Joe Sbarra is more than used to getting kicked, getting up and going again for Burton Albion.

The 18-year-old grabbed his first goal of pre-season as the Brewers drew 2-2 at Matlock Town on Saturday, steering a rebound home from close range after seeing his initial shot saved.

Sbarra - who played in his favoured role of attacking midfield against the Gladiators - had also been introduced as a late substitute less than 24 hours earlier in Albion's 3-0 loss at AFC Wimbledon - and he has made an eye-catching impression in each game he has featured in so far this summer.

Pacy in possession and with a quick set of feet to match in tight positions, the diminutive academy graduate can often leave defenders trailing a leg to stop him as he turns away and past them.

On one occasion early in the Matlock draw, Sbarra had his back to goal - 20 yards out - and upon receiving a pass into him, flicked it first time around his man and was caught late, leaving him on the ground for some seconds.

Such incidents show the quality and speed he can put on the ball. And Albion fans will be glad to hear the enthusiasm with which the teenager speaks of getting over those knocks and looking for possession straight away again.

"I think we did all right," he said when asked about the way Matlock had put them under physical pressure, especially early on.

Joe Sbarra stays down after being caught in pre-season draw with Matlock Town

"I got a few kicks, but it's just one of those things.

"I'm used to it now - I get kicks most games, but you just have to get on with it, get on with the game and, as much as it sounds bad, get the ball again and take another one.

"I know before the game that I'll probably get kicked, especially the little touches like taking it round them. You're always going to get a swipe so it's just how you react to them.

"It's about getting on with the game, trying to get it (the ball) again and going and hurting them with it."

Sbarra had featured in each of the Brewers ' five pre-season outings ahead of Monday night's trip to Midlands Football League Premier Division side Rocester, playing in a variety of midfield roles.

Having been given sporadic opportunities 12 months ago, the academy graduate went on to sign his first professional deal in October, impressed for the under-23s and in the Birmingham Senior Cup, and then made his first-team debut on the final day of last season at home to Reading.

Joe Sbarra on his Burton Albion debut against Reading

And now he is relishing the chance to play more regularly during the pre-season run.

"It's a real challenge, but like I've said, I have enjoyed every minute of it so far," he added.

"The sessions have been hard, but it is getting us in the best shape we can be for the season that is coming ahead.

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Matlock Town and AFC Wimbledon reaction

"Wimbledon were a good side. They played really well and it was a good test, a good workout for us as well.

"I know the lads will have got a lot from it, and especially games like Matlock, you've got to stamp your authority on them and make sure you're playing as well as you can, otherwise they will punish you."