The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By James Owens

JIMMY Floyd Has­sel­baink in­sisted he couldn’t fault his Bur­ton brigade as they thumped Ac­cring­ton Stan­ley to go three points clear at the top of League Two.

The Brew­ers put a gloss on the score­line in the lat­ter stages, fi­nally see­ing Stan­ley off by three goals af­ter with­stand­ing a spir­ited fight­back from the vis­i­tors af­ter half-time.

Both sides had en­joyed half chances when Stan­ley cen­tre-back Rob Atkin­son pre­sented the league lead­ers with a golden op­por­tu­nity af­ter 25 min­utes.

Damien McCrory stepped up to put the Brew­ers in front from 12 yards af­ter Atkin­son went into the book for han­dling Matty Palmer’s free-kick into the box.

John Cole­man’s side dis­played greater ur­gency af­ter the break, with Terry Gor­nell, Josh Win­dass, and Sean Maguire all go­ing close for the be­fore the hour.

But the vis­i­tors ul­ti­mately failed to make their strong spell count, and paid the price 17 min­utes from time, when Adam McGurk teed up Stu­art Beavon to put the game to bed with a low fin­ish be­yond Scott Davies.

And Palmer put the ic­ing on the cake for Has­sel­baink’s ta­ble-top­pers with a wellplaced strike from just out­side the area.

“It was a very im­por­tant win for us here, a very im­por­tant win,” Has­sel­baink said.

“I must say the first half was one of the best halves that we’ve played since I’ve been here, and ac­tu­ally we de­served a lit­tle bit more from it.”

But the for­mer Chelsea and Leeds striker ad­mit­ted that Ac­cring­ton had put his side un­der pres­sure, and lauded his cen­tre-backs and their mid­field pro­tec­tion for en­sur­ing that the hosts re­tained the lead.

“In the sec­ond half, we didn’t come out how we re­ally wanted to, but you have to give Ac­cring­ton that credit,” he added. “They changed a few things, they made it dif­fi­cult, and asked us ques­tions. I was very im­pressed with the de­fend­ing, with the re­ac­tion, the com­mit­ment, and with the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“Rob­bie Weir, Tom Nay­lor, Shane Cans­dell-Sher­riff and John Mous­inho did a mag­nif­i­cent job. That block of four is so im­por­tant.” Has­sel­baink’s op­po­site num­ber John Cole­man was left to rue the in­di­vid­ual er­rors that un­der­mined an oth­er­wise im­pres­sive dis­play from his vis­i­tors, who re­main 15th.

“Mis­takes are killing us at the mo­ment, and they are stop­ping us be­ing where we should be in the league, which is the top six,” Cole­man claimed.

“3-0 flat­ters them, but that hap­pens in foot­ball. We did not get what we de­served.

“Credit to Bur­ton, they were clin­i­cal. We gifted them the first goal with hand­ball for a penalty, and then we had chances. I think if we had got one, we would have won the game.”

“But in­di­vid­ual mis­takes are cost­ing us.We are as good as any team in the league, and we can’t get too low about this be­cause we played well.

“We have to stick our chests out and keep go­ing.”

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