Stevenage earn a point at league leaders Burton Albion
- Credit: Archant
Own goals from Tom Naylor (Burton) and Bira Dembele (Boro) sees the match finish 1-1
Sky Bet League 2
Stevenage held league leaders Burton Albion to a draw as they moved to within two points of the League 2 play-off places.
There was an own goal scored by both teams as the match finished 1-1 in front of Sky Sports cameras, with Boro doing well to withstand something of a second-half onslaught from the Brewers.
It was a game played out in torrential conditions with the work the groundsmen undertook before the start becoming inconsequential as the minutes ticked by.
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Yet despite the poor weather, it was a blistering start as Burton attacked down the right and Nasser El Khayati fired low and hard only to see Chris Day save with his knee.
Then, Tom Pett, put in by Bruno Andrade, took a touch to take the ball away from his marker only to fire wide when he should have scored.
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Simon Walton tried his luck from the edge of the Burton area as Boro pressed for the opener, only to also fire off target.
Stevenage took the lead 12 minutes in when Dean Wells headed a corner back across the box and Tom Naylor got the last touch under pressure from Kevin Lisbie.
Burton thought they had one of their own on the half-hour mark when Matty Palmer’s free-kick was eventually knocked past Chris Day by Shane Cansdell-Sherriff.
But although the celebration music kicked in and the fans began to sing, they hadn’t realised the lineman’s flag was pointing for an offside.
A second own goal saw the hosts draw level just before the break.
Having failed to persuade the linesman that there was an offside during a Burton attack, Boro conceded a corner from which the ball was hit into the box and Keith Keane’s clearance struck Bira Dembele and bounced in for 1-1.
Burton started the second half the better of the two sides, but although they pinned Stevenage back in the early stages they failed to carve any significant attempts at goal.
Graham Westley’s men worked their way back into the game before losing Dean Parrett to injury on 57 minutes. He was replaced by Ben Kennedy, who was this week linked with Premier League clubs Arsenal and Spurs.
But it was a Boro old boy who next went close. From a Burton corner, Phil Edwards dived in at the far post and was just a lick of paint away from putting the Brewers ahead as his header bounced into the pitch and then struck the post.
Another former Stevenage player then set up Burton’s next chance, Lucas Akins pulling the ball back only to see team-mate El Khayati scoop it over the goal.
El Khayati was wasteful in the second period with three or four chances to test Day, only to see his efforts either fly wide or hit a Boro defender as the visitors held on for a well-deserved point.
Burton Albion: McLaughlin, Edwards, Cansdell-Sherriff, Mousinho, Beavon, Akins, McCrory, Naylor, McGurk (Knowles 81), El Khayati, Palmer. Subs: Shearer, Taft, Stewart, Slade, Harness, Johnstone.
Stevenage: Day, Henry, Okimo, Dembele, Wells, Andrade (Jebb 91), Walton, Keane, Parrett (Kennedy 57), Pett, Lisbie. Subs: Beasant, Bond, Whelpdale, Johnson, Martin.
Ref: G Sutton.