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Match Reports


8 December 2018

Match Reports


8 December 2018

Liam Boyce and Scott Fraser grabbed the goals that got Albion back to winning ways as they spoilt Sam Ricketts first league game as Shrewsbury Town boss.

Boyce got the Brewers off to a flyer netting his ninth of the season when Steve Arnold's attempted clearance rebounded off the striker and rolled into the net on three minutes. Fraser's goal nine minutes from time seemed to have wrapped up victory, the midfielder firing in off the inside of the post only for Fejiri Okenabirhie's stoppage time effort to set up a nervy ending.

After defeats in their previous two outings Nigel Clough opted to make two changes to his side giving youth a chance to prove itself. Reece Hutchinson returned after a short spell on the sidelines to replace Damien McCrory at left back and Will Miller, after several bright appearances off the bench, came in on the left hand side of midfield as Boyce returned to a central attacking role.

And the move for Boyce paid immediate dividends as the Northern Irish international was on the scoresheet within three minutes. Mat Sadler's pass back to keeper Steve Arnold seemed routine enough but Boyce chased the ball down and Arnold's attempted clearance rebounded off thr striker before rolling into the net.

Shrewsbury looked to pick themselves up in Sam Ricketts first league game in charge and Brad Collins made a smart save to deny Josh Laurent after Aaron Amadi-Holloway had led a swift counter attack on seven minutes.

Sadler and Arnold had another bout of miscommunication on 22 minutes as another long ball forward allowed Boyce to get the better of both of them but from a very tight angle the striker was just off target, rippling the side netting as Arnold narrowed the angle down.

Shrewsbury were struggling to make much impact on the Brewers defence, Collins comfortably claiming a downward header from James Bolton that had the sting taken out of it on the way through to the keeper. Fejiri Okenabirhie also called Collins into actions with a low shot but the angle and distance were always against the striker as Collins made a comfortable save in the increasingly wet conditions.

Albion were still looking the more threatening and when Anthony Grant's attempted pass was intercepted Albion had the chance to counter down the right, Boyce and Jamie Allen combining to eventually create a chance for Jake Hesketh, the Southampton loanee seeing his final effort deflected inside the box to make it easy for Arnold to save.

Okenabirhie found plenty of space inside the box on 44 minutes after good work from Omar Beckles on the left but John Brayford was well position to deflect the striker's effort wide at the expense of a corner.

Half time: Burton Albion 1-0 Shrewsbury Town

Although the lashing rain had eased for the second half the wind was still swirling around and making conditions difficult as both sides tried to keep it on the floor and pass their way through to goal. Shrewsbury started the brighter but couldnt quite find the right ball to test Collins and when McFadzean and Okenabirhie collided in the box it was the Albion man who came off worst trying to carry on but having to concede defeat as soon as he turned to go after the ball again. It meant a return to defensive duties for Jake Buxton who was immediately handed the captains armband by Akins as he took up his central defensive position.

Just after the hour mark the returning Ben Turner was pressed into action in place of Miller meaning a change of position for Hutchinson who pushed forwards as Turner slotted in at left back. Akins went into referee Toner's book for a slight tug back on Okenabirhie as the visitors continued to pressure the Burton goal.

Buxton went into the book as well as Akins on 71 minutes for a trip on Okenabirhie as he turned to race after a through ball and a third Albion substitution quickly followed, Marcus Harness offering fresh legs on the right hand side in place of Hesketh.

With Shrewsbury sensing an equaliser with all the pressure they were creating a double change gave them more attacking options with Shaun Whalley and Alex Gilliead sent on in the wide areas in place of Greg Docherty and Josh Laurent.

But for all their pressure they failed to defend a cross from Harness that was recovered and fed to FRASER who took a touch and fired in off the post to give Albion the cushion of a two goal lead.

Okenabirhie tested Collins with another skidding low effort but the striker finally got his goal deep into added on time lashing in from fifteen yards after latching onto a loose ball in the box.

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