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East Staffordshire thriller – Burton Albion 1 Middlesbrough 1 – Clough vs Pulis

3 April 2018 Local Sport

Dave Lee’s Alternative Report on the Burton v Boro:

Burton Albion (1) 1 Middlesbrough (0) 1

(Easter Mon 2 April 2018 3pm)

Tony Pulis returns to Staffordshire for the first time since WBA’s 1-1 lucky draw at Stoke City in Sept 2016 (Remember? Rondon’s late late equaliser?). Anyway, here bottom club Burton (a sure thing for the drop) play the play-off chasing Middlesbrough (a sure thing not to make the play-offs). This should be one-way traffic? Yeah, sure. Pulis decides to drop right-back & Stokie-stalwart Ryan Shotton. And us Stoke fans came all this way to see him. Hope Pulis doesn’t go on to regret that…

5.18 1-0!! Bewilderingly, Burton go one up! A cross (well, it is Easter) from Boro’s right…surely that would have been stopped by Shotton. Top scorer Dyer crosses for Sordell to fire home only his 3rd of the season. Bet he can’t believe his luck.

7.05 Burton fans launch into: “How sh** must you be, we’re winning at home.”

7.20 Boro’s left back George Friend belts the ball up on the roof of the main stand. Blimey, is this the state of Pulis sides? George has the look of a young Marc Wilson.

14.05 Tony Pulis looks at his watch! Why?? Is he waiting for a takeaway?

16.25 Ball goes over the North stand. This is going to get expensive.

18.59 Ball number 3 goes over the West Stand into the “levy” stream outside. Maybe I should be outside making a bit of money selling match-balls.

35.30 Thank goodness, TP sees sense and replaces Howson with…no, not Shotton, but Britt Assombalonga?? Is that his real name?? No Ryan Shotton?? Are you sure, Tone?

44.12 Assombalonga seems to think he’s a centre forward as Pulis goes a sort of 4-2-4.

45+1 After loads of nonsense over a Burton corner being taken several minutes after the 45, halftime leaves it Burton 1 Boro 0. The goal is from Burton’s only shot on target.

49.01 Weird moment where Burton keeper Stephen Bywater (him of the strange erotic art story – look it up!) slides out of the edge of the box with ball in hands. Yellow card only. Boro fans reckon that’s soft.

56.17 Boro keeper (Randolph) makes similar sliding save in corner of box without sliding out of the area. Look and learn.

63.35 Burton almost make it 2-0 from a corner from their left. Headed wide. Shotton would have stopped that…etc…

67.05 As yet another dead-ball opportunity is lost, Kempy puts his head in his hands. He’s dreaming of his sun-drenched pad in LA, and wondering why he’s not there instead of watching this catastrophe. A defeat today could seriously wreck Boro’s promotion chances…and Pulis’ whole career.

69.33 Attendance is a mere 4468. Really? Are we really in the second tier of English football??

72.30 Dyer and Darren Bent combine to almost make it 2-0. Surely not going to be TP’s day.

75.40 Stewart Downing reveals that he’s been on the pitch the whole time by being substituted. Who’d’ve known? Still not Shotton’s moment as Jack Harrison comes on.

78.42 Adam Clayton, the U2 bass player (really?), comes on for Boro, so we’re not to see the silky skills of Ryan Shotton today.

81.12 Assombalonga runs the whole length of the pitch…just to blast over & into the Boro fans.

89.32 1-1 !!! Who’d have guessed. Jacky Harrison hits the bar, and Assombalonga heads in the equaliser in a mad scramble!!

90+2 Dyer through…but offside.

90+4 Action at both ends….but it ends 1-1. Burton still look doomed…actually, Boro do too. Let’s face it, if Boro make the playoffs, just remember what happened the last time Tony Pulis made the playoffs 19 years ago.


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