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13 October 2018 Venue Pirelli Stadium Attendance

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Focus On: Burton Albion

12 October 2018

By Gerry Prewett.

This weekend Bristol Rovers travel up to East Staffordshire to face Burton Albion following a mid-week victory over Yeovil Town.

Following their relegation from the Championship last season the over-achieving Brewers have not found life back in Division One quite as easy as the other two teams that came down with them, Barnsley and Sunderland. The club was only formed in 1950 and gained League status as recently as 2009. Their rise up the ranks to the Championship by 2016 was not only remarkable for its speed but also for the limited financial resources of a club with a capacity of fewer than 7,000.

Albion have won just 3 of their 11 league games so far this season but oddly the last league victory was the 2-1 defeat of Sunderland on 15th September. In their latest league game they went down 2-1 to Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park. 

After a quiet opening period, Craig Mackail-Smith was clumsily barged over in the box by Kyle McFadzean after 30 minutes and former Gas player Joe Jacobson stepped up to open the scoring on his 200th  game for the Chairboys. Randell Williams then escaped his man and his cross from the left was met by Adebayo Akinfenwa, whose powerful header was his 200th goal in English football.

Early in the second half, the Brewer’s Liam Boyce's inch-perfect ball left Marvin Sordell one-on-one with Ryan Allsop and he rounded the goalkeeper with ease to reduce the deficit. Burton had further opportunities with Sordell spooning over from close range but Wycombe saw out the rest of the game.

Nigel Clough expressed his frustration with his team after the game, "We started well and apart from the period around their goals we controlled the game. Kyle McFadzean gave a ridiculous penalty away and the game changed from there for the rest of the first half. After that we got a goal back and had numerous opportunities to get an equaliser.”

"When you are playing a team on October 6 that hasn't won at home and you give them two goals it gives them a massive lift. You saw a wave of relief go all round their ground and then they defended like their lives depended on it in the second half.”

"But over the course of the game to dominate for so long and create so many chances we should be winning these games. We have had 50 chances over the last week and have two goals and thereby lies the problem.”

"There are so many good things in the overall performances but until they cut out those silly little things there is no point in doing the good things."

With Albion being such recent members of the League, the clubs have only crossed paths 6 times, all in League Two. Rovers have won all 3 games at the Mem (including a Memorable 7-1 thrashing on 14 April 2012 when the half-time score was 1-0!) but have picked up only one point from 3 games at the Pirelli Stadium.

Rovers’ first visit to Burton was on 22 October 2011. After Matt Harrold gave the Gas a 14th minute lead, Cleveland Taylor and Billy Kee gave the home team a 2-1 half-time lead which they maintained.

Just under a year later and Rovers once again took the lead, David Clarkson on 30 minutes and once again that man Billy Kee pierced the Rovers backline, this time on 50 minutes to bring the scores level. 

On 23 November 2013 Rovers, on a 5 game unbeaten run, were reduced to 10 men when Chris Beardsley was shown a straight red card on 37 minutes. Albion could have been ahead straight from kick-off but Steve Mildenhall brilliantly kept out Chris Hussey's searing low drive.

The visitors had a chance of their own in the ninth minute when Ollie Clarke was denied by Burton skipper Ian Sharps on the goal-line. Mildenhall did well to adjust his feet and deal with a deflected shot as Hussey threatened again.

They held out until 59th minute when Robbie Weir hit a superb 25 yard blast into the bottom corner of the net. The game exploded right at the end, the hosts were reduced to 10 men themselves when winger Jimmy Phillips picked up a second yellow card in added time, and Rovers then had John-Joe O'Toole sent off for a clash inside the Burton penalty area.

Team news from the Burton camp reveals that David Templeton is a doubt for Saturday’s game. The former Rangers winger sustained a shoulder injury in the 2-1 defeat against Southend United on October 2, which ruled him out of the loss at Wycombe. Nigel Clough is keen to get Templeton involved for his creativity on the left flank, but he believes they may have to wait until the day of the game to assess whether he can play.

Clough is more hopeful on the availability of Stephen Quinn (knee) for Saturday, though, after the ex-Republic of Ireland international sat out Tuesday's Checkatrade Trophy game at Port Vale. 

"We are hopeful with Stephen Quinn," he said, "It's just the ongoing maintenance with his knee and just looking after him, as it is with John Brayford. They are similar situations; it's difficult when we've got so many games in October.”

"They're not going to play in them all, so it's picking and choosing which ones for those. David Templeton's shoulder is still sore, so that will certainly go until Friday and maybe even until Saturday, because we'd love him involved here at home. We hope that Bradley Collins' back will keep improving and he might be involved as well, so there are a couple we're waiting on." 

Jake Buxton has not featured for the Brewers since August due to a back injury. He was back in the squad against Wycombe on Saturday and was then due to be involved against Port Vale, only for illness to rule him out.

"He's working his way back into things, but when you have a back problem, it's very much day-to-day," added Clough, "Sometimes you'll wake up and it feels fine and he'll train, the next day it stiffens up again. But he trained well on Monday and was going to be involved at Port Vale, but illness robbed him of that chance. Hopefully he'll be okay for the bench on Saturday."

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Match Reports

Match Report: Burton Albion 1 - 0 Rovers

13 October 2018

Rovers were dealt their second stoppage time blow in the space of a week, as Burton Albion clinched all three points with a 91st-minute winner on Saturday afternoon.

The first half was evenly contested and perhaps the closest the game came to a goal was when Kyle McFadzean demanded a superb save from Jack Bonham with a powerful shot from distance.

The Brewers struck the post through Will Miller in the second half and Alex Jakubiak almost got in behind the onrushing keeper but for his heavy touch, however Burton stole it at the death when substitute Ben Fox swept home from close in amidst a goalmouth scramble.

The Gaffer made five changes from the side that beat Yeovil Town in the Checkatrade Trophy in midweek; Tom Lockyer returned following his head injury and Tuesday night's goalscorers Alex Rodman and Jakubiak earned themselves starts.

Joe Partington and Tony Craig also came back into the side after being rested four days prior.

Both sides tussled for the upper hand in the opening 10 minutes despite no real chances on goal bar one, only a handful of robust challenges in the middle of the park in what was already looking like a well-contested game.

That notable chance in the opening exchanges came in the 9th minute when Rodman did superbly to charge down a defender's clearance to win possession and float a decent cross into the box, that Ollie Clarke was inches away from connecting with.

Albion came close themselves not long after when Damien McCrory picked off Liam Sercombe's short pass 30-yards out before driving a decent low strike towards Bonham's left corner, but the on-loan stopper did well to turn it around the post.

The hosts had another decent opportunity a few minutes later, with a good cross delivered but falling to the smallest man on the pitch, Jamie Allen whose free header ended up skipping off the surface and harmlessly wide.

Lockyer picked up the game's first yellow just past the hour mark amidst a spell of pressure from Burton, with the skipper judged to have deliberately handled the ball.

Stuart Sinclair was spared some blushes when his loose pass was pounced on by Lucas Akins, but the Burton forward replicated in similar fashion with a poor touch that allowed Tony Craig in to clear the danger.

Bonham has come to the rescue on many occasions for Rovers since signing in August and did so again with little over five minutes of the first half left, leaping athletically to his right to deny a thunderous, accurate strike from range by McFadzean.

The Gas thought they had taken the lead just before the interval, with Rodman nodding on Upson's corner to Craig who scuffed a shot goalwards on his weaker right that was turned in by O.Clarke from close range, but the linesman had raised his flag and both sides went into the break level.

Jakubiak had been short of service during the first half but was involved early on in the second period, initially having a shot from outside the box deflect into the keeper's palms, before losing out on the rub of the green with an offside flag as he looked to race through one-on-one from Lockyer's clipped pass.

The game was still in the balance and Southampton loanee Jake Hesketh came close just past the hour mark for the Brewers, firing a low shot from outside the box not too far wide of the post - it looked as though Bonham might have got a hand to it but a goal kick was awarded with little protest from the hosts.

On the 66th minute, Darrell Clarke made his first change of the game, as Sam Matthews joined the action in place of Sercombe.

Burton had also made their first change 10 minutes prior, as Ben Fox entered the fold and had a decent change shortly after Matthew's introduction, but had his shot charged down well by Lockyer inside the box.

As we entered the final 20 minutes with the scores still level, Rovers made their second substitution as Michael Kelly replaced Partington.

Two minutes later almost the entire Pirelli Stadium were on their feet and on the brink of celebration, as the ball made its way out to Miller on the left who checked in on his right and fired a great strike at goal that looked good enough, only for the ball to bounce back off the post much to Rovers' relief.

O.Clarke had been culpable for a number of fouls in the game and was booked on 74 minutes for sything Hesketh down 25-yards from goal - in a period in which Burton were enjoying a spell dominance.

In an attempt to push the tide the other way, D.Clarke brought on Gavin Reilly for Rodman to offer support up top for Jakubiak.

The change looked to pay dividends as Rovers were seeing more of the ball in the final third and Jakubiak subsequently received the support he required, as Kelly almost found him at near post but the on-loan frontman couldn't quite connect and get a shot away.

as we entered the closing 10 minutes, Bonham needed a little help from the crossbar to prevent McFadzean's looping shot from going in and the rebound fell very kindly to Akins from point blank but the striker headed straight into Bonham's grateful hands.

Kelly continued to offer an outlet down the left and was found by Matthews before skillfully skipping past his man and firing a decent shot at goal, but it was always rising and cleared the bar.

Jakubiak had a golden chance to notch a winner when he pounced on Stephen Quinn's mistake and went one-on-one with Dimitar Evtimov, but the 22-year old tried to round the stopper and his touch was too heavy and left himself with no angle for a shot.

Rovers looked to be heading for their third successive away point and clean sheet, but had their hearts broken at the death for the second time in seven days, when substitute Fox pounced on a loose ball close in.

Rovers XI: Jack Bonham (GK), Joe Partington (Michael Kelly, 70), Tom Lockyer (c), Tony Craig, James Clarke, Ollie Clarke, Ed Upson, Stuart Sinclair, Liam Sercombe (Sam Matthews, 66), Alex Rodman (Gavin Reilly, 77), Alex Jakubiak.

Unused Subs: Adam Smith (GK), Tom Broadbent, Kyle Bennett, Stefan Payne.

Burton XI: Dimitar Evtimov (GK), John Brayford, Jamie Allen, Kyle McFadzean, Ben Turner, Scott Fraser (Ben Fox, 55), Jake Hesketh (Devante Cole, 89), Lucas Akins (c), Damien McCrory, Will Miller (Joe Sbarra, 77), Stephen Quinn.

Unused Subs: Harry Campbell (GK), Jake Buxton, Marcus Harness, Reece Hutchinson.

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Ticket News

Ticket Update: Burton Tickets on Sale to Priority Group Two Supporters

3 October 2018

Tickets for our Sky Bet League One fixture away at Burton Albion are now on sale to Priority Group Two supporters.

Rovers travel to the Pirelli Stadium on Saturday, 13th October - for a 3pm kick off.

Supporters eligible for Priority Group Two are now eligible to purchase tickets for the fixture.

Tickets for the fixture going on General Sale on Saturday, 6th October - subject to availability. 

Supporters should be aware that this fixture is an ALL TICKET fixture - with no tickets available on the day of the day of the fixture.

The Club has received an allocation of both seated and terrace tickets

Seated Tickets

Adults £22 
Over 65's / Young Person (17-22) £20
Under 17 £12

Terrace Tickets

Adults £18 
Over 65's  £16
Young Person (17-22) £13
Under 17 £5

Tickets for the fixture will not be available online, with purchasing options for supporters being offered in store or by calling, 0117 9096648 (extension 1).

 

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