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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: BRISTOL C.

10 March 2018

A game of few chances saw the Brewers and Bristol City share the points at the Pirelli Stadium as another chance to end Albion's winless home run went begging.

Neither side were at their best on a drizzly afternoon but it was Albion who created the better chances with both Darren Bent and Liam Boyce having decent headed chances in the early stages with Albion not quite able to capitalise on a Bristol side low on confidence after a run of just two wins in their last fifteen outings.

After the disappointment of Tuesday's defeat at home to Brentford and with another tricky away fixture coming up at Sheffield United on Tuesday evening Brewers boss made four changes for the visit of Bristol City. The most significant change saw Darren Bent reintroduced as part of a front two alongside Liam Boyce as Albion reverted to a 4-4-2 formation. Tom Flanagan came in at right back which allowed Lucas Akins to push further forwards on the right flank as an orthohdox winger. On the opposite side Marvin Sordell also came back into the side with Damien McCrory continuing at left back having shaken off the effects of the knock that saw him substituted against the Bees. Hope Akpan was also recovered from his ankle problem and he returned in the centre of midfield alongside Luke Murphy. Lloyd Dyer, Jamie Allen, Jacob Davenport and Martin Samuelsen all dropped to the bench.

Bent had an early headed opportunity inside the box but Frank Fielding was more than equal to it. Akins' aftrenoon was done after just five minutes. After looking very dangerous in the opening exchanges the popular winger went to ground and eventually had to be replaced by Dyer meaing a switch to the right hand side for Sordell early in the game.

Dyer quickly got himself into the action and Nathan Baker was the Bristol man forced into hacking the cross away from inside the six yard box.

Bristol, in between wastefully passing the ball out of play on several occasions did begin to threaten and Jamie Paterson fired well over the bar on 22 minutes as Lee Johnson's men began to string some attacking moves together.

The game was flowing pretty swiftly from end to end and Murphy found space to raid forward and go for goal on 26 minutes, his effort arcing away from the far post as Fielding watched on. Albion were almost caught on the counter as Kyle McFadzean got caught too far forward and when Bristol pumped the ball into the space behind, Marlon Pack raced through and could only watch on as Bywater's attempted clearance cannoned off the midfielder and looped over the bar.

Chances were few and far between as midfield became the main battleground although Paterson almost got lucky with a cross on 37 minutes that Bywater had to tip over his bar at the expense of a corner.

Albion began to put their foot on the accelerator as half time approached and after Dyer and Akpan got in each others way trying to get onto a through ball McFadzean strode onto a loose pass and fired in a shot that was just curling wide until Boyce got on the end of it and put it into the arms of Fielding.

It was the Brewers who finished the first half on top but that elusive first goal wouldnt come for them as they regrouped at half time with plenty of positives to take from the first forty five minutes.

Half time: Burton Albion 0-0 Bristol City

Sordell got into a good position on the right to send a curling effort towards the top corner but the merest of deflections off left back Lloyd Kelly ensured that the ball dropped the wrong side of the post from a Burton perspective.

Albion were forced into a second change on 56 minutes when Boyce came off worst in a tussle for the ball with Pack and with no risks being taken with the club's record signing he was replaced by Samuelsen who went up top as a straight swap.

Bristol began to look dangerous when Kelly raced into acres of space on the left to send in a cross but it was just too high for Bobby Reid attacking the near post and Famara Diedhiou steaming in at the back post was unable to keep his effort down.

With the game starting to drift somewhat Lee Johnson made a double change introducing the pacy Lois Diony and the imposing figure of Milan Djuric for Paterson and Diedhiou with a quarter of the game remaining.

Albion made the final change of the game 2ith twenty minutes remaining and it saw the introduction of Davenport for Bent as Sordell took over up top and Albion reverted to the 4-1-4-1 formation that suits Davenport so well.

The game became increasingly scrappy as both sides cancelled each other out and it became clear that neither side was going to have the quality required to break the deadlock although Flanagan had an effort towards the end that didnt curl quite enough to threaten Fielding and a drilled effort from City's Josh Brownhill was straight down the throat of Bywater who saved easily.


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