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FULL-TIME: Burton Albion 3, Hartlepool United 0

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 19, 2014

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BURTON Albion scored three goals at home for the first time this season as they comfortably overcame a poor Hartlepool United at the Pirelli Stadium today.

Billy Kee's 14th goal of the campaign gave the Brewers a 1-0 half-time lead, before Jimmy Phillips doubled the advantage and Lee Bell made it three with a great free-kick.

The win maintains Albion's faint hopes of an automatic promotion spot, as results went their way yesterday, meaning they are now just four points off the top three.

Gary Rowett rang the changes after last Saturday's disappointing defeat at Northampton Town, with four players making way.

Rob Lainton (finger) and Adam McGurk (groin) missed out through injury, their roles taken by Lyness and Gary Alexander.

Elsewhere, David Gray and Matty Palmer were dropped to the bench, with Phil Edwards returning to his right-back spot, and Callum McFadzean - who signed a new deal today - taking the left-back role.

That allowed Alex MacDonald to fill in on the right of midfield, while skipper Bell came in alongside Robbie Weir in the centre of the park.

And Weir had a good early chance as got his head to Alexander's cross, but the shot was deflected onto the post.

After three penalty appeals were turned away by referee Michael Bull, Bell gave the ball away in midfield and Andy Monkhouse sent Harewood through against Lyness, but the former Premier League striker's attempt to slot his shot between the keeper's legs was denied by a strong block.

Phillips had a shot spilled by Rafferty before Albion took the lead as Ian Sharps long ball out from the back went over the head of Alexander, but Kee was there to finish well at the back post.

Hartlepool have lost six on the bounce now, and on the back of their second-half display, one can see why.

Burton could have scored four or five, with Kee twice forcing good saves from Andy Rafferty.

They did find a way through when another Sharps ball out of defence was held up by Kee, who fed Weir, and he set up Phillips to curl a shot in from just inside the area.

It was the winger's third goal of the season, and deserved for another excellent display.

Albion fans have been somewhat starved of goals this season, and after going seven games without scoring more than one, they matched the tally of that entire run in one game.

There didn't look much on when Bell lined up a shot 22 yards out, but he drilled the free-kick home to open his account for the season and send the fans home happy.

BURTON ALBION (4-4-2): Lyness; Edwards, Sharps, Cansdell-Sherriff (Holness 81), McFadzean; MacDonald, Weir (Palmer 82), Bell, Phillips; Kee (Symes 86), Alexander; subs: Gray, Hall, Knowles, Hemmings.

HARTLEPOOL UNITED (4-4-1-1-): Rafferty; Duckworth, Collins (c), Harrison, Holden; Franks (Barmby 67), Walton, Walker, Monkhouse; Poole (Compton 73); James (Harewood 15); subs not used: Flinders, Richards, Jones, Oliver.

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