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Match Reports

Match Report : 17/05/2014

17 May 2014


Burton Albion made it to Wembley for the League 2 play-off final thanks at a 3-2 aggregate win against Southend United.

The Brewers knew that a draw would take them to the final for the first time in their history and goals from Marcus Holness and Adam McGurk ensured the tie with Fleetwood Town on 26th May.

The game opened with few chances of note for either team, Southend keeper Dan Bentley saving from Adam McGurk and Dominic Knowles, but he could do nothing about the Albion opener.

Chris Hussey whipped in a free-kick from the right hand side and his cross fell perfectly to an unmarked Holness, who powered his header well out of Bentley's reach with 21 minutes on the clock.

That goal gave Albion impetus and they could have had a second following a good break, but McGurk's through ball to Knowles was cut out by Ben Coker at the last minute.

Southend knew they needed to get a goal to have a chance in the tie and that came shortly after the half hour mark through Ryan Leonard. A corner wasn't quite fully cleared and when the second ball came into the box, Leonard's overhead kick crept into the bottom corner with Dean Lyness unsighted.

Southend were encouraged once they halved the deficit, and they were back on terms only six minutes later. A deep cross across the face of goal wasn't dealt with and Anthony Straker nodded in at the far post to level the tie.

Albion held out until after half time and continued to be tested as Leonard forced a save from Lyness from a tight angle, but once Billy Kee was brought on with 54 minutes played the Brewers looked instantly more threatening, with both Kee and McGurk going close.

Southend's dominance was beginning to wear off as Burton looked for the killer blow, and it came through Adam McGurk. Hussey's free-kick from the half way line evaded everybody and bounced out to McGurk, who found time and space to slot beyond Bentley and send the 728 Brewers fans behind the goal into ecstasy.

Albion pressed for another goal as Alex MacDonald and Hussey went close, but they couldn't add to the goal tally as Southend threw everything at an equaliser. The Shrimpers piled on the pressure with a flurry of crosses and set pieces, and almost grabbed a last gasp goal as Leonard fired through a crowd of bodies, but the ball edged just wide.

Albion had to negotiate six minutes of additional time , but held out to book a date at Wembley Stadium on Monday 26th May.

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