RAF­FERTY CLANGER SET­TLES IT

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Stephen Thirkill

BUR­TON Al­bion boss Jimmy Floyd Has­sel­baink high­lighted his side’s ‘pro­fes­sion­al­ism’ af­ter watch­ing them dig deep to down Rochdale.

A Joe Raf­ferty own goal in the first half was all that di­vided the high­fly­ers as the Brew­ers moved to third spot in the early sea­son ta­ble.

Al­bion then showed plenty of their trade­mark de­fen­sive skills dur­ing the sec­ond half to shut Rochdale out.

A de­lighted Has­sel­baink said: “I am happy with what I saw out there, that was our most con­sis­tent dis­play of the sea­son.

“We re­spect Rochdale and knew that this was go­ing to be a very dif­fi­cult game. Rochdale are a good side who can mix it up and we knew we had to com­pete and match them.

“We needed a re­sponse from the Coven­try de­feat and that is what we got.

“We should have fin­ished the game off and made it two or three nil, but it was a very pro­fes­sional per­for­mance.

“We had to make changes in mid­field and make it dif­fi­cult for Rochdale and those changes worked well.”

Rochdale boss Keith Hill said he was dis­ap­pointed by his play­ers’ per­for­mance as they un­suc­cess­fully pushed for an equaliser.

“I think we showed a lack of in­tel­li­gence in our search of an equaliser and I ex­pect more in­tel­li­gence from this group of play­ers to be hon­est,” he said.

“Some­times when you panic you do des­per­ate things and things that are not a true re­flec­tion on your char­ac­ter.

“We moved away from our true char­ac­ter more in the sec­ond half than we have done all sea­son.We were too lethar­gic in pos­ses­sion

“The goal was frus­trat­ing, Joe Raf­ferty says he was pushed and I can’t ar­gue that there was a slight push, but he needs to be stronger.

“It is not all about Joe Raf­ferty, we should have de­fended the first phase bet­ter.”

Lu­cas Akins fired high and wide, be­fore Matty Lund had a goal­bound piledriver blocked for the visi­tors dur­ing a cagey open­ing.

Mark Duffy waste­fully fired wide af­ter Akins’ burst­ing run through mid­field had cre­ated space on 20 min­utes.

Raf­ferty headed Akins' free-kick past his own goal­keeper on 24 min­utes to give Al­bion the lead sec­onds af­ter they had subbed in­jured goal- keeper Jon McLaugh­lin.

Ian Hen­der­son's pow­er­ful ef­fort was well blocked by Damien McCrory as Rochdale started well af­ter the half­time in­ter­val.

Calvin An­drew badly mis-timed a header on 70 min­utes when free in the box as the visi­tors strug­gled to cre­ate any mean­ing­ful chances.

Akins screwed a shot wide from the edge of the box two min­utes later as high-fly­ing Al­bion looked to wrap up the points.

Josh Lil­lis kept Rochdale’s hopes alive when he de­nied Stu­art Beavon and Phil Ed­wards with smart saves.

PIC­TURES: Media Im­age

SU­PER CAL-Y: Bur­ton’s Calum Butcher gets a shot in on the Rochdale goal

LUC AT ME: Lu­cas Akins skips past Thomas Kennedy

STAR MAN JOHN MOUSI

NHO Bur­ton

Al­bion

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