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Match Reports


2 March 2019

Match Reports


2 March 2019

THERE was nothing to seperate the Brewers and visitors Walsall as defences came out on top in a goalless draw at the Pirelli Stadium.

David Templeton had Albion's best chance in a tame first half and Josh Gordon could have won it for the visitors except for a fine save from Brad Collins late on but it was a case of honours even.

Despite the disappointment of defeat last time out at home to Fleetwood there was just the one change for the visit of the Saddlers. Scott Fraser was back in the side having been rested to the bench last time out and his inclusion was at the expense of John Brayford who was amongst the substitutes, Lucas Akins dropping in at right back as the Brewers reverted to their normal 4-3-3 shape.

And Albion certainly looked more purposeful in the opening stages with Fraser's energy in midfield evident from the off. clear chances were proving hard to come by for either side in the opening quarter of an hour despite Albion dominating possession. The first real chance came on 18 minutes when Akins and Marcus Harness linked up well down the right and the wingers low cross found its way to Fraser via Jamie Allen on the edge of the box. Fraser was unable to turn himself but fed the ball onto David Templeton outside him and his low shot was blocked by Jon Guthrie inside the six yard box. Templeton was looking a threat and when he came in from the wing on 22 minutes to ride a couple of challenges and flash a shot wide of the target.

Referee Paul Marsden had enjoyed an easy afternoon for the majority of the first half but after letting Nicky Devlin off with a chat after a poor challenge on Templeton he pulled out the first yellow card of the game for Walsall striker Josh Gordon for a very untidy challenge on Stephen Quinn.

Harness was not far behind him after trying to burst through the midfield and having to dive in to try and retain possession, fouling Joe Edwards in the process.

Whilst Albion had dominated long portions of the half they hadnt really done enough to test Liam Roberts in the Walsall goal and the game as a whole needed a lift in the second period.

Half time: Burton Albion 0-0 Walsall

Templeton almost provided that spark immediately after the break with a teasing run and left foot cross that had to be cleared by the Saddlers defence and Boyce was almost in behind the defence as referee Marsden played on after a foul on Jamie Allen but it was only when Templeton cut inside the box that Roberts was forced into a save, a tame low shot comfortable for the keeper to stop.

Walsall engineered themselves a chance to threaten the Burton goal ten minutes in when Daniel, with little support around him, was lured into a foul on Gordon giving the visitors a free kick right on the edge of the box that failed to profit from as the Brewers defence stood firm to repel them.

It gave the men from the Banks's a lift and Luke Leahy's speculative left footer from just outside the box forced Collins to touch the ball wide via the outside of the post.

Albion responded and a change in midfield also saw a change in formation. Jamie Allen was the man sacrificed from midfield as John Brayford came on pushing Akins further forward on the right and allowing Harness to join Boyce in an attacking two.

Boyce was unlucky not to get on the end of a rebound when Roberts awkwardly blocked Daniel's wickedly swerving effort before Walsall carved out their best opening in free play when Zeli Ismail wriggled away down the right to feed Matt Jarvis in the box, the man on loan from Norwich firing a first time shot wide.

Kieran Wallace came off the bench to replace Templeton as Albion looked to stiffen up their midfield.

Walsall created an even better chance of 79 minutes when Jarvis dug out a cross that Gordon made firm contact with only to be denied by an excellent save from Collins.

Alex Bradley for Boyce was the final throw of the dice from Albion with Akins pushing up to spearhead the attack for the final minutes but despite both sides pushing late on this one was destined for a nil nil draw.

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