Joe Sbarra scored his fourth goal of the week to hand Burton Albion under 18s a 1-0 win over Walsall in the Youth Alliance Cup.Sbarra, who scored a mid week hat trick for the development squad against Bradford City, secured Albion’s first points in the group stage of the competition, having fell to a 2-1 defeat to Mansfield Town on the opening matchday of the cup.
The result will have provided a confidence boost for the young Brewers, who were beaten heavily by Mansfield last weekend in a 6-0 defeat. Manager Sam Rose admitted there was room for improvement, but was glad to see his team grind out a result.
“It was scrappy, Walsall are a very good side and on another day I think they could have scored a couple of goals, they got in some good positions and I don’t feel we dealt with it as well as we could have done with their overlapping full backs and wide players who cut inside,” Rose said.
“We started slow, we didn’t deal with the two versus twos in the wide areas and they got a lot of crosses in the box but second half we managed to keep a clean sheet and play some good football.
“I felt that today, although we didn’t play too well, we still created chances and kept a clean sheet and I think that it will help later down the line in the team’s development because it is important to be able to do that, we can’t always play pretty, we might play better teams, teams who are able get the ball in the box or play through the middle.
“It is important that the players can play possession based football but also win ugly, which we did today.”
The win put Burton back in contention to progress from the group stage, with Shrewsbury their next game in the cup, however, they first have a run of four straight league games to contend, with a trip to Hartlepool next up for the young Brewers.