IAN Sharps struck his first goal in Burton Albion colours to beat Northampton Town 1-0 and lift the Brewers up to fourth in the League Two table.
The 33-year-old defender headed home a real captain’s goal with five minutes left at the Pirelli Stadium yesterday to finally end the resistance of the Football League’s basement club.
Albion had dominated the Boxing Day encounter but missed several excellent chances to seal the win before Sharps thundered a header from Alex MacDonald’s corner past ex-Brewers keeper Matt Duke.
The victory – Burton’s eighth 1-0 win of the season – means they are now unbeaten in eight in all competitions and have also recorded an impressive 11 clean sheets.
They are level on points with second-placed Oxford going into Sunday’s home clash with Newport County and are building excellent momentum going into the New Year.
Manager Gary Rowett has called on his side to take more care getting balls into the box, and they certainly did that as they recorded 20 efforts on goal.
With some tidier finishing, the margin of victory against the managerless Cobblers would have been greater.
But such is their defensive solidity, one goal was always likely to do it – and on his 43rd appearance Sharps was the deserving hero.
See tomorrow's Burton Mail for a full report.