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Match Reports


25 September 2018

Match Reports


25 September 2018

ALBION wrote another piece of club history making it through to the fourth round of the Carabao Cup for the first time with a thrilling 2-1 victory over Premier League side Burnley thanks to second half goals from Liam Boyce and Jamie Allen.

The turnaround, after the visitors had grabbed the lead just before half time through Kevin Long's thumping header was no more than Albion deserved for a gutsy performance and goes down as only the second time that the Brewers have beaten top flight opposition.

Although the visitors made six changes from the side that earned a thumping first win of the season at the weekend their side was still packed with plenty of Premier League quality as they looked for an alternative route back into European competition.

When big defender Long thumped home Johann Berg Gudmundsson's corner it was harsh on the Brewers who had looked the more likely in the opening period but once Boyce thrashed in a deflected effort past Tom Heaton on 62 minutes Albion sensed that there was something in the game for them and even though substitute Ashley Barnes smacked the post with a long range shot, Allen, with his second in as many home games, beat Heaton to Boyce's pass to net and send Albion into the last sixteen.

Nigel Clough made two changes to the side that had been scheduled to kick off against Barnsley at the weekend. John Brayford, with the benefit of a couple more days of recovery was fit enough to start and he came straight back in for the suspended Kyle McFadzean,. The other change saw Southampton loanee Jake Hesketh promoted from the bench as Marvin Sordell took a breather.

A lively opening to the game saw both sides pressing forwards purposefully. Young midfielder Dwight McNeil burst forwards to send in a low cross that Albion laboured to clear, eventually conceding a corner that allowed them to regroup and then it was Albion's turn to attack with purpose, David Templeton cutting inside to fire a 30 yard effort wide of the goal occupied by Burnley skipper Heaton.

Albion continued to look unfazed by their Premier League opponents and excellent link-up play between Boyce and Templeton on the left allowed the Scot to find a deep cross to pick out Hesketh beyond the back post. The angle was too acute for a shot and the wide man just failed to pick out Fraser coming forward to support allowing Burnley to clear.

Dimitar Evtimov's first real call to action came on 17 minutes as Burnley worked the ball quickly out to McNeil on the left and his low drilled shot took a wicked deflection that almost caught the Albion keeper out but he was able to adjust and hold on to the ball.

Stephen Quinn picked up a yellow card as the game ticked towards the twenty minute mark halting a quick break through the middle as Matej Vydra was sent flying.

Templeton continued to look Albion's most threatening option and after winning a free kick with his quick feet as he tried to cut inside his wickedly curling free kick was inches from the head of Ben Turner thundering into the six yard box, the ball also not missing the far post by that much as Heaton watched on anxioulsy.

Heaton had another anxious moment seconds later as Albion went closest yet to opening the scoring. Boyce worked hard on the edge of the Burnley box to create an overlap from Hesketh and this time his pull back was perfectly into the path of Fraser whose shot was straight at the keeper. A yard either side and Albion would have had a richly deserved goal.

Burnley showed their Premier League quality to burst straight upfield and go within inches of punishing the Brewers miss. Again McNeil was heavily involved finding time and space on the left, this time his low cross picking out Chris Wood, the New Zealander flicking a first time effort just wide of the far post. Moments later Wood did have the ball in the back of the net but the striker had gone slightly too early after Steven Defour's through ball prompting the assistant to flag him offside.

The clarets had the ball in the net for a second time on 38 minutes, this time Kevin Long smashing in Steven Defour's floated cross after Johann Berg Gudmundsson's free kick had smashed into the wall. Once again the eagle-eyed assistant raised his flag to ensure parity was maintained.

The big central defender only had to wait a further minute before he put the ball in the net for one that counted. Gudmundsson's corner from the left found the head of the Irishman, his effort flying past Evtimov. Harsh on the Brewers after their sterling work in the first half.

Half time: Burton Albion 0-1 Burnley

Templeton continued to work his magic at the start of the second period and hands were on heads on 50 minutes as the Scot teased his way to the edge of the box and then almost deceived Heaton with a curling effort that was inches away from sneaking in the bottom corner as Boyce provided the decoy in the middle.

The visitors were rattled and they poured forwards to try and get the second that would put daylight between the two sides. Gudmundsson, drifting into dangerous areas tried to tee up Wood for a header only for Brayford to get a vital header on the cross to take it away from the striker and the Icelander forced a good save from Evtimov as he ran beyond his strikers to get a shot away as Turner tried to get back to him.

Templeton, his confidence rising had the Burnley defenders backing off as he tricked his way past three men in claret and blue before sending an ambitious effort well wide of Heaton's goal.

Albion weathered the Burnley storm and equalised, deservedly on 62 minutes. Allen set Templeton racing away on the opposite flank and although his cross was initially blocked BOYCE picked up the loose ball and smashed home a shot that deflected off defender Steven Ward but still had too much power for Heaton as he could only help it into the net.

The excellent Quinn was rested for the final twenty minutes, the younger legs of Ben Fox coming on to hold station in the centre of midfield. Burnley quickly made their first change as well, the more direct threat of Ashley Barnes chosen to replace Vydra in attack. The Burnley man was quickly into the thick of things rattling the post with a shot from outside the box as Albion momentarily backed off their opponents who were not full on in search of the goal that they hoped would avert penalties.

Former Derby midfielder Jeff Hendrick added more energy to the midfield when he came on to replace Steven Defour, the Belgian easing himself back into action after nine months out with injury.

Burnley were cranking up the pressure inside the final quarter and Westwood's effort from Barnes' knock down looped just over the bar before Wood forced another good save from Evtimov with a low shot.

Both sides played their final cards from the bench going into the last ten minutes, Burnley sending on Sam Vokes for Wood and Albion turning to former Clarets striker MArvin Sordell to replace Templeton.

For all their pressure Burnley succumbed to a sucker punch as Albion hit the front on 83 minutes. Sordell played his part by feeding Boyce out to his right and Albion's opening scorer turned provider sliding the ball through for ALLEN to nip in and prod the ball past the onrushing Heaton.

Burnley needed something late on to preserve their pride but it was almost 3-1 for Albion as the clock ticked past 90 minutes, Sordell feeding Boyce and the Irishman unselfishing aiming for the far post where Hesketh was only denied by an excellent block from Heaton.

When Long scythed down Hesketh as Albion broke it provided some breathing space and allowed the Brewers to push up the pitch. There was no time for Burnley to mount another attack and Albion had made history.

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