A PRO­MO­TION BID IS BREW­ING

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Matt Cham­bers

JIMMY Floyd Has­sel­baink was im­pressed with his side’s gutsy ef­fort in find­ing a way to three points at Old­ham as Bur­ton moved into an au­to­matic pro­mo­tion spot.

Nasser El Khay­ati’s fifth goal of the sea­son came against the run of play in the first half at Bound­ary Park.

In­deed, David Dunn’s hosts had the bet­ter of the game over­all and forced Al­bion goal­keeper Jon McLaugh­lin into two ter­rific saves to main­tain his clean sheet.

Ul­ti­mately, Has­sel­baink was de­lighted to edge it against hard­work­ing op­po­nents and pick up a tenth league win, the most of any side in the divi­sion.

“It wasn’t our best game. We have played more flu­ently and bet­ter,” said the Bur­ton boss.

“We couldn’t re­ally get go­ing but that is credit to Old­ham. They are a tough side to break down and they press very well.

“We got our mo­ment of magic – but it was more about grind­ing through. It was about the men­tal state of do­ing the dis­ci­plined job and of be­ing res­o­lute.

“It was al­ways go­ing to be a tight game and in spells, we could have done bet­ter with the ball.

“But I am de­lighted with three points. I am ex­cep­tion­ally happy that we have not been at our best but have still found a way to win.”

Danny Philliskirk went close with a skid­ding left-foot shot for Old­ham, be­fore Bur­ton pounced on the break from their first at­tack.

Mark Duffy’s pass was col­lected by El Khay­ati and he con­trolled, turned onto his right foot and slot­ted low past David Cor­nell.

Jay Ful­ton’s loop­ing header just be­fore half-time would have equalised but for a su­per save as McLaugh­lin arched his back tip the ball onto the cross­bar.

Do­minic Poleon flashed a header waste­fully wide for the home side and forced McLaugh­lin into a low tip past a post, while team-mate Mark Yeates also went close with a left-footed ef­fort he dragged wide.

An ef­fort from Joseph Mills was pushed out by the in­spired Al­bion shot-stop­per as Old­ham pressed, while at the other end Duffy fired off-tar­get and Tom Nay­lor lifted tamely into Cor­nell’s hands when well-placed on the counter-at­tack.

In the end, the hosts could not break through against a firm vis­i­tors’ back­line de­spite their best ef­forts.

It is now one win since March on home soil for Old­ham, but Dunn wasn’t too distressed af­ter his sec­ond de­feat as a man­ager.

“In term of chances, we edged it. They only had the goal that they scored and a chip to­wards the end and that was about it,” said Dunn, whose side lie 19th. “I am dis­ap­pointed to come away with no points af­ter dom­i­nat­ing for most of the game.

“Some­times in foot­ball you don’t get what you de­serve – and the sim­ple fact is that they are go­ing home with three points whereas we are not. It took us a while to get back in it af­ter the goal. But we will go again. There are a lot of pos­i­tives to take from the game.”

PIC­TURES: Dan West­wall

STAR MAN JON McLAUGH­LIN

Bur­ton TUSSLE: Old­ham’s Brian Wil­son and Bur­ton’s Timmy Thiele

TOP STOP­PER: Bur­ton’s Jon McLaugh­lin pro­duces an­other fine save

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