and beyond the diving Morris for his third goal in just one and half games.
When Oliver Risser upended Adam Drury twenty five yards out in stoppage time if offered Albion a late first half chance to snatch the lead but MacDonald curled his effort comfortably over the bar.
Half time: Aldershot Town 1-1 Burton Albion
Albion came out much stronger at the start of the second half and Ian Sharps was only inches away from his first goal in yellow and black with a towering header at the back post that had to be hastily hacked off the line on 49 minutes. The ball came back out for Weir who drove his volley into the ground but it bounced up kindly this time for Morris who gratefully clutched the ball.
The lively Danny Rose picked up the first yellow card of the game for a foul on Lee Bell before Ian Sharps went down with a knock to the head after a clash with Craig Reid.
Zola almost capitalised on a suicidal back pass from thirty five yards out but even at full stretch the tall striker could not quite get there before Morris. It was the last significant action for Zola who came off struggling with what looked like a hamstring injury to be replaced by Matt Paterson on 58 minutes.
Sixty five minutes in and all of Albion's second half pressure bore fruit as Michael SYMES fired home Albion's second. A long ball forward from O'Connor appeared to bounce unkindly for the on-loan striker who had three defenders around him by the time the ball came back down but from the edge of the area he turned and floated a superb left foot shot over the outstretched fingertips of Morris and into the top corner.
Albion almost blotted an otherwise good second half showing when Anthony O'Connor attempted to guide a long ball forward out for a goal kick but had his pocket picked by Ainsworth who tried to find the back of the net from a tight angle only to be denied by Tomlinson.
Aldershot came back into the game and by the end had gone three at the back in a desperate attempt to get back into the game. Substitute Adam Mekki tried his luck from just inside the box on 88 minutes but Tomlinson was behind it all the way and snuffed out the threat.
It was all a little nervy as Albion saw less of the ball late on and with Aldershot pushing forward more and more. A late corner that Tomlinson couldnt quite prevent from going out offered the home side a late chance to salvage something but Albion survived.
It was a momentary reprieve as a foul by O'Connor gave the home side a chance to sling in a free kick but Albion's defence once more stood strong and secured Albion's position in second place in League Two.
ALDERSHOT: G.Morris, Herd, A.Morris, Vincenti, Risser, McCallum, Forbes, Reid, Bradley, Ainsworth, Rose. Substitutes: Lancashire, Mekki, Stanley, Hall, Goulding, Cadogan, Williams.
BURTON: Tomlinson; O'Connor, Diamond, Sharps, McCrory; Drury, Bell, Weir, MacDonald; Zola, Symes. Substitutes: Corbett, Palmer, Lyness, Phillips, Paterson, Holness, Dyer.
Referee: Mr C.Berry (Surrey)
GOALS: Aldershot - McCallum (3); Burton - Weir (44), Symes (65)
Attendance: 1,568 (53 away)