AN entertaining pre-season game at Liberty Way ended in a high-scoring tie as a young Burton Albion side drew 4-4 with Nuneaton Borough.
Tom Hewlett netted a brace and contributed to an own goal in an end-to-end encounter. The Brewers had midfielder Joe Sbarra - himself netting - wearing the captain's armband, leading a youthful side against Nuneaton Borough, who had former Albion striker Stuart Beavon watching on from the touchline.
The first dangerous chance fell the host's way on eight minutes when Ryan Edmonds was sent down the right flank and drilled a powerful low cross shot across the face of goal, with strike partner Luke Benbow close to getting an important touch on it.
Benbow then curled a 30-yard free kick just over Callum Hawkins' crossbar, minutes before a neat Brewers passing move ended with Nathan Morley slipping Reece Hutchinson in down the left, but his pull-back to Tom Hewlett was held by keeper Cam Belford.
The Brewers would continue passing it well and duly took the lead on 20 minutes through captain SBARRA. The midfielder found himself in space 20 yards out and drilled a fine effort to the bottom-left corner to break the deadlock.
Nuneaton had a glorious chance for 1-1 when Aman Verma burst through having dispossessed Lal, but he side-footed wide on 25 minutes.
And less than a minute later, it was 2-0. Phillip Brown twisted and turned on the edge of the box then found HEWLETT in the box with a fine pass, and the second-year scholar made no mistake, finishing calmly with the right foot.
Nuneaton would get one back just past the half-hour when CLIFTON powered a header past Hawkins after rising highest to a right-wing set piece into the box.
And they would make it 2-2 on the stroke of half-time when EDMONDS turned home from close range, with Albion's players appealing for a high boot in the box.
HALF-TIME: Nuneaton Borough 2-2 Burton Albion
Albion started the second half on the front foot and came close to retaking the lead on 48 minutes as Hewlett, alert, intercepted a backpass and though forced wide, put a good delivery in which Brown was inches from converting.
The lead instead would be taken by the hosts on 53 minutes as a cross from the right flank into the box was met by an acrobatic effort from EDMONDS, who powered a volley in the air past Hawkins to the bottom-left corner.
But Albion would only have to wait five minutes to be back on level pegging when Brown fed a neat ball into HEWLETT, and the youngster turned his defender superbly on the edge of the box before rifling a low effort past Belford.
Hewlett nearly followed that up with a hat-trick but he curled a side-footed effort wide of the far post, and on 75 minutes Morley came close to adding a fourth only for Belford to deny him from a tight angle.
The young Brewers side thought they had won it when Hewlett's low cross was turned past Belford by a Nuneaton defender for an OWN GOAL, but Nuneaton struck back back just minutes later as Luke BENBOW curled an effort from 20 yards past the outstretched Hawkins.
FULL-TIME: Nuneaton Borough 4-4 Burton Albion
BREWERS: Hawkins, Hart, Lal, Anderson, Hutchinson, Sbarra, Vale, Brown (Nyirenda 77), Shittu (Holmes 70), Morley, Hewlett. Subs not used: Redfern, McLean, Livesey.