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FULL-TIME: Southend 2, Burton Albion 2 (Brewers win 3-2 on aggregate)

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 17, 2014

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BURTON Albion are off to Wembley after a humdinger of a match at Southend United this afternoon.

Leading 1-0 from the Pirelli, the Brewers survived an early storm and actually took the lead on the south coast, Marcus Holness peeling away from his marker to nod home Chris Hussey's free-kick.

But the Shrimpers were always dangerous and levelled on the day through Ryan Leonard, before Anthony Straker made it 2-1.

However, Adam McGurk, who gave Albion the advantage a week ago, pounced in the 69th minute to send the Brewers fans into ecstasy.

Gary Rowett made three changes from the first leg - two enforced - with Ian Sharps suspended and Zeli Ismail (hamstring) injured.

In came Shane Cansdell-Sherriff, himself back from injury, at centre-back and David Gray on the right of midfield.

Up front, Dominic Knowles was preferred to Billy Kee.

There was a further surprise on the bench, as Zander Diamond returned from his loan with Northampton Town - the club he has agreed to join in the summer - to number among the substitutes.

There was no Damien McCrory or Jimmy Phillips due to injury, while the likes of Ashley Hemmings, Marcus Harness, Liam Slade, Jack Dyer and Freddy Hall missed out on the matchday 18.

Dean Lyness made two good saves early on, saving Barry Corr's header and then tipping Kevan Hurst's wicked shot for a corner.

And Albion sprung their trap to take the lead on 21 minutes, as Hussey swung the ball into the back post following a foul on Robbie Weir, and Holness evaded the defence to head home his first goal of the season.

Two goals to the good, Albion faltered though, as their defence, shaky all game, let in two soft goals.

First they failed to deal with a corner and Leonard performed an acrobatic, low overhead kick to beat Lyness.

And then the Brewers gave away the ball in midfield and Michael Timlin's ball to the far post was well converted by Straker.

Southend came out of the blocks early in the second half and Lyness had to make a good save to deny Leonard a second, whilst also plucking two crosses out of the air.

But the Brewers rallied, and shortly after coming on, Kee flicked the ball onto McGurk, who had the ball expertly taken off his foot by Ben Coker when about to shoot.

McGurk and Lee Bell fired wildy over, but McGurk found the target when, after a poor Hussey free-kick was ineffectually cleared by the defence, the striker pounced to give his side the aggregate lead again.

Albion could have added to their advantage, with Hussey a constant threat down the left.

But they were forced to hang on in the final minutes, as Southend threw everything, including keeper Daniel Bentley, up in search of an equaliser that never came.

SOUTHEND UNITED (4-5-1): Bentley; White (c), Egan, Sokolik, Coker; Hurst, Leonard, Atkinson (Payne 79), Timlin (Clifford 65), Straker (Eastwood 75); Corr; subs not used: Smith (gk), Prosser, Murphy, Barnard.

BURTON ALBION (4-4-2): Lyness; Edwards, Holness, Cansdell-Sherriff, Hussey; Gray (MacDonald 64), Bell (c), Weir, McFadzean; McGurk, Knowles (Kee 53); subs: Alexander, Symes, Palmer, Lainton (gk), Diamond.

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