United made it three wins from three away games as their unbeaten start to the season continued at Burton today. Goals from Alfie Potter and Danny Rose earned the U's all three points against a Burton side reduced to ten men for the second half
Fielding an unchanged line-up United, in their eye-catching Isinglass Purple shirts, had three half chances as Rose slammed a right-footed effort wide, Andy Whing just couldn’t quite grow enough to reach a free-kick and Asa Hall drilled an effort wide after a clever flick from James Constable.
Burton had the not-so-secret weapon of Rory Delap’s throw ins in their armoury and from his first after nine minutes Chris Hussey sent a powerful volley over the top of Ryan Clarke’s goal. A decent passing side when in possession the Brewers were also dangerous from any set pieces and the opening half hour saw a number of high balls pumped into the United box for Jake Wright and Johnny Mullins to deal with, augmented by the ever-brave Andy Whing.
One Whing block after 31 minutes drew loud appeals for handball from the home fans but not half as loud as their protests three minutes later as defender Ian Sharps departed. As the defender challenged Dave Kitson in the air he seemed to kick the back of the legs of the United’s centre forward who reacted angrily. Sharps was shown red by ref Michael Bull, Kitson a yellow.
It added even more spice to an already highly charged encounter between two good sides. Clarke made a very good save in the first minutes of the second half to keep out Damien McRory’s shot from six yards before Potter weaved his magic once more. Just as he did two seasons ago Potter ran at the left back and then twisted inside his man before drifting past the centre half. There was an acute angle with keeper Dean Lyness closing that gap quickly but Potter was more than equal to the challenge and smashed his shot across the keeper and into the left cheek of the goal to make it 1-0.
The purple machine was in full flow now attacking the Adam Chapman End and only the tips of Lyness’s gloves kept a superb Tom Newey effort out after 51 minutes as the left-back let fly from 20 yards out. With Kitson dropping deeper and causing chaos United were forcing the Brewers back, Constable working his socks off and a flexible shape moving the ten men all over the park. Burton, to their credit, kept pushing and forcing the game but that exposed them to the counter and on 85 that proved decisive as sub Ryan Williams showed what he is all about as he skinned his full back, reached the bye-line and crossed for the once again brilliant Rose to squeeze the ball home at the near post.
Almost the perfect away performance and hugely enjoyable for the superb Yellow Army who roared their approval. A win achieved through togetherness, graft, a well-deserved first clean sheet of the campaign, and taking your chances. See you at Cheltenham.
Report by Chris Williams, pictures by Steve Daniels, stats by OPTA
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