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Report: Burton Albion 1 Rovers 1

Rovers earn a point in Mowbray's first match

24 February 2017

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Rovers had to settle for a point in Tony Mowbray's first game in charge as the two sides played out an entertaining 1-1 draw.

It was the proverbial game of two halves at the Pirelli Stadium, Rovers with enough chances in the first to win it, but in the end they were grateful for the width of a post away from leaving with nothing.
A sensational first half saw Rovers in charge, but they only had Matty Palmer's own goal to show for it, and that would prove to be costly as Burton were much the stronger in the second, Marvin Sordell firing them back on level terms soon after the turnaround.
The game could have gone either way in the closing stages, yet it was the Brewers who were unfortunate not to claim the victory in injury-time.
Lasse Vigen Christensen with a shot that struck both posts and somehow stayed out much to the relief of Rovers.
For his first game in charge of Rovers, Tony Mowbray made just the one change from the side that ran Manchester United close on Sunday as a calf injury ruled out Gordon Greer. Ryan Nyambe the man to step in.
But whilst it may have been Rovers' first visit to the Pirelli Stadium, they quickly settled into their surroundings with a strong first half showing.
As early as the fifth minute they gained a sight of goal, Danny Guthrie's quick thinking saw the midfielder block a clearance, the ball fell to Danny Graham but his first-time shot failed to hit the target.
Ten minutes later and the Brewers had goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin to thank for keeping Rovers at bay. A dangerous cross from Liam Feeney was almost put into his own net by captain John Mousinho, the Burton number one having to thrust out a boot to clear behind.
Rovers continued to dominate possession, a fantastic forward run from Feeney was picked out by a pass over the top from Charlie Mulgrew, the ball was played to Craig Conway but his centre was just too high for Marvin Emnes at the back post.
Pouring forward at every opportunity, it was only a matter of time before the deadlock was broken, Rovers getting their reward on 31 minutes.
On corner duty, Mulgrew had already served notice with a couple of earlier deliveries that caused consternation, on this occasion as the Scot swung the ball in left-footed, Danny Graham attacked but it glanced off Burton midfielder Luke Murphy and into the bottom corner of the net.
Aside from a Cauley Woodrow effort that went well wide of Jason Steele's near post, it was all Rovers in the first half and they went close to doubling their advantage as it drew to a close.
Great play from Emnes in the corner saw him drill the ball in from the left, but Conway turned and fired goalwards but narrowly over.
With over 75% possession it had been an impressive first 45 under Mowbray, the only thing lacking was more goals to show for their domination.
No doubt with their manager's half-time talk still ringing in their ears, Burton came out with a different formation and were different side at the start of the second half.
Palmer fired narrowly over with a chance from the edge of the box, before Woodrow saw a header claimed by Steele from a Sordell centre.
But Rovers didn't heed those early warnings as the home side made it 1-1 on 54 minutes. Cutting in from the right Sordell took advantage of the space in front of him to try his luck from 25-yards out, the ball flying over Steele and into the top corner of the net.
After being so in control in the first half, suddenly Rovers were rocking, Luke Murphy with an effort from distance, Steele across to claim the ball.
That prompted a double change from Mowbray as Sam Gallagher and Lucas Joao were introduced. The forwards replacing Emnes and Graham. Connor Mahoney also soon joined the fray, replacing Feeney.
In an instance Mahoney had the beating of Tom Flanagan at full back, his vicious near-post shot having to be beaten away by McLaughlin.
Then a ball from the left by Williams picked out Gallagher at the back post, but his header was claimed.
But in an open end to the match it was the home side who were inches away from claiming the victory. Lasse Vigen Christensen's shot from the edge of the box struck Steele's far post, rolled across the box, bounced off the other and into the grateful arms of the Rovers keeper.
Undoubtedly the manager will have been pleased with the way the team performed in the first half, but less so with their display in the second that saw points dropped.
BURTON: McLaughlin, Flanagan, Mousinho (c), Turner, Sordell, Woodrow (sub Varney 61 mins), Naylor, Palmer (sub McFadzean 83 mins), Vigen Christensen, Kightly (sub Dyer 73 mins), Murphy.
Subs not used: Bywater (GK), Williamson, Miller, Barker.
Goals: Sordell 54 mins.
Booked: Turner 56 mins, McFadzean 87 mins
ROVERS: Steele, Nyambe, Lenihan, Mulgrew, Williams, Feeney (sub Mahoney 71 mins), Lowe (c), Guthrie, Conway, Emnes (sub Gallagher 65 mins), Graham (sub Joao 65 mins).
Subs not used: Raya (GK), Stokes, Tomlinson, Brown.
Goals: Palmer (OG) 31 mins.
Booked: None.
Attendance: 5,496 (including 1,579 Rovers fans).

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