Brewers and Sports share KC TrophyThe Brewers and Mickleover Sports shared the KC Trophy as the respective Sky Bet League 2 and Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South champions fought out a goalless draw at the Don Amott Arena.
Albion fans got their first glimpses of new signing Calum Butcher after his arrival from Dundee United and the new man quickly showed his appetite for some meaty challenges in midfield alongside fellow new boy Callum Reilly. Dominic Knowles began the game up front but was unable to add to his Moat Ground hat-trick with livewire youngster Sam Austin often in support having replaced Timmy Thiele in the starting line-up.
Sports had a number of familiar faces on show, managed by former Brewers man Glenn Kirkwood. Ross Atkins appeared in goal with ex-Albion men Liam Walshe and Chris Palmer in defence and John McGrath pulling the strings in midfield.
Sports showed up well in the early stages and Albion were grateful to Phil Edwards to keep the scores level on 12 minutes. A right wing cross was headed away from danger by the popular right back and he was in the right place at the right time again from the resulting corner to head off the line with Jon McLaughlin beaten.
McLaughlin then had to dash out smartly to deny Simeon Oshoboke with Ben Fairclough seeing his shot from the rebound deflected out for a corner.
Three times in the first half Andy Dales had chances to break the deadlock but there was seemingly no way past the Albion keeper who dealt with whatever was thrown his way with relative ease.
Knowles worked room for a shot on the edge of the box that drifted wide of the post but it was Reilly who went closest for Albion in the first period after Knowles had capitalised on some sloppy defending to help Matty Palmer set the newcomer up for a rasping shot that flew just over the angle of post and bar. Austin headed a superb cross by Edwards straight into the waiting arms of Atkins and Lucas Akins drilled a low left foot shot inches wide of the upright as Albion finished the first period on top.
Half time 0-0
A completely new look Albion took to the field for the second half with new loan signing Mark Duffy keen to make an impression and the Birmingham man almost got off to a perfect start, latching on to Marcus Harness' through ball only for a bobble on the edge of the area to spoil his shot which flew over the bar.
A minute later and Albion rattled the woodwork through Stuart Beavon who diverted Kelvin Maynard's cross from the left against the post, Duffy firing the loose ball over the bar.
Dwayne Wiley then had to be alert to deny Beavon a clean shot on goal as he threatened to make more of Duffy's through ball and Tom Naylor rifled a shot just wide.
As the game drifted towards its conclusion Duffy flicked Naylor's pass into the arms of substitute keeper Tom Turner and Maynard headed wide whilst Harness had a great chance to win it late on as Albion's extra fitness told on the home side. The young winger found space on the right but lashed a shot wide of the target without testing Turner.
Albion 1st Half: McLaughlin, Edwards, Reilly, Mousinho, Taft, Butcher, Knowles, Palmer, Akins, O'Brien, Austin.
Albion 2nd Half: Lyness, Pearson, Slade, Shelton, Maynard, Harness, Weir, Naylor, El Khayati, Duffy, Beavon.