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FULL-TIME: Oxford United 1, Burton Albion 2

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 08, 2014

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BURTON Albion picked up back-to-back wins after holding off a second-half fightback to beat Oxford United 2-1 at the Kassam Stadium this afternoon.

Dominic Knowles and Zeli Ismail got the goals, and Albion could have had more in a first half full of attacking intent.

But Billy Kee missed from the spot after Jimmy Phillips was brought down in the area.

And they looked they might rue that miss after the U's pulled a goal back early in the second half through Ryan Williams, but they managed to hold out for what could be a crucial win.

Gary Rowett named an unchanged starting XI from the one which beat Accrington Stanley 2-1 last weekend, with Knowles again partnering Kee up front.

Adam McGurk was on the bench, alongside Michael Symes, who returned to the Albion squad for the first time since November, while Gary Alexander missed out with a knee injury.

After an inoffensive opening 10 minutes, Albion opened the scoring with a goal that they made look easy.

Knowles laid off to Ismail, who turned inside to beat his man and then returned the favour with a brilliant pass to find Knowles' perfectly-time run.

The young striker was one-on-one, and with fantastic composure, rounded the keeper and tapped home.

Albion dominated the next 15-20 minutes, with Kee unlucky with a decent shot on the turn, before they doubled their lead on 26 minutes.

Phillips, who had a great first half, did very well to keep the ball in on the left wing before cutting inside David Hunt and curling a shot goalwards.

Ryan Clarke saved, but could only spill it to Ismail, who thumped home.

And they had the chance to score a third for only the second time this season when Phillips again got past Hunt and the full-back brought him down, leaving the referee little choice but to award a penalty.

It was Albion and Kee's fourth spot-kick of the season, but for the first time, the Brewers' top goalscorer was inaccurate from 12 yards, as his shot lacked power and Clarke saved easily.

Oxford looked like a different side after the break, and pegged Albion back when Robbie Weir inadvertently put Williams through one-on-one, and he finished past Rob Lainton.

The keeper was not at fault for the goal, and made two excellent saves in the second half to keep Albion in the game.

Rowett brought off Knowles for skipper Lee Bell to add some steel in midfield, while Ian Sharps picked up an injury and was replaced by Marcus Holness for his first appearance since September.

But Albion kept wave after wave of attack at bay and saw out the result, which keeps them fourth in League Two.

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