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Burton Albion are specialists at the margin - Tom Sloan's opinion column

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: September 03, 2014

GOAL THREAT ... Albion front men (from left) Stuart Beavon, Lucas Akins and Dominic Knowles.

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BURTON Albion became known for their ability to win by tight margins last season.

The Brewers were League Two's 1-0 specialists as they reached the play-off final.

They eventually won 11 games 1-0 and triumphed by a one-goal margin in five other matches – a remarkable record and testament to Albion's undoubted character.

Give them a goal and put them under siege and they usually came up with the goods.

Manager Gary Rowett has set about making his team more attacking this summer, with the arrivals of exciting winger Lucas Akins and striker Stuart Beavon, who has now joined the club permanently after a loan spell from Preston.

The Brewers certainly look a more exciting attacking unit and in their first five games in the league have scored twice on two occasions.

They also scored twice against Wigan Athletic in the Capital One Cup and generally look a bit more potent, with chances to score seeming more plentiful.

Yet the one-goal victory margin has, thus far, stayed the same.

It shows that Albion are still a tough nut to crack and can grind out wins in tight corners – like at Mansfield last week and against Dagenham in their first home league game. It is an important trait to possess and will serve them well over the next 41 games in League Two.

Defensive solidity looks again to be the bedrock of Burton's drive for automatic promotion, but Rowett will be keen to get more goals flying in soon.

Winning games by a one-goal margin – no matter how good you are at it – is a risky business, with just one slip-up potentially costing you two points in a split second.

It can put pressure on players which would not be there if they were coasting towards victory having build up a comfortable lead.

The attacking edge shown so far suggests much more is to come from Albion in the final third.

In Akins, Beavon and Adam McGurk they have attacking players who are all used to finding the net in League One and all will expect to crack double figures.

Dominic Knowles will also hope to grab as many as he can in his second season in the Football League, while the likes of Alex MacDonald and Jimmy Phillips, when back from injury, will be on the goal trail.

Burton are top of the table and if they can add a few more goals to the miserly backline they possess, few would bet against them staying at the top – or very near to it. The next two places in the table would do.

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