After Saturday’s results we’re in a strong position and it’s time for the Barnsley fans to be worrying. Portsmouth are coming good too but I think we can decide our own fate as long as we can fight like we did in the second-half against Rochdale – the least said about the first-half, the better. I haven’t seen us play well throughout the full period in any match this season and I wonder if anyone else has. Anyway, Burton have beaten us in the last two encounters but I don’t think they’ll make it three in a row tonight – they’ll take some beating, though, like every side in this league. Catts and McGeady will probably not feature but I hope Oviedo does and Morgan, as long as he keeps putting good crosses in and not going for dribbling glory. I’ll be at the match before heading back to London in the morning and I think we can win it: match prediction 3-1 to us.
I’ll keep this brief as I can’t think of too much to say about this disappointing result and a performance that was like the first-half against Rochdale except that it lasted longer. We never got a grip on the midfield and so didn’t produce anywhere near as much penetration as we should have. Burton were as difficult as I’d feared they would be and they gave us very little room all over the park while proving to be more effective in the air and quick to break. We played far too many high balls and though Wyke did his best, he was usually outjumped by taller defenders. A lot of our passing was poor and our defence were on the alarming side at times, particularly Flanagan who made a few very bad mistakes that could have cost us dearly if we hadn’t had such a good man in goal.
Burton took the lead in the nineteenth minute and unfortunately it began with a mistake near the centre-circle by the rightly-praised McGeouch. Burton quickly moved the ball down the left side before a shot came in and it took a hefty deflection off Morgan before hitting the net. Burton had maybe forty fans up in the away section and I’ve never heard a goal less-applauded in sixty years of going to matches. Anyway, we were behind and things were looking grim but we fought back and about eight minutes later were level when Baldwin headed in from a corner on the right in a decidedly Charlie Hurley style i.e. down onto the ground and up into the net. Power had to replace the injured McGeouch a minute or so later and we moved the ball a bit better afterwards but although we had a couple of golden chances, especially in the thirty-third minute when Wyke had just the goalie to beat but took a touch too many instead of hitting it first time, we couldn’t get that winner. We hit the woodwork three times, as far as I could see, but you can hit it a million times and it really doesn’t mean anything in the end. Sterling replaced Grigg after sixty-seven minutes while I was pleased to see Kimpioka come on for Morgan with eight minutes to go but despite us piling on some pressure in the later stages I had the feeling we weren’t going to make it count. I hadn’t seen Kimpioka play before but he certainly injected some much-needed zest into proceedings. There were five minutes of stoppage-time and these were received with joy but it remained 1-1- at the end. There was a good deal of applause at the final whistle.
Anyway, we’ve moved up and are now in an automatic promotion spot so I suppose I should be happy....