CHRISTIAN DENIES REVIVED BURTON
JIMMY Floyd Hasselbaink was introduced to the cruel life of a League Two manager as Christian Ribeiro’s 87thminute equaliser denied him a third win from four in charge of Burton – and he didn’t like it one bit.
Jacob Blyth’s fifth goal of the season for the Brewers in the 60th minute looked to have been enough to seal all three points and a third win for Hasselbaink as Burton boss since being appointed as successor to Birmingham-bound Gary Rowett.
But Exeter had other ideas and Ribeiro rose highest to head home a corner from Matt Grimes to secure a point for the Grecians with three minutes to go and ensure Hasselbaink’s men remain outside the top three.
“I feel for the boys because they did ever so well, they deserved the three points but it wasn’t meant to be,” said Hasselbaink.
“You know you are going to come under pressure at certain stages of the match and you will have to defend your corners, but unfortunately we couldn’t.
“But take nothing away from the boys they’ve done me proud. I must say that we have played four tough teams.
“One was the top of the league; one was just behind us in the league and one was relegated into this league last season and it was nearly nine points out of four.”
The first real chance of the game fell to Grecians’ Alex Nicholls, on loan from League Two rivals Northampton, who blasted over from inside the penalty area with 19 minutes on the clock.
Burton’s first effort on target came three minutes later when Shane Cansdell-Sherriff headed a corner from Bryn Morris straight at Exeter keeper Justin Hamon.
Northampton loanee Nicholls went close again for the Grecians, this time five minutes before the break, when he made a bursting run down the right-hand side, but he fired his shot straight at Burton keeper Jon McLaughlin.
The breakthrough finally came on the hour mark when Blyth turned home a cross from Alex MacDonald, following a dummy from Stuart Beavon, as he slotted home from six yards out.
Brewers substitute Adam McGurk nearly ended the game as a contest on 78 minutes – two minutes after coming on – but his shot was deflected wide for a corner.
Three minutes from time, Ribeiro powerfully headed home Grimes’ corner to secure a valuable point for the hosts, much to the relief of Exeter manager Paul Tisdale.
“It’s all about results and we got a good point in the end,” said Tisdale.
“The players gave everything, it wasn’t as fluid or as silky as it has been recently but it doesn’t matter.
“There comes a point where you have to changes things and throw one or two ideas around to change the game around and if it takes a set piece to do it then so be it.
“So from being a goal down with ten to 15 minutes to go, we got a goal back late on and scored from a set piece. So all in all, we got a good point.”