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Burton match report
03 April 2015 18:10 Post ID: #71188
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A late Carl McHugh goal salvaged a point for Argyle against top of table Burton.

The Greens showed great character to come from behind against a strong and robust Burton team.

It almost feels like a win!

In the scheme of things it's a very good point especially considering we conceded an unlucky goal, we should have had a player advantage and had to contend with a poor set of officials and a time-wasting Burton team who pushed the black arts to the limit.

Apart from the first 10 minutes of the second half we were at our best during the first half with Gethin Jones having two good chances, the second half substitutions halted our momentum and it seemed like the game was gone until McHugh scored that late goal from a corner. Yes, we actually scored from a Bobby Reid corner!

Anthony O'Connor picked up an early injury against Cheltenham last week and it appears this kept him out of the squad for this game against Burton, so new signing Gethin Jones came in as the right wing-back and had a very good game.

Burton started the stronger and nearly scored from a corner but thankfully Bobby Reid was on goal-line duty and headed away.
Argyle's first chance fell to the over lapping Jones but his shot was saved.
The swirling wind played a part in the game and can perhaps claim an assist for Burton's goal. Kevin Stewart's long range shot took a slight deflection off McHugh, it dipped and swerved, hit the post, rolled along the goal-line and trickled in the far corner of the net. Lucky Burton and unlucky Greens.

Soon after Jason Banton raced through the Burton defence and was tripped by a Burton defender, surely a red card? Nope, another situation where the last man only gets a yellow card and we receive a free-kick.

Jones had another chance, this time with his head but it just went wide.

Reuben Reid and Lewis Alessandra were isolated up front and our best attacking play came through Banton and the two wing-backs, we missed O'Connor and although Dom Blizzard and Bobby Reid did their best the Burton attacks were easily straight at our back three.

For the start of the second half we pushed five yards up the pitch and camped in the Burton half.
We now had more urgency and more importantly more intent and momentum, probably our best 10 minutes of the game.
A Bobby Reid free-kick found his namesake and his shot flew just wide, we still pressurised the Burton defence but it seemed that the big chance to level the game was gone.

Burton resorted to time wasting tactics to slow our attacks and to be fair it worked! The sniper in the stands picked off Burton players one by one, all falling down for apparently no reason and on came the physio to treat the poor wounded Burton players.

With the game now flat and lacking any sparkle manager John Sheridan made the changes and took off Alessandra and Banton and replaced them with Olly Lee and Zak Ansah, Bobby Reid now pushed further forward and Lee dropped in alongside Blizzard. Ryan Brunt also replaced Reuben Reid soon after.

The subs had the opposite affect, I don't think Ansah touched the ball more than twice and Lee was anonymous.

With time running out and Burton taking their time over everything we won a corner. Bobby Reid floated in his trademark chip and there was McHugh to head in and level the game. Home Park erupted!

Go for the win or settle for the draw? I think we were caught in two minds.
With only four minutes of injury time awarded (it should have been five at the bare minimum) we had a Curtis Nelson long throw to try and grab the win but it was cleared and it ended all square.

Jones looks another good loan signing made by Sheridan, full of pace and energy. Considering it was his first game he played very well.

Bobby Reid tried to be creative but was muscled off the ball by the robust Burton midfielders.
Banton had a good game, we missed someone running with the ball once he was subbed.
Reuben Reid wasn't at his best, although he's carrying an injury and can be excused.
Blizzard battled hard against his opposite numbers in the Burton midfield.

The back three was strong and resolute.
Lee's and Ansah's introduction didn't have the desired affect and yet we scored with them on the pitch. Alessandra was just starting to look lively after a poor first half, I thought Sheridan may have taken off Hartley and gone for four at the back.

Too many times we gave the ball away, promising attacks fizzled out as a pass would miss its intended target. Credit to the players for keeping going and salvaging what could turn out to be a very good point.
We didn't really put the Burton keeper under much pressure throughout the game, that's partly due to the good defending by those in front of him.
You can see why Burton are top of the league, they are a confident and robust team who use the back arts to the maximum.

The officials were poor, the ref let Burton get away with a lot and the Lyndhhurst linesman seemed incapable of giving obvious throw-ins to Argyle. Very strange.

Another game gone where we stay in the play-off zone.

Man of the match - Jones.

McCormick 6, Nelson 7, McHugh 7, Hartley 7, Jones 8, Holmes-Dennis 7, B Reid 7, Blizzard 7, Banton 7, Alessandra 6, R Reid 5, Lee 4, Ansah 5, Brunt 5.
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