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Burton 1 Accrington Stanley 1

THE scene was set up for Lee McEvilly.

SCORER... Lee McEvilly
SCORER... Lee McEvilly

THE scene was set up for Lee McEvilly.

Moved up front, with Stanley chasing the game and needing something special to maintain their play-off challenge as time ticked away.

And the loan man let no one down by heading home a vital equaliser to endear himself even more to the Accrington faithful who have been won over by his battling displays.

It was what the Reds deserved after missing a number of chances in the first half - including hitting the woodwork - although keeper Jon Kennedy did have to be at his best to deny Burton.

But McEvilly was in the right place at the right time to fire home Peter Cavanagh's cross nine minutes from time and add another crucial point to Stanley's tally.

"It was good for Lee to get his goal. Lutel had been touch and go whether he would play as he was suffering with food poisoning," said boss John Coleman.

"In the end we had to take Lutel off but that allowed Lee to push forward and it was a good goal."

But the boss was baffled by his team's overall performance.

"We started really well in the first half but we didn't come out in the second half and we only got going again in the last 15 minutes.

"I don't know why that was. We deserved something out of the game but we have played better than that.

"I don't know what it is away from home this season. We did the same last season where we couldn't buy a win.

"We have only won two away from home and drawn eight. If we could have turned a couple of them into wins we would have been flying high.

"Teams are a bit more bullish on home territory and we have got to make sure we weather any storms and stamp our authority on the games.

"I am hoping we will start doing it as the players know there is a big prize at the end of it."

There was a lively opening to the game with the Reds out to gain revenge following their 4-2 FA Trophy loss to Nigel Clough's side two weeks before.

But Coleman had to reshuffle almost immediately after Andy Procter injured himself in a tackle with Clough - he got a yellow card for it and minutes later limped off the pitch.

It was bad luck on Procter who Coleman said would have been third Accrington player to wear an England shirt against Italy if he had been fit. "I think he would have been called up if it wasn't for his injury. It is a shame for him."

Coleman brought on Ged Brannan perhaps earlier than he wanted as the former Wigan midfielder recovers from a calf injury.

But it was Burton who came close st to opening the scoring on 20 minutes.

Kennedy came out to clear a hopeful ball and it fell to Jon Howard who tried to chip the ball from 30 yards into the empty net - but he was well wide.

Two minutes later McEvilly worked himself into a good position on the edge of the area after outwitting Darren Wassell and Terry Henshaw but his low shot was well off-target.

Dale Anderson volleyed wide from a tight angle before Stanley had a great chance to open the scoring.

Lutel James's ball in from the right wing found Brannan in the area but his header hit the upright and was cleared. It was hard on the midfielder who is desperate to open his Reds' account.

However, Anderson went straight down the other end and looked certain to score as he raced into the box but the combination of Cavanagh and Kennedy kept him at bay.

Paul Mullin then had three good chances late in the first half - the first was wide after good work by Howarth and James before Terry Henshaw blocked his second after a Rory Prendergast cross.

And, in injury time, he must have felt sure he would score from another Howarth cross but this time, unmarked, he headed over the crossbar.

Clough must have said the right stuff at half-time as within two minutes Craig Dudley had played in the perfect corner and Aaron Webster continued his good form against the Reds.

The defender scored twice in the Trophy win and this time he had time and space to thump a header past Kennedy.

And it looked like Stanley would be two down on the hour when, despite Dale Anderson and Robbie Talbot, both looking off-side, they raced through with just Cavanagh to cover but he managed to put in a goal-saving tackle to keep out Anderson.

Andy Corbett had another good chance for Burton after teeing the ball up in the area but he volleyed over and then Darren Stride raced through when McEvilly lost the ball but Kennedy did well to deny him.

Coleman had introduced Dean Calcutt and also brought on John Durnin as they went in search of the equaliser pushing McEvilly up front alongside Mullin.

And it paid off eight minutes from time with the loan man opening his account for the Reds - and gave them an important point to remain in seventh spot.

Burton boss Clough felt his side should have had all three points.

"We had chances to wrap the game up only to be hit by a sucker punch inside the last ten minutes.

"The performance and effort was good and we have created far more chances than a very good Accrington side. We should have won."


Stuart Pike
Deputy editor specialising in politics
Alex Bell
Bethany English
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Beth Abbit
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Jon Macpherson
Kate Watkins
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Garth Dawson
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