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Match Reports


31 August 2019

Match Reports


31 August 2019

ALBION left it late but a welcome three home points were claimed courtesy of Lucas Akins' first goal of the season with three minutes to go and a late counter attack goal superbly finished by Ryan Edwards

It had looked like being a frustrating afternoon for the Brewers who struggled, particularly in the second half, to break down a resilient and resourceful Bristol Rovers side who fell to a late defeat at the Pirelli for a second season running.

Akins swivelled smartly inside the box to finish from a tight angle after Scott Fraser had picked him out inside the box and the striker was instrumental in sending Edwards racing through from halfway to finish things off in stoppage time. It was the kind of game that last season Albion may well have lost but this season there seems to be a new found resilience to go to the end and get a result.

Jake Buxton returned to the side after being rested to the bench in the Carabao Cup against Morecambe in midweek. His inclusion came as Colin Daniel dropped out of the side having picked up a hamstring problem late on in Tuesday's victory. Kieran Wallace moved across to left back with Buxton slotting into the centre of defence.

Albion started brightly and Wallace was involved in the first real chance delivering an excellent cross that Edwards glanced towards goal only for defender Luke Leahy to head clear off the line.

Rovers began to ease themselves into the game after some slightly jittery moments at the back and Tyler Smith spurned a presentable chance on 20 minutes finding space on the left hand side of the penalty area to aim for the near post but his effort skewed wide.

It was settling into an even contest and Albion began to pick up the initiative once more around the 25 minute mark. Just afterwards Sarkic found himself in a central position and with time to push forwards. Choosing the option to shoot from range the young forward was off target with an effort that didnt trouble Anssi Jaakkola in the Rovers goal.

Fraser then fired in a low effort that deflected into the path of Boyce but his instinctive effort to divert it into the net was foiled by the leg of Jaakkola.

Edwards then went into referee Peter Wright's book as the temperature of the game went up a notch. Bristol worked the angles to get the ball away from around their own box and Edwards was late on Leahy to see yellow and following Rovers Tony Craig into the book for an early challenge on Lucas Akins.

O'Hara dropped fairly compfortably onto a headed chance for Jonson Clarke-Harris before Albion worked a good opening at the other end from a short corner routine, the ball teed up for Edwards on the edge of the but the midfielder unable to keep his effort down through a crowded penalty area.

Half Time: Burton Albion 0-0 Bristol Rovers

Rovers had a good early chance as the second half got underway. Clarke-Harris tried to curl a low shot towards the far post and O'Hara got hands to it to push it away but only as far as Leahy who saw the ball bounce off him and go wide.

The visitors sensed the opening goal was close and skipper Ollie Clarke fired in a low effort that took a wicked deflection off Tyler Smith, almost wrong footing O'Hara who got a vital touch to divert the ball away from danger.

There were concerns over Buxton when he came off worse in a 50-50 challenge and although the skipper initially tried to soldier on he was quickly replaced by Richard Nartey.

Clarke then went into the book for a show of dissent when his header was deflected wide of the target by an Albion head only for referee Wright to award a goal kick much to the ire of the visiting captain.

Both sides made a change for the final twenty in search of a breakthrough. Albion looked to Joe Sbarra in place of Sarkic whilst Rovers turne to Tom Nichols replacing Smith.

Albion then suffered a blow when Boyce went down clutching what looked like a hamstring meaning David Templeton was called on from the bench as Akins took up the role of the striker. Another injury blow for the Brewers.

It was looking like a frustrating afternoon for the Brewers until AKINS turned superbly in the box to fire home from a tight angle and put that first home league win within reach and when the popular Brewers frontman then turned provider to send EDWARDS clear through on goal with the game well past 90 minutes a hard fought victory was assured.

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