Lincoln City 3-1 Burton AlbionA second half goal from Joe Sbarra was not enough to stage a memorable come back and the Brewers were downed 3-1 away to Lincoln City.
In truth, the scoreline does very little to show the quality of performance that the visitors put in. The ball was lost too much in midfield but Burton were still much the better side throughout. Brad Smith made a brace of mistakes, something that can be considered out of character given his consistent good form so far this season, to gift the hosts a two goal lead before the break, a misplaced pass from Mirza Sejdic allowed Lincoln to add a third, something that compounded Burton to defeat.
Burton had started the game much the better side and hard working forward Marcus Dinanga was looking dangerous, evading the offside trap on more than one occasion early on. A ball over the top, on one such occasion, saw Dinanga go through one on one with the Lincoln goalkeeper, only to be thwarted by some good goal keeping.
Burton conceded when Smith’s under hit pass put Jayden Cotterill under pressure, Lincoln regained possession and Burton were unable to recover as they went a goal down. Despite Burton controlling the game, they were their own worst enemy, losing possession three times in key areas, conceding two more goals.
Lincoln’s third goal seemed to spark Burton into life. The away side’s dominance started to show and Jayden Cotterill’s excellent run down the right, and subsequent cross, put Lincoln under immediate pressure and Joe Sbarra expertly finished, reigniting Burton’s hopes.
However, the visitors couldn’t add to their fight back, seeing a number of shots blocked in the closing stages.
Newly appointed academy head of coaching, Sam Rose, was taking charge of his first game and he saw positives despite the defeat. He said: "What the lads want to do is win games, score goals and keep clean sheets. They didn’t do that today but what they did do was be brave, be confident and play the way that we are asking them to play.
“We have worked all week on trying to play through, trying to play out and to control the ball, teams and possession. We have done that but we have not managed to score enough goals from it.
“Our goalkeeper has played well today, Charlie Gatter has also played very well, coming back from an injury in a reserve game at Bradford City. We had two under 16s on the pitch, one of which, Reece Hutchinson has done very well,”
Rose also pinpointed the key issues in his side’s performance, while also praising the opposition, he said: “Ultimately it was three phases of play that let the side down and caused us not to get a good result. A corner and then we have given the ball away twice and I think that we have overplayed at times.