>Burton Albion 1-1 Northampton Town
Tuesday, April 5th 2011
So in the end we’re still neither here nor there. A frantic finish to the first half was the ultimate deciding factor last night as the Cobblers and Burton cancelled each other out in quick fire fashion to leave both side teetering just above the drop zone and the lurking Bees of Barnet. The point will be celebrated more by Burton thanks to their two games in hand but away games against Bury and Bradford in those two games won’t be too forgiving.
As for Town, it’s a straight race for the final six games now and with the promotion chasing Shakers to play on Saturday ourselves the nerves will not go away just yet. More injury news that forced Gary Johnson into changes last night are also set to play their part in the conclusion of this season, with John Johnson (thigh), Michael Jacobs (ill)and Michael Uwesu (hamstring) all ruled out of a game that was billed as the biggest for the club for many, many years.
Such a game felt like it should have a winner either way but after a dramatic few minutes at the end of the first half a point apiece seemed frustratingly fair. Shaun Harrad, against his old club, went close twice in the first twenty minutes but it was his strike partner that opened the scoring. Just moments after Burton’s Jimmy Phillips had been denied by Chris Dunn, Josh Walker cleverly set up Guiillem Bauza who curled the ball home for his second in Cobblers colours.
Those celebrations were soon over though as Burton levelled within minutes. A Scott Malone free kick wasn’t cleared and Aaron Webster converted from close range to undo all the hard work of the Cobblers in the early going.
So all to do again in the second half as Albion started brightly. Jacques Maghoma, a half time substitute, sent in a dangerous cross/shot that Dunn had to be alert to before John McGrath shot wide.
The nerves seemed to be kicking in as the game turned into a real cat and mouse affair, end to end without any real chances. That was until ten minutes to go when Harrad so nearly got his moment. It seemed like fate for him to score and when the former Burton man sent in a left footed effort that beat the keeper all ends up it looked like the winner until the ball agonisingly crashed off the angle of post and bar!
Burton nearly won it as well with Malone going for goal instead of setting up the better placed Webster and a free kick deep into stoppage time also threatened the already shattered nerves of everyone involved backing Town.
But a draw it was and the trap door is only slightly closed for now. The last six games are going to provide heart stopping action and I just really hope that come the Morecambe game we’re not all putting radios to ears once again in the hope of slip ups elsewhere.
With what lies beneath that trap door, we cannot afford to slow down yet.