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BIRMINGHAM SENIOR CUP | LEAMINGTON 1-0 BURTON ALBION

8 March 2022

BURTON Albion exited the Birmingham Senior Cup this evening with a 1-0 defeat at National League North side Leamington.

Callum Gittings' stooping header early in the second half was the difference on the night, with Albion hitting the post through Tom Hewlett late in the opening 45 but unable to break down a resolute Brakes defence.

The Brewers named a strong starting XI with several first-teamers needing minutes getting starts alongside Academy scholars and graduates with Matej Kovar starting in goal behind a back four of Luke Redfern, Ryan Leak, Finn Delap and captain Frazer Blake-Tracy.

Charlie Williams and Jacob Maddox were in midfield with Harry Chapman and Charlie Lakin, with Hewlett and Louis Moult starting up front.

The first chance of the game fell to the hosts in the fourth minute - Dan Turner finding space and firing a 20-yard effort narrowly wide of Kovar's far post.

Albion took a while in the first half to find their rhythm but Moult was soon finding himself in good positions in the box, forcing a fine save from Jake Weaver after receiving a through ball in the box.

And Moult was close to giving Albion the lead in the 17th minute - a superb cross from the left from Williams met on the volley by the striker, who turned his effort over from eight yards.

Chapman's wicked dipping free kick was over the keeper but landed on the roof of the net in the 25th minute, minutes before Hewlett turned the ball onto the post from close range with Moult putting the follow-up wide.

Striker Kelsey Mooney caused the Brewers' backline problems throughout the 90 minutes and twice came close to breaking the deadlock before half-time - stinging the palms of Kovar with a curled effort before heading over from close range.

HALF-TIME: LEAMINGTON 0-0 BURTON ALBION

The hosts would take the lead four minutes after the restart however - a corner into the six-yard box was not dealt with and GITTINGS stooped to turn the ball home with his head.

Chances were at a premium from there - Leamington defending very well in numbers but still threatening, Mooney providing most of the forward impetus for the hosts and having the bulk of the chances.

Lakin sent a 25-yard effort at goal that Weaver did well to save at the second attempt, while Williams was unable to hit the target with a half-volley on the turn after good work from Niemczyk.

Mooney could have doubled Leamington's lead with minutes to go - unmarked from a quick counter - but powered his header wide, and aside from a long-range effort from Chapman that bobbled through to Weaver, Albion were unable to find a breakthrough of their own and exited the Birmingham Senior Cup at the semi-final stage.

FULL-TIME: LEAMINGTON 1-0 BURTON ALBION

BREWERS: Kovar, Redfern, Delap (Nyahwema 63), Leak, Blake-Tracy, Williams, Lakin, Maddox, Chapman, Moult (Niemczyk 78), Hewlett (Niven 72). Sub not used: Moore (GK)


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