Burton Albion vs Oxford United on 28 Jan 23 - Match CentreDALE Taylor scored on his Brewers debut to seal a crucial 2-0 win for Albion against Oxford United The Nottingham Forest loanee capped a fine display oin his senior EFL debut with a cheeky finish to double Albion's lead after fellow new man Zac Ashworth played a huge part in the opener, his 30 yard volley rebounding back off the post, hitting keeper Simon Eastwood and landing in the back of the net five minutes before half time. After a two week break caused by a double postponement Albion showed five changes to the side that lost last time out at the Pirelli Stadium against Shrewsbury Town.
Half time: Burton Albion 1-0 Oxford United Oxford were forced to replace their Taylor at the break with Gatlin O’Donkor sent on as a replacement but it was Albion’s DALE TAYLOR who provided the second half spark scoring an instinctive finish from Tom Hamer’s low cross four minutes after the restart. Albion took great confidence from their position as the second half progressed with Taylor unable to get another chance out of his feet and in general posing the greater threat.
There was a surprise return for Sam Hughes at the back after injury had kept him out since Boxing Day. Jasper Moon was one of four debutants against Oxford completing a back three with John Brayford in front of another debutant, goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray. Ashworth was handed a first appearance at left wing back whilst Nottingham Forest loanee Taylor was made the focal point of the attack on his debut with Mark Helm and Jonny Smith for support. The bench also saw a surprise with Conor Shaughnessy returning from injury, the Irishman having been missing since August.
A cagey opening saw both sides checking one another out but the first chance came for Oxford on six minutes, Hughes missing a clearance that allowed Matty Taylor to fire in a rising shot that MacGillivray superbly tipped over the bar. Oxford had their own long throw threat and when Ciaron Brown sent one into the Burton box on eleven minutes the ball ended up with Billy Bodin in the middle, John Brayford getting a crucial head to the ball to send the striker’s opportunist effort over the goal. Midway through the first half there was a lengthy stoppage as Oxford’s Taylor went to ground having lost out in a midfield tussle with Deji Oshilaja.
Smith, after a hard working shift, was replaced by the fresh legs of Davis Keillor-Dunn with twenty minutes to go as Albion looked to capitalise on a fragile looking Oxford defence. Substitute Tyler Goodrham had a rare sight of goal for the visitors on 73 minutes but it was a routine take for MacGillivray. Joseph sent in a wickedly dipping shot as the game entered the final quarter of an hour but after MacGillivray got everything behind it and saved Ashworth used his trusty left foot to clear the loose ball and avert the danger.
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A shriek of pain preceded him going to ground but after treatment the experienced frontman returned to the fray. Brayford was close at the attacking end on 31 minutes, a deep cross from Terry Taylor finding him beyond the back post and forcing a god save from Simon Eastwood. An awkward clash in the centre circle saw another delay when Terry Taylor and Kyle Joseph banged into each other and both requiring attention before play could resume. Albion got a stroke of luck that has been deserting them of late when they hit the front on 40 minutes. Elliott Moore thought he had cleared the danger with a decent header out of his own box but ASHWORTH lashed in the sweetest of volleys that came back out off that eventually landed in the net off the unfortunate Eastwood. It was almost two three minutes later Dale Taylor forcing a good save from the Oxford keeper and Helm not quite able to finds the right side of the post.
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