MANAGER Jake Buxton was pleased with his side’s reaction to going a goal down as Kane Hemmings’ first Burton Albion strike brought the Brewers a first point on their travels this season at Bristol Rovers.
After the first half passed without much happening of note, Rovers took the lead early in the second as James Daly pounced on a loose header to round keeper Kieran O’Hara and give the hosts the lead.
But heads did not drop and Albion responded well - eventually forcing the equaliser in the 78th minute as Hemmings finished from close range after Joe Powell’s corner caused problems in the box.
Buxton was pleased with his side’s determination to going behind, and to their desire to fight for one another and take a point into back-to-back home games this week.
“I’ve told the players that when you’ve lost a few games on the spin, you have to stop the rot,” said Buxton. “The second half performance was very good.
“One individual error in 95 minutes (cost us a goal) and at the minute we’re just not getting the rub of the green when we make these errors and it’s costing us goals.
“But I’m delighted with the performance - we’ve shown grit, steel and a willingness to fight for our teammates.
“The reaction to going behind, the character within the group, was tremendous.”
Buxton handed a first league start to Academy graduate Ciaran Gilligan in the centre of midfield, the youngster impressing both on and off the ball alongside another Academy alumni in Ben Fox and the experienced Stephen Quinn.
Joe Powell entered the fray late on and Buxton was pleased with the impact and solidity of all of his midfielders today.
“Tremendous performance - it’s Gilly’s full league debut and he played really, really well,” said Buxton.
“He has to continue to do the work without the ball, he’s got good technique and character, a lovely mentality and temperament as a player, and he fully deserves his opportunity.
“He played well, same with Ben Fox. Ben has been champing at the bit, performing at right-back for us, and he did well today holding the middle of the pitch for us, which allowed Stephen Quinn to get up the pitch.
“It’s important that the squad is raring to go when they come on (off the bench) and Joe Powell came on and also did really well.”