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FULL-TIME: Southend 1, Burton Albion 0

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 03, 2014

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IF THIS was a dress rehearsal for the League Two play-off semi-finals, Burton Albion will hope their leading lights perform better than their understudies after a 1-0 defeat to Scunthorpe United today.

York City's draw at Scunthorpe United means that these sides will face each other again in the end-of-season shake-up, and with that double-header in mind, manager Gary Rowett rang five changes as he sought to keep his team fit.

And few of the understudies impressed as the Brewers went down to a 22nd-minute free header from Barry Corr.

Star players Ian Sharps and Billy Kee were left at home, while Gary Alexander, Alex MacDonald and Callum McFadzean dropped to the bench.

In came David Gray, the recently-recalled Chris Hussey, Marcus Harness, Ashley Hemmings and Michael Symes.

Phil Edwards moved across to centre-half, with Gray slotting in at right-back and Hussey on the other side.

In a 4-5-1, Symes was the one, flanked by Harness and Hemmings, but neither winger shone after being given the chance to make a case for inclusion next weekend.

Hussey was probably Albion's player of the half, making key interceptions at the back and setting up a good chance that Robbie Weir skied.

Weir also had the visitors best chance as, after being fed in the box, his shot was charged down by keeper Daniel Bentley.

By that point, Rowett's side were trailing after Kevan Hurst's cross from the left went unchecked and Corr rose ahead of the Burton defence to nod past Lyness.

After the break, neither team looked too keen to take risks, with the play-offs in mind, although Albion gained teeth up front with the introduction of Zeli Ismail, Dominic Knowles and, later, Alex MacDonald.

The former pair combined well at times, as they have done to the tune of three goals this season, while Matty Palmer set up Ismail with a clever short corner, but the on-loan Wolves winger blazed over.

The first leg of the play-offs will take place at the Pirelli a week tomorrow, with the return leg back here the following Sunday. Both games kick-off at noon.

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