THIS was a must-win game for Burton after just two points from a possible nine in the last three matches.
If we couldn’t beat Accrington on our home ground then our promotion push would fail.
It was not going to be easy as Stanley are doing well recently, but still fighting for League Two survival.
Albion were fired up from the off and could easily have been a few goals up after 10 minutes. Accrington were in danger of being overwhelmed.
The only way they could hold on to Albion was to hold them by the shirts and drag them back.
They did so, and were allowed to by the referee Andy Haines. Both Kee and Sharps’ shirts must be four sizes bigger after this game. Albion shirts are clearly made to last.
Burton are no stranger to being roughed up by visiting teams but Stanley pushed it a lot too far and made it very hard for Albion to play proper football.
A referee is in a unique position to set the standards of player behaviour early on in the game.
The crowd tried vocally to explain this to Mr Haines but he clearly has his own unique way of doing it.
Some fans started shouting out “Calamity Haines” as he made some decisions that twisted the laws of the game into positions that few had ever seen before.
I think we should have awarded him man of the match such was the influence he had on the game.
He gave Stanley a free kick, pushed the Albion wall back a good 10 yards and then picked up the ball and moved it to a different position several feet away. You don’t see that very often!
It was fantastic to see Billy Kee score after half an hour. It wasn’t a pretty strike, but after the goal famine we have had it just felt world class to see our striker score.
Albion then went up a gear and my faith began to be restored. I even began to think we might score again before full time! Something not done in the last ten games.
Stanley equalised with an exceptionally poor goal after 70 minutes and the prospect of another 1-1 draw made me ask if I really wanted travel to Oxford next Saturday.
I do hope Dean Lyness gets another chance to grace the Albion goal this season. We have only won one of the last five games since he was injured and only kept one clean sheet.
Burton battled on until at 80 minutes referee Haines decided he had seen enough – and we all agreed with him. It was time to teach those wayward Accrington players a lesson.
Phil Edwards had been knocked to the floor by the Accrington wrestlers and a penalty was awarded without hesitation.
Billy Kee grabbed the ball and slotted it home wonderfully.
Two goals in one game, both scored by our strikers – the revival has started.
The team dealt with whatever Accrington and the match officials could throw at them.
Next stop Oxford.
Make sure you’re there to make some noise for the boys. COYB!
A BRILLIANT first-half display full of energy, determination and skill.
Second half was more of a stalemate battle.
Billy Kee is an inspiration to his team mates at the moment for his commitment to the cause.
For me, however, this game will be remembered for the baffling lack of action by the referee in dealing with persistent fouling on Ian Sharps in the box and the worst display I have probably ever seen by a linesman.
Zeli Ismail looks the real deal and even better now that the pitches are becoming drier.
This game was won by sheer desire, though we are still to find a magic formula.
We need to get our most talented two players, Adam McGurk and Matty Palmer, playing in their best positions.
For me that is in a 4-3-3 like we played at Chesterfield, which is still our best performance and result of the season so far.
McGurk on the left of the attacking three and Matty in the deep playmaker role.
Looking forward to seeing Symes back. COYB.