A YOUNG Burton Albion side were held to a 3-3 draw at Kidsgrove Athletic as 11 Brewers Academy players and graduates took to the field at Novus Stadium.
Harry Campbell, Joe Sbarra, Reece Hutchinson and Marcus Harness - all unused substitutes in last weekend's defeat to Rochdale - started at Kidsgrove, with Academy players, Chris Beardsley, Elliot Hodge and Will Miller making up the rest of the squad.
Albion would take the lead within eight minutes - Elliot Hodge netting for The Brewers after a lovely move down the right-hand side.
Marcus Harness advanced down the right flank and slipped in Sbarra, who pulled the ball back neatly across the box. Chris Beardsley dummied it and it ran to HODGE who, on the edge of the box, curled home a fine finish to the far-right corner.
Goalkeeper Harry Campbell had to be alert three minutes later to deny Kidsgrove skipper Ant Malbon, who got in behind the last man but, trying to slot the ball under the keeper, only found Campbell’s legs.
Harness drilled just over from 18 yards as Albion sought to reestablish their early dominance, with Beardsley forcing a good save from Dom Kurick on 29 minutes after the Trialist saw his effort blocked.
Hodge tested Kurick not long after before, just after the half-hour mark, MALBON opened Kidsgrove’s tally with a close-range finish.
But Albion would restore their goal advantage before the break - the Trialist did well to win possession in the centre and set off toward goal, spotting SBARRA free to his left and slotting the Brewers’ captain in.
Sbarra did the rest - taking a touch into the box before rifling a low finish past Kurick.
The Brewers Academy graduate - one of 11 Academy players on the pitch for Albion on the evening - saw a curled free kick well tipped over by Kurick 10 minutes after the restart before TRIALIST got on the scoresheet - sending a composed finish from 12 yards to the bottom-left corner after an excellent run and cross from Hodge.
Kurick was at it again to deny Sbarra just past the hour, tipping another close-range free kick over the crossbar, before Trialist was bundled over by Rhys Thompson in the box but could not send his spot kick past the save of Kurick.
MALBON brought Albion’s advantage down a goal with a stunning finish - hitting a powerful and dipping half-volley over Campbell from 30 yards, before DISKIN took advantage of a raft of Brewers substitutions to steam in at the back post and finish past Callum Hawkins.
Hawkins made a fine stop to deny Malbon his hat-trick from point-blank range as Albion ended the game with a side almost entirely made up of Academy products, Hodge and Miller - making his first appearance for Albion since suffering his season-ending knee injury last term - the only exceptions.
BREWERS: Campbell (Hawkins 72), Hart, Ganley, Hutchinson, Armitage, Harness, Sbarra (Gilligan 72), Bromfield (Clamp 72), Hodge, Beardsley (Miller 72), Trialist (Melhado 72).