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Classy Burton Albion defeat Queen's Park Rangers in the Capital One Cup

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 28, 2014

By Tom Sloan

  • CLATTERED ... Marcus Harness is fouled by Richard Dunne on the edge of the box to win the free kick from which Adam McGurk scored the Albion winner.

  • SPECTACULAR EFFORT ... Adam McGurk attempts an overhead shot against QPR.

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BURTON ALBION 1

QUEEN'S PARK RANGERS 0

ADAM McGurk scored a cracker as Burton Albion claimed the first Premier League scalp in their history last night.

The 25-year-old striker curled in a terrific free kick as the Brewers beat Queen's Park Rangers 1-0 at the Pirelli Stadium.

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It was a memorable night for Gary Rowett's braves as QPR joined Wigan, Sheffield United and Leicester on Albion's list of conquests in the Capital One Cup.

There was nothing streaky about the win either as the Brewers went toe-to-toe with their visitors.

They dug in when they had to, but also showed excellent moments of quality, with Dominic Knowles spurning an excellent chance in the first half.

Rangers, missing many of their top names, never really fired, although they hit the bar through Junior Hoilett.

It was not a performance befitting a Premier League team featuring players like Shaun Wright-Phillips, Nedum Onuoha and Adel Taarabt.

But that is to take nothing away from Albion, whose determined showing was fully deserving of the win – especially considering they had rested their two stars of the season so far – Stuart Beavon and Lucas Akins.

The way they are playing, the rest of League Two needs to sit up and take notice.

Rowett made four changes from the Newport game, with Marcus Harness, Matty Palmer, Alex MacDonald and Knowles coming in for Akins, Robbie Weir, Callum McFadzean and Beavon.

Akins was rested to allow his broken hand to heal, while Beavon sat the game out with one eye on Saturday's trip to Mansfield. New loan signing Jacob Blyth was on the bench after joining Albion on loan from Leicester until January.

Rangers fielded a mixed team showing 10 changes from the side which lost at Tottenham.

On six minutes, MacDonald angled a shot from 18 yards which skidded across goal and just wide.

Taarabt then fired wide from 18 yards after Karl Henry's shot from Phil Edwards' header was blocked by Ian Sharps.

On 14 minutes, Knowles had an excellent chance as he got onto McGurk's knock-down from Sharps' long ball.

Either side of the keeper and the ball was in the net.

MacDonald had a good chance on 20 minutes as he cut inside Richard Dunne but he fired just wide from the edge of the area.

The Rangers defending was hardly that of a Premier League side.

Hoilett hit the top of bar on 22 minutes as he nipped into the box after Taarabt sneaked past Shane Cansdell-Sherriff.

Matt Phillips curled one well over just past the half-hour as Albion finally began to come under extended pressure.

MacDonald scrapped his way through shortly afterwards but his shot was deflected away.

Hoilett had a gilt-edged chance to break the deadlock on 36 minutes as he got hold of Taarabt's pass.

But after flicking the ball over Harness, his cheeky lob went over Jon McLaughlin – and the bar.

With half-time looming Harness blasted a shot from 25 yards after a corner was cleared but the ball hit Knowles and went wide.

Taarabt fired a low shot on 48 minutes after Cansdell-Sherriff's half-clearance.

McGurk then headed over under pressure from Dunne as Harness got a dangerous cross into the middle.

Albion almost had the ball in the net on 55 minutes as MacDonald's free kick caused chaos in the Rangers box, but no-one could get a final boot on it.

MacDonald, who was heavily involved throughout, volleyed wide fom 18 yards on 66 minutes as the Brewers pressed.

Palmer then had a side-footed effort from range easily saved.

McGurk finally broke the deadlock with just under 15 minutes left – and what a cracker it was.

Dunne chopped Harness down just outside the area in the inside-right channel.

It was a poor tackle from an experienced Premier League defender.

And it got worse for the ex-Manchester City man as McGurk stepped up and curled an absolute beauty over the wall and in at Brian Murphy's near post.

Rangers tried to hit back but Albion stood firm and Taarabt wasted a decent shooting chance as injury time started.

It was pretty comfortable in the end as the Brewers made history.

GOALS: McGurk 77 (Brewers).

BREWERS (4-4-2): McLaughlin; Edwards, Sharps (capt), Cansdell-Sherriff, Taft; Harness, Mousinho (Weir 46), Palmer, MacDonald; McGurk (McFadzean 85), Knowles (Blyth 78). Subs not used: Lyness (gk), Slade, Bell, Beavon.

HOOPS (4-4-1-1): Murphy; Simpson, Onuoha, Dunne, Hill (capt); Hoilet, Faurlin (Fehr 61), Henry (Dunne 82), Wright-Phillips (Zamora 78); Phillips; Taarabt. Subs not used: Green (gk), Ehmer, Doughty, Harriman.

REFEREE: Paul Tierney (Lancashire).

YELLOW CARDS: Brewers – MacDonald 27 (foul on Taarabt), Mousinho 35 (foul on Taarabt); Hoops – Simpson 54 (foul on MacDonald), Dunne 76 (foul on Harness).

ATTENDANCE: 3,999.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Alex MacDonald – the lively winger never gave Rangers a moment's peace.

MATCH VERDICT: A stunning win for the Brewers. They have threatened it before, but finally a Premier League team have become their victim.

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