RAMBLE: Burton Albion 3-1 Wednesday

RAMBLE: Burton Albion 3-1 Wednesday

I have to confess to having forgotten that I was down for ramble duty, it was only when I pulled onto my drive after the match at 12:30 that I remembered and let out a groan. 

The night had been a bit of a let down to say the least and the drive back had been awful (the journey home included a crying cat and a very smelly car – more on that to come) with more than my fair-share of road works and lane closures on the way up the M1.

Of course, it seemed a great idea when I initially put my name down for ramble duty – this was a new ground to tick off, it fell the day after my birthday and it was a game that we should be winning against a newly promoted side.

I should have known that the signs didn’t look good when I tried to buy my ticket.

I’ve spent the last week in sunny Mallorca, only arriving back in the afternoon on my birthday, Monday 15th August.

This meant that I had to attempt to buy my Burton ticket using the hotel WiFi.

I was hopeful of getting a ticket but I had to wait for the second day of sales due to my priority points, my fiancée didn’t have enough points until the third day (she ended up missing out and you probably saw my shameless begging on Twitter for a ticket, it didn’t work).

Sitting in the hotel reception, it all seemed to be going well as I managed to get straight onto the online shop.

I then was able to select my ticket, fill in the delivery details and get through to the payment page (not quickly, I’ll admit).

It all went well until I clicked pay and I got an error message. I hadn’t got this far to quit!

Bollox!

Bollox!

I tried again… Once… Twice… Three times…

I was really hoping I wasn’t going to end up with sixty-odd quid of charges but decided to give it one more try…

Success on the fourth time of asking! I headed off to sit in the sun feeling very pleased with myself.

On the day of the match we travelled down to my fiancée’s dad’s house in Northamptonshire to collect our cat, she’d been on her holidays too whilst we’d been in Mallorca.

Reda the cat!

Reda the cat!

Now our cat is a pretty special cat with a pretty special name, she always seems to know when it’s time to leave and get in the car so she goes into hiding.

When we arrived in Northamptonshire, right on cue, Reda tore off the bottom of the settee and climbed up inside it. Brilliant. Not even a plate of tuna (ed: this better have been John West, Charlie!) could lure her out.

After waiting around for her to come out for four hours with no success we decided upon a plan.

I would travel up to Burton and Katy and her dad would come and meet me in Burton afterwards with Reda, as hopefully by that time she’d have decided to come out.

 

BURTON:

 

I arrived in Burton at around 6:30 and parked up on the side of the road directly behind my friend Chad and his family, perfect.

Back in the squad

Back in the squad

The sun was still shining down so we gathered outside a pub called The Beech Inn and had a pint.

We got the inevitable talking point out of the way first and all shared our views on Forestieri and then watched the team news come in.

We were all worried to see Tom Lees missing from the squad and with Semedo filling in for him it reinforced the fact that we need more defenders in and quickly.

Forestieri was to start from the bench, which I thought was the correct call.

 

THE MATCH:

 

It was disappointing. From start to finish.

We just weren’t at it, lots of misplaced passes and players not performing up to their usual standards.

One of the most frustrating things watching on though was that we played some good football at times, got into decent positions and then didn’t shoot.

We need to make sure that we’re getting the right balance between our passing and shooting, we don’t want to overplay it.

I think it’s important to praise Burton.

They knew their strengths, they played to them.

They found our weaknesses, they exploited them.

I think what they’ve achieved is marvellous and I’d love to see them stay up. Chris O’Grady did what he does and was brilliant at holding the ball up and bullying our defence.

Burton looked to use Dyer on the wing and kept playing the long balls forward to the big men up top. They were great at making the most of their set-pieces and worried our broken defence by getting crosses into the box.

They looked the better side in the early stages as we struggled to get hold of the ball for any long period and when they got a freekick on the edge of the box we were a little worried.

Suspect defending

Suspect defending

I pointed out to Chad that there was a free man at the back post and when the freekick was taken it looked as though it was heading towards him. It didn’t quite make it to him but it met the head of McFadzean who shrugged off Hunt to open the scoring.

1-0 to the home side.

Jack Hunt picked up a booking following the goal, apparently unhappy with something but I didn’t see anything wrong.

Five minutes later we were given the chance to get a quick equaliser. We had a corner and as the ball was delivered into the box the referee blew his whistle. I was in the middle of shouting,

“Oh **** off ref! What’s that for?!”

When I noticed he was pointing to the spot and everybody else was cheering.

Hooper took the penalty, I thought he’d miss… He scored!

1-1!

Apparently the ref told McFadzean to get off Hutch before the corner was taken, he didn’t so he gave the penalty.

I haven’t seen it again but I didn’t spot anything at the time and it seemed pretty soft to me. I can’t imagine we’ll be seeing many penalties given for similar incidents.

In the second half we probably had a stronger shout for a penalty and the referee just ignored it.

Burton stuck to their style and their strengths for the rest of the half but we got a better grip on possession. We played some decent football but it wasn’t up to our usual high standards.

Fletcher won loads in the air and looked decent but he was guilty of making the wrong decision a few times, the most frustrating being when he decided to try put Hooper through when he could have shot.

Semedo: not in the team for long

Semedo: not in the team for long

Semedo went off injured which meant that Pudil moved into the middle and Palmer came on at left back. More signs of our fragile and thin defence. It was clear how much we rely on Tom Lees for his confidence, calmness, composure and leadership.

As it neared half time we were just saying how we expected to see a certain number 45 introduced at the interval when Burton got a second. Another headed goal from a cross into the box. Great.

 

HALF TIME – Burton 2:1 Wednesday

 

I was texting my Dad at halftime and told him I’d be amazed if we didn’t concede another as their forwards were big, strong and knew how to beat our defence. Unfortunately, I was right.

The second half was disappointing and frustrating from start to finish.

Forestieri did come on but played with a kind of anger as though he was desperate to prove himself.

There were lots of misplaced passes that were met with groans in the away end. It was tough to watch as yet again we struggled against a team that you’d expect us to be beating and getting 6 points from if we’re serious about promotion.

Burton got a third in the 77th minute which sealed the win for them as there was no way we were going to get two goals, we weren’t shooting enough.

We had a few chances in the final minutes but it was too little too late. Dyer grabbed their third and deserved it for his overall play throughout.

 

FULL TIME – Burton Albion 3:1 Wednesday

 

It had been a hard game to watch and hopefully we’ll quickly make amends on Saturday by getting a win against Leeds at Hillsborough. They’ve struggled in their first few games and we need to make sure that continues for them.

I just want to have a little moan at something that happens at a lot of matches.

This obsession some people have with criticising Liam Palmer, no matter what he does.

People are always waiting to pick a fault with every little thing he does, as if they’re hoping he makes a mistake. He came on yesterday at left back in a changed defence and in all fairness to him, didn’t do badly.

He had a tough job of being up against Chris O’Grady and most of the time he held his own despite the huge difference in size and strength.

He's one of our own, support him!

He’s one of our own, support him!

It didn’t stop people insulting him and blaming him for the third goal. Me and my friend Chad couldn’t believe the amount of stick that he got, when Jack Hunt didn’t receive any – he could be blamed for every goal if you want to pick on players.

We shouldn’t do that. They’re our players, our team.

Carlos has asked us before to support the team and encourage them, not look for errors. We need to make sure that “We’re All Wednesday” actually means something. We’ll achieve so much more if we stick together.

Moan over.

Lees: the sooner he's back, the better

Lees: the sooner he’s back, the better

Hopefully this is just a slight speed-bump on our journey to success this season, let’s make it the last defeat to a team near the bottom.

We have the quality to put it right on Saturday and get the victory, hopefully Tom Lees will be back to score too!

My journey back wasn’t pleasant… Poor Reda the cat wasn’t happy about her long journey from Northamptonshire to Leeds via Burton.

By the time we got back to Leeds she’d been in the car four hours and managed to go to the
toilet twice, for both a number one and two.

It didn’t make for a fun journey back with all of the roadworks, smells and crying.

I hope your journey was better than mine!

Charlie
Owls Alive
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