A point, and a clean sheet, a couple of steps in the right direction at least as City were perhaps unlucky not to get all three points against a side unbeaten away from home in the league. Paul Tisdale’s side therefore go into another very tricky test on Saturday in better shape, boosted also by returns from injury. Matt Grimes looked in a bad way after the horror tackle from AFC Wimbledon’s Sammy Moore, but his young body recovered sufficiently for him to appear from the bench, while there was another very welcome sight on the bench on Tuesday night in Matt Oakley – he’ll probably take a few games to slot back in fully but it’s a massive step forward for the veteran midfielder. David Wheeler missed the 0-0 with Oxford through illness but should expect to make the trip.
Burton Albion remain one of the surprise packages of League Two after their exploits last season in getting to the playoffs when many tipped them to exit the division at the other end, the Brewers have continued to impress under Gary Rowett and currently sit in 7th place in the table. Their success has been built on a solid defence and the ability to nick the odd goal (as City found out earlier in the season) – ten successive matches saw neither side score more than once in matches involving Burton. The shackles were broken somewhat last weekend when they lost 4-2 at home to Fleetwood, but while City were in action on Tuesday night Burton had their feet up courtesy of the sodden pitch at Torquay, so will go into Saturday’s fixture with a few extra days of rest in their legs. One of the keys to their success this season has been the signing of Adam McGurk and his 80s hairstyle from Tranmere, although mainly deployed on the flank he has scored eight in all competitions, with one-time City target and ex-Torquay striker Billy Kee leading the charts with nine. City will fortunately be spared facing Jordan Pickford in goal, he was imperious at the Park earlier in the season.
That 1-0 defeat to a late Phil Edwards goal was symptomatic of a season where City have huffed and puffed and been undone by a sucker punch after outplaying their opposition for the majority of the match. Last season’s trip to the Pirelli Stadium saw Burton race into a 4-0 lead before a late rally saw Bauza and Bennett reduce the arrears. It’s Burton who have the overall head-to-head lead, with 7 wins to City’s 5 and just 1 draw. This fixture often features goals – that draw was a 4-4 thriller while the first meeting between the sides ended 4-3 to City. With neither side in good goalscoring form, what price another 4-4?
Changed from what Exeweb originally published. Keith Hill reffed us in the 0-0 last season at home to Gillingham.
Referee: KEITH HILL
Assistant Referees: David Benton and Mark Jones
Fourth Official Richard Bartlett
Paul Tisdale thoughts on the Burton game
We seem to have played against them a lot over the past eight or nine years,” said Tis. They’re currently a very efficient team that are hard-working, and with a very good defensive mindset – they’re a tough nut to crack.
They have responded to last year’s good results by putting in another good season. That’s no surprise when you look at the way they play, how hard they work and the energy and strength they have in the team.
There aren’t many teams in this division that have huge amounts of quality – it’s not a league that really attracts too many of that type of player. This is a league of attrition that calls for discipline and commitment, and Burton seem to have lots of that.
I see every reason why they will be roundabout the top teams at the end of the season.