BREWERS CAN GET NO BETTER
BURTON Albion’s first-half performance was just about perfect according to assistant manager Kevin Summerfield – and it was enough to see off the threat of Cheltenham.
Stuart Beavon’s goal ensured victory for Albion but Summerfield praised their defensive effort after the break as the Robins pressed for a leveller but could find no way through, leaving the Brewers to move back to the top of the table.
“I think the first half was ten out of ten and our best 45 minutes of the season so far because we dominated, passed the ball and exploited spaces,” Summerfield said.
“In the second half we had to dig deep, but I’d give the lads ten out of ten again for their defending.
“We needed a clean sheet more than anything else after conceding three goals in our previous three game and we can now take confidence from that.”
Burton welcomed striker Beavon and wide men Lucas Akins and Alex MacDonald back from injuries and Summerfield was pleased with the impact they made on their returns.
“The three lads coming back made a difference, but the problem was they hadn’t been training and it was hard to get them through 90 minutes,” he said.
“Bev was really good, Alex came through well and while Lucas found it hard he put a shift in so credit to them and all the lads because they rolled their sleeves up.”
Burton made the stronger start, with Trevor Carson making an excellent save to deny Adam McGurk.
The goal had been coming and Beavon finished superbly into the bottom right corner after a pass from John Mousinho before only a fine stop from Carson denied Beavon a second in first-half stoppage time.
Cheltenham improved after the break, with Steve Elliott seeing a volley and a header blocked, Joe Hanks going close twice and Jon McLaugllin diving to fall on substitute Raffaele De Vita’s late effort.
And after failing to score for the fourth time in five, Cheltenham boss Mark Yates admitted he wanted his teams to be braver.
“I thought both teams looked a bit nervous in the first half and you could tell we’d not won for a few games and I thought you could tell they hadn’t as well,” he said. “They had a couple of chances and we are disappointed with the goal, but in the second half we turned up and play with more energy and tempo.
“We just couldn’t score, typified by Lee Vaughan’s ball across the box when nobody could get a touch so we need to be braver and turn decent second-half performances like that into points.
“We have to make things happen and anticipate something, rather than being on our heels. We didn’t have a pass is us or do the basics right in the first half.
“We then had to change our system, press and we now need to work out how to do that from the start.”
MOB MATCH: Stuart Beavon celebrates his goal
JUMP: Alex MacDonald and Lee Vaughan
STAR MAN STUAR