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MATCH REPORT: BURTON ALBION 2-2 CAMBRIDGE UNITED

12 February 2022

ALBION had to settle for a point after twice being pegged bag in a hard fought 2-2 tussle with Cambridge United

Gassan Ahadme bagged a second goal of the week, winning and converting an early penalty only for Albion tfind themselves back at 1-1 when Harvey Knibbs equalised on 25 minutes.

William Kokolo fired home his first goal in English football just after the hour mark to restore Albion's lead only for Sam Smith to level once more for the visitors ten minutes later and secure a share of the spoils.

With the fixture list intensifying and looking to arrest a run of two successive defeats the Brewers starting line-up showed four changes to the one defeated at Portsmouth in midweek. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was able to call upon skipper John Brayford and Sam Hughes to bolster his defence after both missed the game at Fratton Park. They linked up wih Cameron Borthwick-Jackson in the back three. In midfield there was a recall for Frazer Blake-Tracy in the left wing back role, his first start since October, whilst Louis Moult returned to spearhead the attack alongside Ahadme, the young striker having notched his first Football League goal in Tuesday's reversal.

Albion could not have had a better start than winning a penalty within twenty one seconds of the game kicking off. A long ball by Hughes picked out Ahadme's run and he was felled by a challenge from Jubril Okedina giving the January signing from Norwich the chance to make it two goals in as many games. Although keeper Dimitar Mitov got his hand to his placed penalty the ball ended up nestling inside the post.

Cambridge immediately looked to get back in the game with Hughes putting in a good block to stop an angled shot before Ciaran Gilligan was inches away from a first Albion goal swivelling smartly to fire a cross from Hughes, on the overlap, just wide of the upright.

The dangerous Wes Hoolahan, pulling the strings in the middle for Cambridge opened up the Brewers defence with an smart pass to HArvey Knibbs and his near post ball for Sam Smith was hastily cleared by an alert Brewers defence.

KNIBBS hooked home the leveller on 25 minutes when James Brophy's cross was nodded down by Sam Smith allowing the midfielder to hold off a defender and steer the ball beyond Ben Garratt.

There was a lengthy delay around the half hour mark as Borthwick-Jackson put his head in to clear a loose ball under pressure from Knibbs but ended up requiring treatment following a clash of heads.

After the restart Albion had a great chance to retake the lead when Tom Hamer found himself bursting through the middle but his attempted chip from the edge of the box dropped disappointingly wide of the post.

Albion were forced into a concussion substitution deep into first half stoppage time when Borthwick-Jackson took another blow and had to be replaced by Kokolo.

Knibbs missed a glorious chance to send his side in at half time with a lead but fired over when Garratt failed to get onto the ball when Hughes' back header failed to reach him and the loose ball fell kindly to the Cambridge man.


Half time: Burton Albion 1-1 Cambridge United

The second half started at quite frantic pace but with little in the way of quality to threaten either goal. Albion began to assert some pressure and it finally paid off from a corner on 62 minutes. powell's corner was only half headed clear and KOKOLO was the man stationed on the edge of the box to latch onto the loose ball and drive it low through a crowded box to find the net.

Charlie Lakin was introduced before the game could restart, Joe Powell the man to be replaced.

But the visitors were back on level terms again on 72 minutes when SMITH found room for a left foot shot in a scramble from a corner to see the ball sneak in at the far post.

Christian Saydee was brought on with a little over ten minutes to play in place of Moult to try and inspire a winner. And the Bournemouth loanee was soon into the action setting Lakin away for a low cross that would have been fired home by Gilligan but for an outstanding challenge in the box from Harrison Dunk.

Lakin had keeper Mitov scrambling across his line with a daisy cutter of a shot late on before Albion made their last permitted change, Harry Chapman replacing Gilligan.

Neither side could fashion a winner in the closing stages with a draw probably a fair outcome on the balance of play.


ALBION: Garratt; Hughes, Brayford, Borthwick-Jackson (Kokolo, 45+4); Hamer, Shaughnessy, Gilligan (Chapman, 85), Blake-Tracy; Powell (Lakin, 63); Ahadme, Moult (Saydee, 79).
Substitutes: Kovar, Maddox, Mancienne.

GOALS: ALBION - Ahadme (2, pen), Kokolo (62) ; CAMBRIDGE - Knibbs (25), Smith (72)

Referee: Marc Edwards

Attendance: 2,578


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