I had a dream last night that we drew this game 0-0 after another poor frustrating performance so I hope we don't have to suffer that. We haven't beaten Burton in the last three meetings and they're currently six points below us having played even less games than we have. If we manage to win, it would be a great shot in the arm and we'd move up the league a bit but I can't say I'm optimistic. I hope Parky will start with Watmore and Kimpioka as they turned Saturday's debacle around by displaying some fight, a quality sadly lacking in other teammates. Burton will be well aware of the mood among our fans and will certainly be doing their best to rile us but an early goal for us would make all the difference. Match prediction: 1-1.
I was pleased to see Watmore had been preferred to Maguire in the starting line-up but Kimpioka was on the bench. I got SAFSEE on and after a short time commentator Gary Bennett asked where did McGeady think he was playing, something he's been saying a lot recently about our players. Both sides won a corner in the opening ten minutes but there was no real goal action to speak of. As the game went on it seemed that Grigg was again isolated upfront against two large centre-backs. Out of the blue in the nineteenth minute we were awarded a penalty, for handball by the sound of it, and McGeady put it away well. Within a minute Burton were level when Edwards nodded home a rebound from three yards out after our defenders hadn't woken up from taking the lead. It sounded like there were about six thousand in the stadium but the fans livened up when Watmore powered down the right and won our second corner in the twenty-fifth minute. Next thing Power was yellow-carded, meaning he'll be suspended for the Gillingham match a week on Saturday, which I'll be attending for my sins. Watmore had another good run before putting in a shot that O'Hara in goal managed to fumble away. Nobody was there to follow-up. Boyce forced a good save out of Burge and it was sounding lively. Next thing Hume set up O'Nien and O'Hara had to put his shot out for a corner. It remained 1-1 at the break but we'd certainly been having a better try than on Saturday. It felt like there'd be more goals in the match and I hoped we'd get Benji on to get one for us.
After we kicked off again we continued to pump high balls up for Grigg that he had no chance of getting on the end of. Five minutes in, Quinn was booked and there'd been a lot of fouls from both sides. We had a chance five minutes after that when McLaughlin blasted over as Burton players shouted for the ref to blow his whistle after two of their team had run into each other. Shortly afterwards O'Nien scuffed his shot after good build-up by McGeady and our fans were sounding happy; the crowd was over 26,000. Burton brought on a striker, Templeton, and were clearly hoping to win it so I wondered when we'd make a change. A few minutes later Boyce put them 2-1 ahead from close range. It sounded like we were going to go further behind when Lynch lost a crucial ball but he recovered. “Comedy” was Benno's succinct comment. Akins fluffed a great chance to put them 3-1 up and we seemed to have lost the plot. We finally made a change bringing on Maguire for McLaughlin but you could hear that the atmosphere in the stadium had turned sour. We had twenty minutes left to get something from the game.”Every team looks hungrier than us” was another of Benno's comments. There were cheers when Kimpioka replaced Leadbitter with twelve minutes to go but I thought we were 3-1 down shortly afterwards when Fraser's shot crashed off the bar. We sounded worn out and I was expecting Burton to get another. “A lot of players don't want the ball” isn't the kind of comment you like to hear when your side's behind. There were four minutes of stoppage-time but many of our fans were already leaving. It ended 1-2 and there was a lot of booing as the whistle went.
This has left me wondering just how bad things are going to get.... See you at Gillingham.
Respect to Martin Harvey 1941-2019...