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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: CHELTENHAM TOWN 1-1 BURTON ALBION

8 January 2022

DANIEL Jebbison's eighth goal of the campaign secured an important point on the road for the Brewers as they came from behind to draw 1-1 with Cheltenham Town

The Brewers rode their luck in a disjointed first half where the home side had the chances to be out of sight but only had a Callum Wright strike to show for their effort before Jebbison found the back of the net just six minutes into the second half to set up a much more even game which could have gone either way in the closing stages.

Albion hit the road for the first time in 2022 and showed three changes for the game at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium. Terry Taylor and Tom O'Connor returned to the heart of the midfield as Deji Oshilaja dropped into the back three to replace Ryan Leak, nursing a knock from last week's victory over Crewe. Harry Chapman's return to Blackburn Rovers enabled the second of the changes as Charlie Lakin pushed forwards to join Jacob Maddox providing the suuport and ammunition for lone striker Daniel Jebbison who came in for Kane Hemmings. The good news for the Brewers was being able to name Louis Moult on the bench for the first time since his pre-season injury.

Cheltenham started strongly, penning Albion back and hitting the bar through their debutant, Dan Nlundulu, as early as the fourth minute as the Brewers struggled to clear a corner and the Southampton loanee was foiled by the woodwork from within the six yard box.

The home side continued to press and were close to a goal on the quarter of an hour mark when ex-Albion man Chris Hussey set Liam Sercombe away on the left and his cross to the back post was aiming for the head of Matty Blair until Cameron Borthwick-Jackson arrived to nick it away from him. Blair then found himself with an early yellow card for dragging Maddox down as Albion threatened to counter.

But the pressure from the Robins told on 20 minutes as WRIGHT lashed in from the edge of the box when John Brayford could only clear Hussey's cross to him.

Albion were struggling to contain their confident hosts and Nlundulu almost made it two on 37 minutes with a raking low drive that took a nick off a Burton defender to send it wide for a corner that Cheltenham almost profited from, Hussey picking up the short corner and seeing his attempted cross rebounding back into play off the face of the crossbar with Brayford producing a brave block to deny Wright in the ensuing scramble.

Ben Garratt had to produce a sprawling save as Cheltenham again found a way through the Burton rearguard to create a chance for Alfie May but with only the Albion stopper to beat found himself thwarted by Garratt's sprawling dive.

The stroke of half time saw Albion with their only real opportunity of the half, Jebbison tricking and flicking his way into a promising position but on the stretch his header was clawed away from goal by home keeper Owen Evans.

Half time: Cheltenham Town 1-0 Burton Albion

Albion needed a response after the break and the decision was taken to bring on Lucas Akins in place of Charlie Lakin to provide a different option in attack.

And Albion's bright start to the second half, following the change was rewarded on 51 minutes with the equaliser. Maddox, the former Cheltenham loanee slung in a low cross and JEBBISON made a decent contact to fire it goalwards when Evans madea poor attempt to keep the ball out and watched on as it crept in.

Evans made better work of smothering a decent effort from Maddox moments later as Albion sensed a shift in the momentum in the game.

Cheltenham recovered from the disappointment of conceding and a flurry of corners threatened to offer them a route back to the lead although Albion defended stoutly although another excellent save from Garratt ensured that the parity continued when Nlundulu broke away and struck from distance.

It was anyone's game at this stage and Albion went close on 67 minutes, a Tom Hamer long throw finding Conor Shaughnessy in the area and his header dropping just wide of the post.

As Cheltenham pushed for a winner Hamer slid in to bring down Sercombe as he tried to race away and although home fans were baying for a red card referee David Rock spent an age with the yellow card in his hand before brandishing at the Burton man.

Taylor, in his first appearance for a month, lasted until just inside the last ten minutes before what appeared to be cramp forced him off to be replaced by Joe Powell.

A final throw of the dice with five minutes to go saw Jebbison withdrawn to allow Jonny Smith to enter the fray.

Cheltenham threw everything at the Brewers in the five minutes added on by referee Rock with shouts for a penalty turned away after a shot was blocked at close range in the area but Albion survived the late onslaught to grab a valuable point from a much improved second half display.

ALBION: Garratt; Brayford, Shaughnessy, Oshilaja; Hamer, Taylor (Powell, 82), O'Connor, Borthwick-Jackson; Lakin (Akins, 46), Maddox; Jebbison (Smith, 86).
Substitutes: Hawkins, Smith, Leak, Moult, Mancienne.

GOALS: CHELTENHAM - Wright (20) ; ALBION - Jebbison (51)

Referee: David Rock

Attendance: 3,201 (298 away)


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