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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: ACCRINGTON STANLEY

23 March 2019

LUCAS Akins had a day to remember as he fired home two second half penalties to seal a stunning Brewers comeback in a 5-2 victory over Accrington Stanley

Stanley went in at the break 2-1 up after Sean McConville and former Brewers striker Billy Kee scored within three minutes of each other, Kee as reliable as ever from the penalty spot before Scott Fraser crucially got Albion on the board a minute before the break.

Once Kyle McFadzean had produced a stunning free kick to level matters half way through the second period Albion ran amok as Akins secured his place as Albion's leading EFL goalscorer with his 40th and 41st for the club, goals which sandwiched a fine goal from substitute David Templeton as well.

With Liam Boyce away on international duty with Northern Ireland there was guaranteed to be at least one change. Marcus Harness was recalled to the team to start up front alongside Akins as Nigel Clough stuck with the 4-3-1-2 formation that accounted for Blackpool last time out. A second change saw Scott Fraser also restored to the side as he dropped in just behind the front two replacing Will Miller in the starting line-up.

After a bright start from the visitors it was Albion who began to take control of the opening exchanges and there waqs a chance on ten minutes for Jake Buxton to potentially opening his goalscoring account for the season when Wallace found him at the back post and his thumping header went across goal and wide. It looked as if he was trying to find a team mate on the other side but with so much time and space he could easily have gone for goal.

Both teams were keen to play some good passing football although it took until the 20th minutes for either keeper to be seriously tested with Kyle McFadzean drilling in a shot that Jonny Maxted fumbled before clutching at the second attempt.

Accrington responded well with a spell of pressure of their own and they almost converted it into a goal of their own on 25 minutes, Jordan Clakr, under pressure from Buxton, poking Callum Johnson's low cross wide of the near post.

And as Albion got back on the front foot Harness just failed to steer a John Brayford cross on target before McFadzean went the more direct route with a ball over the top that Allen brought under his spell only for Maxted to come out of his goal and block his shot at close range.

But there was danger at the other end when Billy Kee drew a foul from McFadzean giving the ex-Burton man a chance to drill a free kick at goal but his effort was quickly blocked, Stephen Quinn helping Harness break away only to disappoint with a tame shot straight at Maxted.

Akins almost opened up the Stanley rearguard with some smart close congtrol on the edge of the box but after getting a sight of goal he pulled a low shot wide of the far post.

Kee almost punced for the opener on 36 minutes when Quinn passed the ball straight to him, Brad Collins producing a good save before Buxton tidied up as Clark looked to snaffle the rebound. It was a warning that Albion failed to heed and when a ball came into the box a minute later Kee was there at the back post to head the ball down allowing McCONVILLE to control and fire home past Collins.

And Collins afternoon was about to get worse as he brought down Clark for a penalty as he latched onto a through ball that cut open the Brewers defence. Needless to say KEE didnt hesitate to capitalise from the spot.

But crucially Albion got a goal back before the break when FRASER created space to fire across Maxted to find the bottom corner.

Half time: Burton Albion 1-2 Accrington Stanley

Albion started brightly after the break as they looked for the equaliser and a piledriver from Quinn on 51 minutes was not far over the bar as a loose ball came to him just outside the box inviting him to drive it goalwards.

And Buxton was close again to that elusive goal when Fraser shot and the skipper helped it on inside the box but could not quite help it on target.

It was Albion most definitely on the front foot now and a peach of a cross from Daniel enjoying more crossing opportunities down the left that was just too far ahead of Akins but forcing Janoi Donacien to concede a corner.

The introduction of David Templeton on 64 minutes saw Albion revert to their more normal 4-3-3 shape and the Scot had barely been on the pitch a matter of seconds before he was in the book for a clumsy challenge on Johnson.

When the equaliser came on 68 minutes it was from an unlikely source. Quinn was felled just outside the box taking the ball down and McFADZEAN showed a deft touch to curl the ball over the wall and beyond Maxted.

With their tails up now Templeton quickly forced an excellent save from the visiting keeper with a snap shot from the edge of the box after good work from Fraser. And the winger was left rueing a heavy touch on 73 minutes when Harness picked him out through the middle.

Kee was inches away from a second goal of the afternoon on 75 minutes only to be denied by the fingertips of Collins as he got up well to head a looping cross goalwards.

Albion had a penalty of their own on 77 minutes when Donacien was lured into a challenge on Templeton giving AKINS the chance to make Albion history. He wasnt going to miss either stroking the ball the opposite way to Maxted's dive.

Akins then turned provider with a precise cross for Templeton to sweetly fire home into the corner as the Brewers put clear daylight between themselves and Stanley. Even at 4-2 Albion showed a hunger for more goals. AKINS won and converted the penalty for the fifth, finding himself sandwiched between two defenders as he tried to find space for a shot, referee Lee Swabey handing the striker the chance to make it five goals in four games. This time his penalty went high into the net despite Maxted this time going the right way.

There were also late chances for substitutes Will Miller and Ben Fox who forced a fine save from Maxted but Albion had long since put this one to bed in a game that wont be quickly forgotten by all those supporting Albion.


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