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Sunday, 1 April 2012

Battling Brewers Halt Reds' Winning Run

Crawley made it eight unbeaten as Burton Albion held them to a goalless draw at The Pirelli Stadium.
The day began with a 9am departure time from The Broadfield Stadium, and, after a 30 minute stop at Newport Pagnell services we arrived at the ground at around 1pm.  A quick walk down the The Beech pub down the road before entering the stadium at around 14:15.
Burton's Pirelli Stadium was opened in 2005
The visitors started the game the brightest; Gary Alexander having the first shot of the game that was comfortably saved by Brewers’ ‘keeper Ross Atkins.
Even Alexander couldn't find the net!
Next up was Scott Davies but his strike sailed well wide of Atkins’ goal.
The shots were raining down on the home side’s netting as Dannie Bulman tried his luck from distance only to see his 25 yard effort slice just wide of goal.
Billy Clarke then had a chance; a wonderful first touch looked to have sent him clear of defender Nathan Stanton but the Red number 7 could only fire inches past Atkins’ left hand post.
Burton finally started to have a couple of shots; firstly, winger Jacques Maghoma’s drive, which was moving in the air was well held onto by Crawley goalkeeper Michel Kuipers and another winger, this time, Jimmy Phillips, who breezed past Josh Simpson and Kyle McFadzean before his tame effort was hit straight at Kuipers.
The closest the away team came to scoring in the first 45 was a Scott Davies free kick;  Dean Howell touched the ball into the stride of the former Reading midfielder who saw his powerful effort flicked over by Atkins.
Both teams went in at half time with nothing to show for their efforts.
Crawley came out for the second half similarly to the Bradford game; pushing to get the goal that could grab them three points. Bulman again tries the spectacular from range but once more saw his strike skew well wide of the target.
Sergio Torres had a great chance to open the scoring after some nice passing play from Clarke, Alexander and Bulman; the ball broke to the Argentine on the left of the box. However, just as he flicked the ball back on his right to take the shot, both Stanton and defensive partner Ryan Austin flung themselves across to brilliantly take the ball and send it out for a corner kick.
ROLLOVER: Torres is superbly halted by the Brewers' defence
Both sides made quick substitutions in a bid to swing the game in their favour; Steve Evans brought on attacking midfielder Sanchez Watt to replace Clarke and Brewers caretaker boss, Gary Rowett brought on Shrewsbury loanee Lionel Aiinsworth in place of the in-effective Greg Pearson.
Another chance fell to the dominant Crawley as a corner was floated in, a scramble ensued before McFadzean fired over the bar from inside the box.
Evans threw on the pacy Scott Neilson in place of Davies as Reds aimed to up the tempo however, apart from a Watt volley, an effort from Hope Akpan and a Josh Simpson effort both going wide, that was that and the resolute Burton defence had foiled the promotion chasers; stopping them from a fifth successive win.
HIT AND HOPE: Akpan has a go as Watt tries the spectacular below...

The draw continued our poor run playing Burton away - In 14 years of following Crawley, I have never seen us win up at Burton... Maybe I'm a jynx?!
Up next is a home game against in form Crewe Alexandra on Friday, a game which is also the opening of our new stand. A big game for both sides with Crewe wanting to grab a seat in the play off pack as we look to cement a place in the automatics.
Photos courtesy of 

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