Writer: Sheffield Bantam
Date:Saturday October 23 2010
23rd October 2010
What looked to be a promising game turned into disappointment as the Bantams couldn`t build on a bright start and eventually came unstuck against a solid, if unspectacular Burton side.
City had started brightly but a penalty from Shaun Harrad half way through the first half put City under pressure. A goal 9 minutes after the restart from James Collins after some soft defending handed Burton the initiative and the game was wrapped up after the returning Russell Penn netted one of the easier gals of his career in the 88th minute.
City started brightly and had the first opportunity of the game as Omar Daley cut in from the left wing and hit a rasping shot which Burton keeper Adam Legzdins managed to smother at the second attempt.
The game opened well and soon Burton were troubling City themselves. A swift counter attack split the City defence in two and Shaun Harrads back heel to Jacques Maghoma set him up perfectly. Fortunately for City, the winger hit the ball first time and sent his shot wide of Jon McLaughlins far post.
City really should have taken the lead in the 25th minute, though. Again Daley was the main tormentor and he made the most of a rare slip from Burton full back Andy Corbett. Daley skipped past him and continued his run into the box. He managed to manoeuvre another challenge in the box and continued his run. He could have squared the ball to Jason Price in the 6 yard box, but Daley continued and found himself in a position he could not miss from. However, as Peter Taylor has already alluded to, Daley needs to produce more with his final product and unfortunately it was missing again. Eight yards out and Daley hit his shot high wide and handsome, to the disappointment of the on looking masses.
The Bantams were to regret that miss as Burton took the lead 5 minutes later. After a few minutes of concerted pressure, Lewis Young, brother of England international Ashley, was felled in the box by Jon McLaughlin as he raced out to Shaun Harrads through ball. Unfortunately Young got a toe there first and McLaughlin found himself bringing the diminutive winger down. McLaughlin had in fact saved a penalty at Burton last season, but there was to be no such luck this time round. Shaun Harrad stepped up and blasted his effort straight down the middle, which left the diving McLaughlin with no chance, despite getting a hand to the ball.
City immediately put the pressure back on Burton and it was that man Daley again who had another effort tipped over the bar by Legzdins. Daley again cut inside from the wing and shot from a tight angle towards the top corner which the keeper managed to turn over. He possibly made the wrong decision though, as Jason Price was again standing unmarked in the 6 yard box and would have had the simplest of tap ins had Daley looked up and squared the ball back across the box. Made all the more frustrating as it was something which Burton were later to do themselves.
ity had to overcome another scare before half time, as some lackadaisical defending presented Harrad with a simple opportunity. Fortunately for the Bantams, Harrad smashed his effort against the bar and the ball bounced away to safety. Referee Brendon Malone blew his whistle for half time and City trudged back to the dressing room 1-0 down. With the openness of the half and the number of chances City had created, they could feel themselves somewhat unlucky to be heading into the interval on the wrong end of a one nil score line.
The jovial mood created at half time with the light hearted banter between Lenny the City Gent and Burtons mascot Billy Brewer soon turned to confusion, though. As the teams returned to the pitch, City lined up in a different formation to the 4-4-2 employed during the first half. Leon Osborne had come in more central completing a midfield trio of David Syers, captain Tommy Doherty and Osborne himself. Meanwhile, Omar Daley moved in to the space between midfield and attack as the team lined up in a less familiar 4-3-1-2 formation.
It was clear from the start that the change in tactics was not going to work as the midfield quickly became overrun with Burton having a numerical advantage in that area of the pitch. City were under pressure from the start and Harrad missed an effort from ten yards after receiving the ball from Lewis Young`s centre. Harrad again wasted another opportunity, as the pressure piled on City, as his effort was easily smothered by Jon McLaughlin.
The pressure eventually told, however, as Burton new boy James Collins ghosted in and flicked a header into the far corner past McLaughlin. Luke O`Brien had done well to win the ball on the edge of the box, but the ball span away and as he tried to find his bearings and the ball was played out wide to Lewis Young. With all the time in the world, Young found Collins` run and he beat centre back Oliver Gill to the ball and glanced his header into the far corner past the on looking McLaughlin.
With the game fast slipping away from City, Taylor took the decision to introduce Louis Moult, replacing Daley who had become ineffective in his roaming role. It signalled another change to a more conventional 4-3-3 formation but City continued to struggle against the momentum Burton had built up.
The next piece of action involved David Syers in a lunging tackle to prevent Harrad having another effort on goal. Birthday boy Jacques Maghoma had cut the ball back into Harrads path and Syers had to be alert to prevent another goal bound effort as he lunged in to prevent the shot. The trend continued as City struggled to make an attacking impact and the thought of coming away with any points was lost.
Jake Speight was introduced to add some legs up front, replacing the ineffective Price but his impact was little. He huffed and puffed and pinned the Burton back line in immediately but contributed little else. The next time City ventured into the Burton half, Bantams favourite Darren Moore fouled Moult and Reece Brown took the resulting free kick. He tried a straight run up, similar to his ex club mate Cristiano Ronaldo and his pile driver caught keeper Legzdins unaware as he only just managed to fumble the effort away.
However, the free kick was to be the last chance of note for City as Burton midfielder Russell Penn wrapped up the afternoons scoring with a simple tap in from 4 yards out. James Collins turned from scorer to provider as his run ended in him squaring the ball from the side of the 6 yard box to Penn who poked the ball home as he beat the flailing McLaughlin.
The four minutes stoppage time was not met with the usual roars of encouragement as the game was already lost and a sizeable amount of travelling fans, many of whom didn`t reach the game till half time due to a 4 car pile up on the M1, had left as referee Brendon Malone called an end to the afternoons proceedings.
The change in tactics bore little results and the changes could be questioned, as despite losing, City had played reasonably well in the first half with every chance of getting something out of the game still. In the end though, the team got what they deserved, nothing. The good work from the past two weeks undone. The tinkering has become too much.
Date:Saturday October 23 2010
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