OXFORD are a good team who will be battling – with Burton – later in the season for a promotion slot.
In the first half hour of this game we saw two evenly matched teams playing a very open and entertaining game of football that was a pleasure to watch.
Albion looked to be in control and although there were few goal scoring opportunities it was clear that there was going to be goals later in the game.
Then Dave Kitson pushed Ian Sharps to the ground with both his hands raised.
It was a foul that the rules of the game say will render you liable for a red card.
It looked deliberate and was probably caused by frustration at the fact that this “star” signing could not impact on a solid Albion defence.
Kitson was bought for £5.5 million in 2008 – when he does things like that you can see why he now plays in League Two.
Sharps is not easy to throw to the ground, he reacted badly to being manhandled so forcibly and in a moment of anger he kicked up his legs. His boot did not contact Kitson, who at this time was standing almost on top of Sharps to impede him getting up – it was the side of his calf that brushed against the back of Kitson’s leg.
It was not a particularly violent contact and as soon as he noted what Sharps had done he stepped away before turning angrily and proceeded to punch Sharps twice while he was on the floor.
At that point the referee intervened – I don’t think he saw a lot of what I have just described.
Everyone took it for granted that Kitson was to be sent off – and probably Sharps too, but he let Kitson off with a yellow card.
It was an awful decision and destroyed a great game of football.
That was a pity because I know a lot of new people went to the Pirelli as there were no league matches on.
I hope they don’t get too disillusioned by the officials actions at this match. Thankfully it is not typical.
After that Kitson played little part in the game and seemed by his body language to be a little embarrassed by what he had been a party to. He was booed loudly every time he touched the ball so as to remind him.
Unfortunately though Oxford were able to make the extra man count and had strikers of real quality such as Alfie Potter, who scored one of Oxford’s two goals.
Albion never gave up trying and had a couple of near misses themselves – but with only 10 men it was too much to ask.
Albion lose their unbeaten record – that I can take.
It’s the way that it happened that goes against the grain.
I only hope the referee looks at the video and reflects on his decision.
WELL, that defeat will have sent us back down to earth after a good start.
But it has been our best start to a season as a League Two club, which many fans would gladly take.
It was certainly a game to forget against Oxford, with the red card for Ian Sharps mystifying many in the ground.
Burton played 4-4-1 the rest of the game as (Michael) Symes was sacrificed for Phil Edwards.
Rene (Howe) looked extremely isolated on his own, and the Oxford defence nullified any Burton skirmishes we had, with the Oxford keeper not having an awful lot to do.
It was a frustrating game to watch, with the red card diluting the game, and with a few players having an off day too.
But the whole squad have a week to prepare for the Portsmouth game after a gruelling couple of weeks.
And hopefully Zander Diamond will be available for selection with Sharps more than likely banned.
FIRST loss in league.
Game was comfortably in our hands until the sending off – annoying I know but we go again – LOOOOOOONG SEASON!
THOUGHT we deserved at least a draw today – boys worked really hard just needed that bit of luck!!!!
GR’s tactics are absolutely dreadful and he has no plan B whatsoever!
We are getting found out!
SO Burton Albion lose a game completely ruined by the ref and what do the supporters do?
Start ripping into the manager and players.
CAN we please have the ref’s match report on the decision making process at today’s game?