Burton Albion 2-2 Scunthorpe UnitedA game of mixed emotions at the Pirelli Stadium saw Albion end their three game losing streak but fail to take all three points as Burton and Scunthorpe battled to a 2-2 draw.
Billy Kee gave Albion the lead with an instinctive finish from close range on 36 minutes but a sloppy start to the second half from the Brewers saw them surrender the lead to Dean Burton's headed finish and then go behind on 62 minutes as Niall Canavan converted a corner from two yards out. Albion battled back and Robbie Weir's comprehensive headed finish deservedly got Albion back on terms but they were unable to go on and take the win as frustrating Scunthorpe tactics disrupted the game late on much to Albion's frustration.
Gary Rowett was able to call on two of his injured squad as Chris Hussey and Billy Kee returned to action after lay-offs. Kee replaced the unlucky Dominic Knowles whilst Hussey came in for Adam McGurk who had been suffering with a out of sickness through the week. New loan signing Shane Cansdell-Sherriff was given an immediate debut as Marcus Holness began his three match suspension.
Despite a bright start from the visitors it was Albion who had the first clear opening in the fifth minute as Kee beat the offside trap from a free kick routine and his poked shot was brilliantly kept out by Iron keeper Sam Slocombe.
Jordan Pickford had to come through a crowd of players to punch the ball clear under pressure but it was Albion threatening again, this time from a set piece on thirteen minutes. Lee Bell was pole-axed outside the box and Chris Hussey swept a curling left foot free kick over the bar.
Scunthorpe were forced into a change on twenty minutes when Eddie Nolan pulled up rather suddenly and he was replaced by Cliff Byrne who slotted in at right back.
The game descended into something of a midfield battle with chances at a premium but Albion got the breakthrough in the 36th minute. Alex MacDonald played a lovely ball in which was dummied by Symes who then latched onto Kee's pass. The chance seemed to have gone when Symes' cross was overhit beyond the far post but Chris Hussey reecycled the ball and put in a right foot cross that was only half cleared by a Scunthorpe defender to the feet of MacDonald. He took a touch before drilling a cross shot across goal where KEE was fortunately on hand to slam the ball in from close range off the underside of the bar.
Burton had to survive a late scare in first half stoppage time as Scunthorpe raided down the right and it took a last ditch clearance from Robbie Weir, deep inside his own six yard box to deny Sean MacAllister the formality of a tap in.
A much improved first half performance from Albion ensured they went into the break ahead.
Half time: Burton Albion 1-0 Scunthorpe United
The Iron were forced into a second change as the second half got under way. Midfield playmaker Etienne Esajas failed to reappear after the break after picking up a knock in the first period and he was replaced by Jimmy Spencer.
Three minutes into the second period and it was all square as Scunthorpe equalised. Shane Cansdell-Sherriff was unable to clear a long ball effectively and when the ball came back to Terry Hawkridge he speared a cross in that was met by the merest of touches from veteran striker Deon BURTON to guide the ball wide of Jordan Pickford.
Four minutes later and the Iron were ahead. After the equaliser the visitors pressed on and after winning a corner on the right the delivery was perfect onto the head of centre half Niall CANAVAN who flicked it beyond Pickford from close range.
Alex MacDonald picked up the first yellow card of the afternoon after disputing a decision from referee Keith Stroud. However the winger took centre stage moments later when Kee won a free kick twenty five yards from goal and the former Burnley winger curled his effort against the post. Skipper Lee Bell then found himself in the book when Terry Hawkridge ran into him and went to ground.
Albion drew level on 62 minutes with a delightful free kick routine. Chris Hussey curled a perfect inswinging delivery towards the far post and Robbie WEIR timed his run to perfection to lose his man and thump a header decisively past Sam Slocombe.
The Brewers made their first change with just over twenty minutes to go and it was attacking reinforcements as Michael Symes made way for the fresh legs of Rene Howe.
A second substitution followed on 74 minutes as Adam McGurk joined the fray in place of Alex MacDonald.
Zander Diamond needed treatment for a head injury as Burton were attacking a corner from the left and the third change from Gary Rowett had to be delayed until Diamond was declared fit to resume. Resume he did and then it was time for a third attacking change as the hard working Kee made way for the energy and exuberance of Dominic Knowles.
Ex-Albion loanee Sam Winnall then found his way into referee Stroud's notebook for petulantly throwing the ball away as he challenged Phil Edwards in the corner.
Burton had a late chance to snatch the win as the ball broke loose for Howe in stoppage time but from a tight angle he tried to find the far top corner when a low angled drive may have been more fruitful.
Scunthorpe were keen to hang onto their point and Jimmmy Spencer went down in the box far too easily having made sure he collided with Albion keeper Jordan Pickford, referee Stroud stopping the game while he gingerly got to his feet. It was the last action and caused a heated debate between the dugouts but in the end a point apiece was probably a fair result.