THE Young Brewers extended their good run of form on Friday afternoon as two second-half strikes saw them record a 2-0 victory over table-topping Doncaster Rovers.
Jack Holmes put them ahead with just 15 minutes left on the clock courtesy of a wicked arrowed strike into the bottom left-hand corner before Yewo Nyirenda sealed the victory as the match ticked over into stoppage time.
After not playing a fixture in over a fortnight following a number of postponements due to the weather, the Young Brewers responded by coming out firing from the off.
Professional Development Phase Coach Sam Rose revealed after the match that the players were ‘champing at the bit to get back at it’ and it showed.
Before five minutes had elapsed, they found themselves in behind the Doncaster defence as a Nyirenda flick-on found the onrushing Emmanuel Shittu who drove inside from the right, but his final effort was denied low at the near post.
Continuing to push forward the Young Brewers went close again soon after as Tom Armitage won the ball back centrally and drove through the middle before releasing Tom Hewlett in behind. The captain latched onto the fullback's through ball and took his shot early but the strike across the 'keeper pulled just wide of the post.
Doncaster grew into the game from here on in, with their best chance coming just before the break as Teddy Sharman-Lowe was forced into his first action of note to deny their centre forward from point-blank range with his legs.
As play resumed for the second half neither side could quite get themselves into the ascendency, but the Young Brewers blinked first by introducing Ciaran Gilligan.
The substitute brought an added intensity into the Burton midfield and Rose was full of praise for his impact on the match, stating: “He came on, ran around, put lots of effort in and I think he was really pleased to get back into the game.
“Ciaran’s been injured for a long time; he’s not really done an awful lot since pre-season. He’s an important player for the group because of his energy, his enthusiasm and his quality on the ball as well. We’re excited to see when he can take it this season.”
Following Gilligan’s introduction, the Young Brewers looked the likelier to score and made the breakthrough after a sustained period of pressure in the Doncaster defensive third saw Said Idouarab send in a cross towards Nyirenda that was half headed away by an opposition man.
The rebound however fell to Holmes who took a touch to control, waited and, just as the opportunity to get a shot off looked to have vanished, he somehow dug out a sweet strike that whistled past the ‘keeper.
With the lift provided by Holmes’ goal, the Young Brewers defended resiliently from front to back in the closing stages and centre forward Nyirenda got his just rewards for those hard yards late on.
Capitalising on some good hold-up play by Hewlett, the centre forward picked up the ball and weaved his way around Doncaster bodies inside the penalty area before eventually letting fly a strike that deflected past the goalkeeper and into the net to seal the victory.
Rose was pleased with the timings of the two goals as much as where they came from, stating: “We’ve scored at two good times in the game, first late-on in the match and then another one to kill it.
“It’s really good to get a win. That’s the second time that we’ve won 2-0 at home on the bounce, and off the back of a block of work where we’ve focused on what we’re doing without the ball and the defending side of the game it’s really pleasing to keep a clean sheet.
“There’s lots of stuff that could be better, it wasn’t particularly pretty. But if we’re looking at the end result then we’ve got to be pleased with it."
The lofty position of their opposition only served to make the victory even sweeter for Rose, stating: “We’ve beat a really good side today, they're flying at the top of the league and are a team that if you give opportunities to score are likely to take them. They played some good stuff, but I thought that we frustrated them.
“That’s four games that we’re unbeaten in normal time now. Bolton, Huddersfield, Chesterfield and today. It’s a good run and hopefully we can continue in the right way."