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Match Reports


3 May 2022

BURTON Albion’s campaign came to a disappointing end as they were beaten 2-1 by Leafield Athletic at the Dickens Heath Sports Club.

Five players from the Brewers' girls teams were named in the matchday squad - with a first start in goal for youngster Lola Smith.

Goals from Kathryn Pagan and Laura Broadbent either side of half-time gave the hosts a two-goal advantage, with an own-goal in the favour of the Brewers 20 minutes from time giving them a chance of a positive result on the final day of the season.

However, despite hitting the post, Burton couldn’t find an equaliser, falling to a narrow defeat.

After a cagey opening five minutes, where the ball spent the majority of the time in the middle third of the pitch, it was Leafield who took the lead.

Driving inside from the right, a low dipping shot from PAGAN beat debutant keeper Lola Smith at the near post.

Burton responded with a chance of their own, with an energetic Hajrah Mahmood at the heart of the move.

Dribbling down the right, her low cross found the onrushing Millie Drinkhall, but her tame effort was saved with relative ease.

Drinkhall then did well to block a goalkeeper clearance, with the ball bouncing away from the goal before she had her second scoring opportunity of the game.

A lofted ball down the left wing from Mahmood found Danni Oxley who was bustling forward. Looking across the box, her sweeping cross found Drinkhall, whose curling attempt from close range grazed the outside of the net.

The pair then combined for another Brewers attack, with Mahmood first finding Oxley bursting away on the counter. On the left once again, her searching ball into the box only just evaded the foot of Drinkhall, who couldn't direct the ball towards the goal.

Creator of the last two chances, Oxley then had her turn to shoot. Setting up a free kick on the outskirts of the area, the forward scuffed her effort, with the ball bobbling wide.

Leafield, who took the lead early on, were relatively shot-shy for the rest of the first-half but were still forcing Smith into action. Looping balls into the box were handled well by the youngster, who also impressed the Brewers dugout near the end of the half.

First sprinting out to close down an attacker, the 'keeper then climbed through a heap of players to punch a low corner away from danger.

The better side in the opening 45 minutes, it was Burton who started the fastest in the second.

Winning a free-kick out wide, Amber-Leigh Denny's looping effort sent the 'keeper backtracking, but the ball landed on the top of the net.

Moments later, Drinkhall and Wortley then went close to combing for an equaliser.

Running down the right, Drinkhall's dangerous ball across seemed to be heading straight into the path of the midfielder but was instead claimed well by the 'keeper.

A quiet 10 minutes followed before Leafield doubled their lead.

Whipped in from a corner, the ball found its way to an unmarked BROADBENT, who prodded the ball past Smith.

Two quickly could have become three for hosts if it was not for the crossbar. Using her pace to her advantage, Chantelle Teare burst past Denny, racing in on goal.

Coming in from the left, the striker's rocketed effort crashed against the bar, cannoning out of play.

The missed opportunity helped the Brewers find a way back into the game, with the visitors scoring from the next attack.

Launching a ball out of defence, Mahmood made the most of Broadbent's deep position, keeping the forward onside.

Positioned on the byline, Mahmood's cross caused havoc in the box, with the ball sailing over the 'keeper towards the back-post.

Coming under pressure, a Leafield substitute could only direct the cross into her own goal, with the linesman flagging towards the referee that the ball had crossed the line.

Gaining momentum from scoring, the Brewers then went inches away from an equalising goal. 

Lining up a free kick in a similar position to which she did earlier in the half, captain Denny this time went low with her attempt, cracking the outside of the near post in the process.

However, the Brewers couldn't make the most of their period on top, with Leafield wresting back control of the match.

Having the better opportunities as the game came to a close, hitting the crossbar for the second time in the match, Leafield failed to find a third but were still able to cling onto the win.

The defeat confirmed Burton’s 11th place finish, sitting behind Wem Town on goal difference.

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