ASFC vs Burton Albion

League Two
Score: 0 - 1

Match Report

Peter Murphy is inches from opening the scoring

Peter Murphy is inches from opening the scoring

Stanley suffered their fourth consecutive defeat in the cruellest of circumstances after a last-gasp winner from Burton’s Adam Reed.

The Brewers striker angled his shot past Marcus Bettinelli in the eighth minute of second half stoppage time to give the Brewers the win.

James Beattie opted for two attacking changes to the side that lost to Cardiff on Wednesday, Shay McCartan and James Gray coming in for Luke Clark and Will Hatfield respectively.

Buoyed by their spirited display in their penalty shoot-out loss to Fulham in midweek, Burton started the brighter.

They almost took the lead on five minutes, when former Stanley man Michael Symes shot from the edge of the box but saw his effort palmed round the post by Bettinelli.

With the home supporters in good voice, Stanley settled and started to push forward but could have been caught out by a counter-attacking move.

The experienced Rene Howe’s turn and shot forced the on-loan home goalkeeper into another alert save.

After three straight defeats, there were positive signs from those wearing red.

And, just after half an hour, Beattie’s men had their best chance of the half.

An inswinging corner from James Gray was met by the head of Kal Naismith who headed wide.

Naismith, an increasingly important player for Stanley since his recent arrival had another opportunity moments later but fired wide from a tricky angle after picking up a loose ball.

Albion, unbeaten over 90 minutes so far this season, could have taken the lead just shy of half-time.

Adam McGurk’s shot from a central free-kick was spilled by Bettinelli but no-one was able to follow up.

As for the majority of the midweek meeting with Cardiff, Stanley defended resolutely as the second half got underway.

Rob Atkinson was particularly impressive in his marshaling of Rory Delap, as the experienced man went on a galloping run early on.

Eight minutes into the second half, the 200 strong Brewers fans were disgruntled with the officials when their side had a goal disallowed.

McGurk’s cross was headed goalwards by Symes but the final touch came off Reed who was adjudged to be in an offside position.

Like in the first period, Stanley improved.

Sensing an opportunity of scoring, Beattie threw on Connor Mahoney and Will Hatfield.

Within seconds of coming on, Hatfield saw his left footed shot saved by Dean Lyness in the visitors goal.

Youngster Mahoney also brought some much needed pace and attacking intent to the Stanley side.

Within moments of coming on, the 16-year-old latched onto a precise right-wing cross from Peter Murphy but directed his header over the bar.

On 84 minutes, Stanley were agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock when Gray cut inside, saw his shot hit the left hand post and Naismith’s poke from two yards was somehow saved by Dean Lyness.

Mahoney, a shining light in difficult times, went on a fine run and hit a delightful ball across the box. But in keeping with Stanley’s bad luck throughout the game, the ball deflected off Murphy and wide.

Fourth official Kevin Mattocks indicated there would be seven minutes of added time after an earlier injury to Albion’s Jimmy Phillips.

Substitute Marcus Carver, in a promising position, hit his shot high and wide but Stanley still continued to press.

The crucial blow came on 98 minutes, though, when Reed converted an impressive cross from McGurk to give Gary Rowett’s men the points.

Stanley: Bettinelli, Murphy, Aldred, Atkinson, Liddle, Mingoia (Mahoney, 67) Joyce, Richardson, Gray (Carver, 90) McCartan (Hatfield, 67), Naismith.

Subs: Hatfield, Clark, Carver, Windass, Mahoney, Jenkins, Wilson.

Attendance 1174

Report by Emily Liles

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