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Match Reports


19 August 2023

A goalless draw at Wycombe Wanderers got Albion up and running in League One with a resolute and hardworking performance rewarded with a point.

After a difficult start to the season, it always looked a difficult game at a ground where Albion have not fared well in recent seasons, most notably on the opening day of the last campaign.

Mason Bennett went closest for the Brewers with a stinging effort early in the second half but it was a day when defences were largely on top throughout.

The reaction to Tuesday’s result at Shrewsbury was four changes for another tricky trip to take on the Chairboys. With Jamal Blackman out with the injury sustained at Croud Meadow there was a full debut for Max Crocombe in goal whilst there was a welcome return for Jasper Moon after his early season injury issue. Jake Caprice came back into the side at right wing-back and there was a start further up the pitch for Mustapha Carayol. Ryan Sweeney, Josh Gordon and Mark Helm all dropped to the bench. Latest recruit, Kwadwo Baah, on loan from Watford, started the game as one of the substitutes.

Wycombe posed the first question of Albion’s back line on six minutes when Luke Leahy chipped a teasing ball into the box after after something of a scramble Crocombe finished with the ball in his grasp.

And the Albion keeper continued to be the busier of the two stoppers in the opening stages as Leahy tested him with a dipping effort and Sam Vokes forced him into a fingertip save to prevent his angled drive finding the top corner of the goal as the game reached the quarter of an hour mark scoreless.

Albion had chance to threaten as the first half reached the midway point, good battling from Bennett winning a free kick in a promising position but Sam Hughes could only direct Joe Powell’s curling delivery to the back post wide of the target.

In a half full of endeavour but perhaps lacking in quality from either side it was no surprise that there were precious few chances in the game and the sides went in at half time scoreless.


A bright start to the second half saw Albion threaten when Carayol dropped a curling cross into the box but Bennett was unable to get a strong enough head onto it, under pressure from his marker to seriously trouble Max Stryjek in the home goal.

Bennett made a much better connection on 53 minutes turning sharply on the edge of the box to fire in a rising effort that was heading for the top corner until Stryjek swatted it away.

As the game reached the hour mark it was starting to open up with midfield becoming a little more stretched than it had in the first half but Albion were still looking positive with Carayol leading a charge forwards to play Bennett in on the left but he was unable to get a shot away once inside the box.

This was Albion’s moment to make positive changes and both Helm and Baah were sent on for Chauke and Carayol as the game ticked towards being three-quarters done.

Former Albion striker Dale Taylor reminded Burton fans of what he was capable off on 68 minutes working his way into a shooting position fifteen yards out, but Crocombe was able to stick out a strong arm and divert the ball away from danger.

Crocombe made another outstanding save to deny Wanderers substitute Brandan Hanlan on 73 minutes although the flag of the assistant would have rendered the goal cancelled had he scored but it was a definite warning that Wanderers were still looking to win the game with their own changes.

Wycombe had to use their final substitution to introduce former Derby defender Richard Keogh and Albion then brought on the fresh legs of Josh Gordon to test him in the final ten minutes after another hard-working shift from Bennett.

Crocombe had to get down smartly late on to hold onto a low shot from substitute Garath McCleary as the home side looked to pile on the pressure and force a winner late on.

With ten minutes added on for stoppages there was still time for either side to grab all of the points and Brayford had a chance, six minutes in as the ball bobbled about inside the Wycombe box but his left foot shot bobbled agonisingly wide.

Wycombe bombed forwards in the closing moments but could not find a way to breach a resolute Albion defence and a first point of the season was secured with a first ever draw between the two sides.

ALBION: Crocombe; Brayford, Hughes, Moon; Caprice, Oshilaja, Powell, Seddon; Carayol (Baah, 63), Bennett (Gordon, 81), Chauke (Helm, 61).

Substitutes: Kean, Sweeney, Harper, Gilligan.

Referee: Thomas Kirk

Attendance: 4.024 (141 away)

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