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Match Reports


5 December 2023

Match Reports


5 December 2023

ALBION made it through to the last sixteen of the Bristol Street Motors Trophy with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Wrexham.

A breathless opening to the game saw Albion 2-1 up after just five minutes as Deji Oshilaja netted just 26 seconds after kick-off with Mark Helm doubling the advantage two minutes later only for Sam Dalby to get the hosts back in it with a 25 yard effort before Albion could settle on their lead.

Ryan Sweeney’s first goal in Burton colours midway through the second half, ultimately sealed Albion’s passage despite Jordan Davies heading home in stoppage time to give Wrexham late hope.

The Brewers showed three changes from the League defeat to Portsmouth a week previously. With Steve Seddon serving the first game of his two-match suspension, Jake Caprice was handed the left back role. Josh Walker and Bez Lubala returned at the top end of the pitch as Cole Stockton and Kwadwo Baah dropped out of the side, the latter not even risked on the bench. Amongst the substitutes there was a welcome return to the squad for John Brayford who had been out with injury since the beginning of September.

Albion could not have wished for a better start grabbing the lead inside the first thirty seconds. Sweeney pumped the ball forwards and OSHILAJA outpaced Will Boyle to calmly slot the ball home having rounded Luke McNicholas.

It got even better within two minutes as Caprice darted down the right and saw his cross half cleared. HELM exchanged passes with Lubala before calmly finding the corner.

In a whirlwind start to the game, the home side immediately pulled one back, DALBY striding forwards and curling home from 25 yards.

Walker saw an opportunity to try and re-establish Albion’s two goal lead but after cutting in from the left his shot was deflected wide for a corner.

As the game settled down after a hectic start, Albion almost found themselves pegged back when a poor ball out from Max Crocmbe went straight to James Jones who tried to lob the Burton keeper from 40 plus yards, the ball bouncing just wide of the post to the relief of the Albion stopper.

Walker was denied again moments later as Lubala latched onto Oshilaja’s flick and unselfishly squared the ball but the striker’s shot was just too close to McNicholas.

Chances continued to come at both ends with Walker denied by a last-ditch challenge before Wrexham broke quickly and Crocombe had to make a good save at his near post to deny Jake Bickerstaff.

Helm appeared to pick up a knock and took no further part beyond the 34th minute when Rekeem Harper came off the Brewers bench.

Ryan Sweeney picked up a yellow card for a foul on Jordan Davies and the midfielder was not far away with the resulting free kick from just outside the box.


Lubala had been struggling with an injury towards the end of the first half and failed to appear for the second half with Josh Gordon taking over in attack for the second half.

The second half was certainly less frenetic than the first and Albion were able to enjoy more controlled spells of pressure in the opening stages looking to take control of the game.

With Gordon leading the line it required a slightly different approach.

Powell lashed in a shot that knocked Will Boyle off his feet and from the resulting corner the Albion midfielder turned provider with a ball to the near post that SWEENEY deftly guided past McNicholas.

An attacking substitution quickly followed with Stockton providing the fresh legs in place of Mason Bennett as Albion looked to close the game out.

The home side made a triple change with twenty minutes remaining in an attempt to salvage the game including the introduction of both Ollie Palmer and Irish international James McClean.

Brayford made his long-awaited return with thirteen minutes remaining immediately taking the captain’s armband from Oshilaja as Albion’s first goalscorer of the evening made his way off the pitch.

Hughes had to make an important intervention to deny the hosts as they threatened to set up a tense finish.

Liam McAlinden forced a save from Crocombe and the game was set for a nervy ending as DAVIES headed home from the resulting corner.

It was too little too late for the home side who could not muster a Hollywood ending to take the game to a penalty shoot-out as Albion progressed to the third round for the second season running.

ALBION: Crocombe; Caprice, Hughes, Sweeney, Moon; Powell; Walker, Oshilaja (Brayford, 77), Helm (Harper, 34), Bennett (Stockton, 66); Lubala (Gordon, 46).

Substitutes: Blackman, Kamwa, Carayol.

GOALS: WREXHAM – Dalby (5), Davies (90+2) ; ALBION – Oshilaja (1), Helm (3), Sweeney (64)

Referee: Scott Tallis

Attendance: 4,963 (213 away)

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