Burton Albion 2-0 Lincoln CityBurton Albion under 18s continued their strong end to the season with a dominant 2-0 win over Lincoln City.
Goals of real quality from Joe Sbarra and Tristan Matthews either side of half time gave the young Brewers the edge over their opponents in a game where technical ability shone through.
Burton had the better of the early going. Charlie Gatter, one of the few players above the age of 16 in a relatively young match day squad, forced a brilliant save with a header inside the opening ten minutes from a corner. Charlie Dowd also forced a good save after Lincoln were wasteful in possession and gifted him an opportunity, only to be thwarted down low.
Burton broke the deadlock around the 20 minute mark. A flowing move from midfield would eventually find Reece Hutchinson, who was a constant threat in both boxes all game, and his low left wing cross found Sbarra, who tapped home with the goal gaping.
Sbarra has been in good form for much of the season and has stepped up immensely to subsidise the goals and work rate of Marcus Dinanga, who departed on loan earlier in the season, and he very nearly added another to his name on 35 minutes when his crisp strike was deflected just wide of the target.
Max Smith was provided brilliant defensive rearguard in what was a relatively attacking performance from the hosts, making a crucial block in the 40th minute to ensure that his side went into the break ahead.
The second half was a harder fought affair, with Burton just edging ahead in the battle for midfield dominance, something which emphasised the focus on the development under Rose’s regime. There were only three clear cut chances in the second 45 minutes and all of them fell to the home team.
The first fell to the ever dangerous Sbarra, who dispossessed the away team defence again as they fumbled possession on the edge of their own box. The forward drove inside the area only to find his low effort stopped by a strong save.
Substitute Jack Henchcliffe, an under 15 player, then forced a stunning save when a cross from the right rebounded into his path and with the goal seemingly gaping he placed his effort on target only to be stopped by an unlikely block from the goalkeeper’s legs.
Burton’s second came ten minutes from time and it was well worth the wait for those in attendance. Cameron Steele produced an unplayable cross field pass to find Matthews, he then took on his full back before slotting under the keeper to double their advantage and finish off the game.
The Brewers currently sit third in the league, four points off table topping Scunthorpe, and have only lost once in their last nine games. They next travel away to Doncaster on April 23rd.