Darrell Clarke was delighted to see his out-of-form Cheltenham side come from behind to take a 2-1 League One win from relegation rivals Burton.

“It’s a good comeback win,” Clarke said. “It’s a must comeback win in a real pressure game where I thought we had to win it and we’ve done that.”

Albion had edged ahead in a poor first half when substitute Steve Seddon fired home after a long throw into the Cheltenham box in first half added time.

But the visitors hit back after half-time through the experience of striker Matty Taylor, with the equaliser and a first goal for the club for 39-year-old Curtis Davies to seal the win with a header from Will Ferry’s corner.

“The response in the second half was very good,” Clarke added. “Matty Taylor does what he does with a great finish and it was about time Curtis got a goal. He is a proper guy and I have got a lot of time for him.

“He has really stood up and been counted over a consistent period this season and I am delighted for him to get the winner.”

Cheltenham now have their fate in their own hands and Clarke issued a “call to arms” to fans to get behind the side with two home games to come.

“Now we take it to the final week of the season in our own hands, so this is a call to arms,” he said.

“We are depleted with a lot of players out and I just want the fans to turn up in their numbers on Saturday and Tuesday and really get behind the boys because I think they deserve it.

“We need to turn the next two games into a fortress and see if we can get over the line.”

Burton boss Martin Paterson was left facing up to an eighth home loss in a row which keeps the Brewers firmly in the relegation dogfight and frustrated at how his side failed to build on a first-half lead.

“We didn’t come out for the second half,” he said. “I thought they started the game brighter than us then after 20 minutes, we started stepping towards the ball and looking dangerous and we got a goal to go in at half-time with everything in our own hands.

“Two set plays and goals in the second half and people not doing their jobs. Simple as that.”

Albion have one last chance on home soil against Reading on Saturday to grab a much-needed home win and the magnitude of the game was not lost on Paterson.

He added: “This was a huge game and Saturday is a huge game. We have just come off the back of a good performance at Stevenage so if the drop off can go one way, I am pretty sure it can go the other way as well.”

Veteran defender Curtis Davies headed home the winner to complete a precious Cheltenham 2-1 comeback victory over League One relegation rivals Burton at the Pirelli Stadium.

The Robins produced a stirring second-half fight back to end their four-game losing run with goals from Matty Taylor and Davies after substitute Steve Seddon had given the Brewers the lead.

Seddon fired home in stoppage time at the end of a first half which, by and large, was a scrappy affair with both sides aware of the magnitude of the game, in terms of the scrap to beat the drop.

It was no real surprise it came from a set-piece, Jasper Moon’s long throw helped on by Sam Hughes and falling perfectly for the substitute to drive home.

Taylor got Cheltenham back into the game six minutes after the break with a looping header from Jordan Thomas’ cross and the turnaround was complete with a little under twenty minutes to go when Davies rose highest in the six-yard box to head home Will Ferry’s corner.

Victory pushed Cheltenham to within two points of the Brewers and safety and with a game in hand on Albion.

Head coach Martin Paterson praised Burton’s character after a 2-1 victory against Stevenage moved his team three points clear of the League One relegation zone.

Mark Helm and Tom Hamer scored either side of the break while Stevenage were forced to play with 10 men for 30 minutes after Dan Butler lashed out at Helm.

Kane Hemmings scored with two minutes left but ultimately the Brewers managed to put an end to their 10-game winless run and gain a slight advantage over 21st-placed Port Vale with a valiant victory.

Paterson said: “I am so pleased with the group because of the effort. It took humility and hard work and when the chances came from the back of that framework the freedom came.

“We have got character and we have been pushing really hard for a performance like that. We have been through a bit of a dip and we always knew we had the character to get out of that.

“There have been so many opportunities and heartbreaks along this road in terms of games but most importantly now we have put a small marker down is the players recover and live right.

“As a group we have been working on a lot of things to promote things in terms of confidence and awareness of taking a little bit more time.

“But that is what happens when you are in there and you are fighting every week for status. I don’t necessarily care about the name on the back, it is about working as a collective and we have to be unified now.”

As much as it was a galvanising victory for Burton, for Stevenage they have now seen any chance of promotion almost slip from their grasp as they sit six points away from the play-off spots with two games left.

Manager Steve Evans said: “It has been an incredible effort and we have come up a bit short over the season but we will try to go to Oxford and be competitive.

“I think a lot of people would take fifth from bottom, where the likes of Burton are, but it has been an incredible amount of hard work.

“I can only applaud them, I can’t do that today because we lacked a lot. But I am not a manager to throw them in the river because there has been some really bright days.

“We are asking a lot of the players to play at the highest they have played and there hasn’t been a game since I have been here that has not had something resting on it, including today.

“We have gone to the well but found it a bit dry over the past few weeks.”

Tom Hamer scored the vital goal in a 2-1 victory against 10-man Stevenage to move Burton three points clear of relegation.

Mark Helm netted late in the first half and after Dan Butler was sent off, Hamer added a buffer to the score which proved crucial when Kane Hemmings struck two minutes from time.

The victory saw Albion open a three-point gap between them and 21st-placed Port Vale while Stevenage fell six points behind Oxford heading into the final two games.

Boro dominated the first-half possession but Helm scored with the game’s first shot on target when he diverted Sam Hughes’ flick-on past Craig MacGillivray just before half-time.

Helm was to cause more damage to Stevenage after the break when a tussle with Butler ended with the Boro defender lashing out and seeing red and Hamer made sure Burton took advantage of the extra man by lashing in Hughes’ pass.

Stevenage were much improved in the second half but couldn’t find a way past Max Crocombe until the 88th minute when Hemmings converted Jamie Reid’s cross.

Oxford produced an attacking masterclass to down strugglers Burton 4-0 at the Pirelli Stadium and boss Des Buckingham thoroughly enjoyed himself as his side returned to the League One play-off places.

Mark Harris’ double alongside goals from Josh Murphy and James Henry left Buckingham delighted.

“A very enjoyable evening,” Buckingham said. “Four goals again and starting to show that cutting edge that was missing for a little bit, but we knew that would come and now it is about making sure that we continue through.”

Oxford seem to be timing their run well but with three home games against fellow promotion contenders to come in the next week Buckingham knows that levels have to remain high.

“It was always going to click, and it was only a matter of time before we did. Now whether it is Peterborough, Stevenage or Lincoln in the next six days we need to take today into there,” he added.

On Harris, he said: “He is getting towards his target, and we will try and get him past it if we can. He was very calm for the first goal and still had half the pitch to run and take the keeper on but he has Josh Murphy on one side and Owen Dale on the other creating space and opportunities for him.

“Mark is reaping the rewards of the hard work he is putting in but also the work of those around him.”

Defeat for Burton extended their winless run to 10 games and saw them drop into the bottom four, leaving boss Martin Paterson taking responsibility for results but blasting an “unprofessional” performance from his side.

“It lands on me as the manager,” Paterson said. “I accept full responsibility for that performance which was unprofessional in my opinion.

“From every single attacking set-play we were transitioned, and they were in our box to look like they would score, and we allowed a team who I had identified as being dangerous in transition to do that and it beggars belief really.

“We seem to have a massive issue playing at home at the moment. The players look scared, and it shows.

“We started playing and passing it at 4-0 down because the pressure is off, but it is bitterly disappointing to see a performance like that.”

Mark Harris’ double helped push Oxford back into the League One play-off places as they ruthlessly beat Burton 4-0 at the Pirelli Stadium.

A long throw from Tom Hamer into the Oxford box was cleared and, when Tolaji Bola misjudged his header on halfway, Harris was able to race away, round keeper Max Crocombe and slot home midway through the first half.

The Welsh striker continued to torment the Brewers defence, adding a second early in the second half by bundling the ball in from eight yards out.

Josh Murphy grabbed a well-deserved goal shortly afterwards, driving from his own half to score on the counter-attack.

And, as Albion’s defence capitulated, substitute James Henry added a fourth from inside the box, dispossessing Ryan Sweeney before firing into the bottom corner.

The margin of defeat pushed Albion into the bottom four on goal difference after Port Vale’s point at Wigan.

Burton manager Martin Paterson has confidence his side can avoid relegation from League One after taking encouragement from their performance in a 1-1 draw at Wigan.

The Brewers responded well to falling behind to a bizarre Sam Hughes own goal just before half-time and they levelled nine minutes into the second half through John Brayford.

Both sides hit the woodwork – Burton through Joe Hugill and Wigan through Thelo Aasgaard – as honours ended even, leaving Burton one point and one place above the drop zone.

“It was a great point for us, and you could argue we had enough chances to win the game in the second half,” Paterson said.

“It was a crazy goal we conceded, and we did well to react from that. We gave them a goal but we showed great character in the group.

“To come to Wigan and put in a performance like that, I’m looking forward to the next six games.

“We were the better team in the second half, we kept playing, we kept fighting, and I’m confident we will achieve the remit of staying in the division.

“The challenge now is to pick up the results that the performances deserve, because I actually think we deserved to win that game.”

Paterson also played a straight bat when asked about an incident directly after the full-time whistle, when he restrained Hughes, who appeared to be on his way into the away end to confront a Burton fan.

“I don’t want to comment on anything that happened,” he said.

“All I will say is that I make sure my players remain safe at all times.”

Wigan boss Shaun Maloney was not happy with the majority of his side’s performance.

“I liked the last 15-20 minutes,” said Maloney. “The first 70 minutes, I didn’t like.

“I didn’t like the performance, I didn’t like the feeling I got from my team, we just sort of drifted through the first three-quarters of the game.

“I said before the game that Burton were very well organised, they’re hard to break down, and they’re fighting for their lives.

“And there were a few things that happened that make me think we were probably lucky not to lose that game.
“They also hit the post, and every set-play caused us problems.

“I know we hit the bar and we had some good chances at the end but, for large parts of the game, I didn’t like how we played.”

Ryan Loft scored late on to give Port Vale a crucial 1-0 victory at Burton to end their 14-game winless run.

The striker pounced seven minutes from time to give Vale a first win of 2024 and pull themselves to within three points of Sky Bet League One safety.

Vale’s James Wilson fired the first effort of the game into the side netting and Burton keeper Jamal Blackman had to tip Nathan Smith’s goalbound header from a corner over the bar.

Albion’s best moments came from Mark Helm, the midfielder agonisingly wide with a curling effort while Connor Ripley had to come out of his goal to block him after an exchange of passes with Joe Hugill.

Burton captain John Brayford poked wide early in the second half before Vale’s Ben Garrity struck the post from Tom Sang’s corner.

The decisive moment came on a counterattack, Loft initially crossing for Ethan Chislett and, when the striker’s shot bounced back off the post, he was there to smash the ball in from close range.

Exeter manager Gary Caldwell hailed a terrific team performance as his 10 men took a giant leap towards League One safety with a 1-0 win over Burton at St James Park.

Reece Cole struck the only goal of the game, in the 41st minute, before Exeter’s Zak Jules was sent off as the players walked down the tunnel at half-time for an incident unseen.

But Exeter dug deep and held firm as Burton pressed for an equaliser, although the Brewers were just as vulnerable on the counter-attack in an end-to-end encounter.

“I thought we started the game really well and we should have scored in the first 15 minutes, we created real clear-cut chances and if we score one of them then the game is totally different,” Caldwell said.

“We then got a bit frustrated midway through the half before we picked it up again and scored an amazing goal with how we wanted to play.

“I didn’t see the incident at half-time, I didn’t see that, but we lost a player and in the second half, the character, the determination and team spirit and understanding of how we wanted to play the game and see the game out was absolutely outstanding.

“They had one moment where they hit the bar, but they didn’t create much else and the way the people inside the stadium stood up in that last 15 minutes when everyone was on their knees – myself included – was fantastic. The players on the park were putting everything in and they needed the supporters to get behind them and they certainly did.”

Deji Oshilaja and John Brayford both hit the bar for Burton, while Antwoine Hackford passed up a good chance.

Frustrated Albion boss Martin Paterson said: “It’s very simple to explain – it was one of the softest goals I have ever seen conceded, a simple give-and-go that can’t happen in professional football; wing-backs getting done on the inside, a cut-back and people not tracking their runners.

“All of a sudden, we are 1-0 down and the problem then is that we don’t score goals. I don’t know the statistic or how many opportunities we had inside the six-yard box to put the ball in the back of the net, I have to be careful I am not hanging anyone personally out to dry, but it will be me that has to take it in the chin.

“I have no problem with that, but the issue is that we don’t take opportunities to score goals. We have to find a way and it is hard to explain because we had, in my opinion, five or six clear-cut opportunities at goal and have not scored one.

“It’s unacceptable from myself and from the team. We broke them down, we had a one-v-one, John Brayford hit the bar and there were crosses that should have been converted but we didn’t score and it’s hard to defend that.”

Ten-man Exeter gave their League One survival hopes a huge boost with a hard fought 1-0 win against relegation rivals Burton.

Reece Cole scored the only goal in the 41st minute but City had to play the entire second half with 10 men after Zak Jules was sent off for an incident in the tunnel as the players made their way off at half-time.

Exeter started well and should have been in front inside four minutes, but Luke Harris skied Ilmari Niskanen’s pull-back over the bar.

The deadlock was broken in the 41st minute after a lovely Exeter move. Jack Aitchison played a fine ball to Niskanen and he picked out Cole with a perfect cut-back, and he made no mistake from 12 yards for his fifth goal of the season.

Burton responded well with Deji Oshilaja’s header crashing back off the crossbar, but it took the Brewers 25 minutes of the second half to really get going and when they did, Antwoine Hackford was put in on goal but shot wide when under pressure from Niskanen.

John Brayford crashed a shot against the underside of the crossbar but despite eight minutes added at the end, the Grecians held firm for a deserved win.

Portsmouth manager John Mousinho praised two-goal hero Kusini Yengi after a 2-1 win over Burton retained their lead at the top of League One.

The victory moved leaders Pompey five points clear of second-placed Derby and six in front of Bolton in third.

Mousinho said: “It was a good result. It would be a shame to dwell on the last 10 minutes, because I thought we were excellent in those previous 80 minutes.

“But I said to the players at the end that we need to put games to bed because not doing so allowed them back into the game. Burton changed their shape and personnel which caused us problems at the end.

“We changed shape tonight because of player availability, and I thought it worked well with some good football. We played Kusini because we have options up front, and Colby Bishop has had a heavy workload.

“And, like tonight, he can score goals.”

Albion had the first effort at goal, with Rekeem Harper rattling the Pompey bar in the first minute.

Pompey found life difficult in the final third, but had a superb chance after 37 minutes when Yengi somehow shot wide of an open goal from two yards.

But he made amends in added time, when after having been brought down in the area, got up to score the penalty.

Pompey kept the pressure on in the second half, and despite Abu Kamara blasting high over the bar in the 57th minute, Yengi scored his second six minutes later when he tapped in from a hard low Kamara cross.

Burton pulled one back after 80 minutes when captain John Brayford fired home.

Albion boss Martin Paterson said: “We played a very good team tonight. One that can find holes in defences, so the team did tremendously well.

“My etiquette has always been to not discuss officials, but tonight that changes. The equilibrium of decisions and actions against my football club was not the same as theirs.

“I respect the decision for their penalty, but when my players put in the kind of effort they have tonight, and have an even better penalty shout turned down, it’s difficult not to say something.

“In the second half we made substitutions, changed shape, and scored a good goal.

“It’s totally unfair to my players not to have got a point out of the game. I was really proud of them tonight. We had them on the rack in the last 10 minutes, and the last two games we have been excellent.

“I think we will kick on from this having been denied.”

Kusini Yengi’s double saw Portsmouth take another step closer to the Championship with a 2-1 win against Burton.

The victory moved leaders Pompey five points clear of second-placed Derby and six in front of Bolton in third.

Although Pompey dominated most of the first half, Burton had opportunities without troubling Will Norris.

Albion had the first effort at goal, with Rekeem Harper rattling the Pompey bar in the first minute.

Pompey found life difficult in the final third, but had a superb chance after 37 minutes when Yengi somehow shot wide of an open goal from two yards.

But he made amends in added time, when after having been brought down in the area, got up to score the penalty.

Pompey kept the pressure on in the second half, and despite Abu Kamara blasting high over the bar in the 57th minute, Yengi scored his second six minutes later when he tapped in from a hard low Kamara cross.

Burton pulled one back after 80 minutes when captain John Brayford fired home.

Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson praised his bench after two late goals finally saw off Burton in a 3-1 win for Posh at the Pirelli Stadium.

The game had been heading towards a draw after Ricky-Jade Jones’ opener early in the second half had been cancelled by Albion’s Crystal Palace loanee Ademola Ola-Adebomi’s first senior goal from a long throw – but a late two-goal salvo from defender Josh Knight and substitute Jonson Clarke-Harris ultimately sealed victory for Posh.

“The subs have won the game for us, simple as that,” Ferguson said.

“What has been proven today is that we are going to need everyone. Jonno has come on, scored one and set one up and Malik [Mothersille] has set one up.

“Ricky’s is a real striker’s goal and he needs more of those, but that is 12 for the season for him now and once he started making the runs we wanted him to we started stretching them a bit more and got on top. Then it is about getting the next goal but unfortunately, they got that.”

Posh are now on a five-game winning run, which has seen them solidify a play-off spot and reach Wembley in the Bristol Street Motors Trophy.

And Ferguson said: “At this stage of the season it is just about getting wins and another three goals is just fantastic. I am delighted with that but I always felt, in my own head, that March was going to be a pivotal month for us and we have started it really well.”

Albion stay five points clear of relegation despite the loss, but the Brewers are now the closest team to the bottom four with manager Martin Paterson ruing missed chances that cost his side dear.

“In terms of effort I can’t ask any more of them,” Paterson said post-match. “Ultimately you can look at it and they had 14 shots to our 12 so in the cold light of day the story is that they stuck the ball in the net and we didn’t.”

Ola-Adebomi’s goal gave Albion parity after Deji Oshilaja had earlier seen a header hit the post but Albion squandered opportunities.

“We had moments and chances but we didn’t punish them. Ultimately, we didn’t score the goals that were required,” the Burton boss added.

“I think everybody had us down for a defeat today but because of the performance, in parts, we should have got something from the game. It’s a sickener but I have to take it on the chin.”

Albion now face two tough games on the road, starting with a trip to leaders Portsmouth.

Paterson said: “We gave up goals today that were uncharacteristic for us and now we have to go away from home for two games and pick up points. And that is a necessity.”

Peterborough swept to a fourth straight win as late goals from Josh Knight and substitute Jonson Clarke-Harris sealed a 3-1 win at Burton.

Albion looked to be on for a hard-earned point when Crystal Palace loanee Ademola Ola-Adebomi’s first senior goal cancelled out Ricky-Jade Jones’ opener.

A tight first half saw chances at a premium. Max Crocombe in the Burton goal had a make a sharp stop with his feet to deny Jones whilst a low save to deny Joel Randall was more comfortable for the Burton stopper.

Tolaji Bola blocked a close-range effort from Randall as Posh began to threaten but it was Albion who spurned the best chance of the half when Bobby Kamwa fired over from close range after good work from Joe Hugill on the right.

Posh went through the gears early in the second half and carved out the breakthrough when Jones glanced a header over Crocombe from Harrison Burrows’ cross.

Deji Oshilaja saw a header come back off the post before Albion equalised with 20 minutes to go, Ola-Adebomi getting the final touch to guide Tom Hamer’s long throw past Jed Steer.

Albion looked to have secured a vital point until Knight scored with two minutes to go, Clarke-Harris putting the gloss on victory with a stoppage-time finish from close range.

Cheltenham boss Darrell Clarke praised defender Tom Bradbury for another fine performance after his late goal-line clearance preserved a valuable point against Burton.

It was an uninspiring contest between the relegation rivals, with Cheltenham controlling much of the first half without seriously testing visiting goalkeeper Max Crocombe.

However, Burton nearly snatched the points deep into added time at the end of the game, when Manchester United loanee Joe Hugill reached a ball over the top ahead of advancing Cheltenham keeper Luke Southwood.

His shot rolled towards an empty net, but Bradbury chased it and timed his lunge to perfection, clearing just as the ball was about to cross the line.

“It was great defending,” Clarke said. “Tom has been great since I’ve been in the building.

“He’s had to wait for his chance and he’s taken it because he is defending superbly at the minute.

“He has to keep that focus and concentration levels to try and turn him into a decent League One player and that’s what we are trying to do with Tom and numerous players we have in the squad, trying to get them to hit the levels.

“With recent performances and not just today, Tom is doing that because he’s been very strong.”

Clarke was disappointed to see his side lose their impetus in the second half and he felt a draw was the fair result.

“It was a frustrating second-half performance from ourselves,” he said.

“In the first half, we had a lot of control, got into some dangerous areas and I was hoping for us to kick on second half, but we didn’t do that.

“We didn’t create the opportunities I like to create and we didn’t get our forward play going.”

Despite having most of the possession during the first half, they could not muster a shot on target.

Burton’s Ademola Ola-Adebomi saw an effort comfortably saved by Southwood in the 13th minute, but defences were very much on top, with several important blocks in both boxes.

Cheltenham felt they should have been awarded a penalty in the 28th minute when George Lloyd went down under a challenge from Steve Seddon, but referee Thomas Parsons waved away their appeals.

Tom Hamer made an excellent challenge on the line to deny Matty Taylor in the 32nd minute before Seddon fired one high over the bar.

Ola-Adebomi also shot over in the 58th minute and Cheltenham threatened late on when Josh Harrop’s cross was met by Taylor, but it was blocked in the box, before Bradbury’s stoppage-time intervention saved a point for the hosts.

Burton boss Martin Paterson admitted he thought Hugill’s shot was going to trickle in.

“As I was watching it roll, I was right behind it and I was trying everything, I even tried to let a little blow out,” he said.

“I don’t know what was going on and whether it got stuck in the mud, but I was trying to get that ball over the line, even though it’s impossible!

“Joe came on and looked sharp and again, had a chance on goal, so that is food for thought.

“Cheltenham are fourth in the form table so I knew it was going to be a hard combative game.

“I thought we defended really well and we were better in the second half. We showed promise in front of goal, but we’ll respect the point and ultimately it’s a good point.”

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