Burton grabbed what could be a crucial three points in their fight against relegation in League One with a 3-2 win over Reading at the Pirelli Stadium.

Albion secured a first win on home soil in nine attempts and hauled themselves five points clear of Cheltenham, who have one game in hand.

Burton got off to a rapid start with two goals in the first 11 minutes.

Mason Bennett reacted quickest to Joe Powell’s low curling free-kick to smash home at the second attempt from inside the six-yard box in the fifth minute.

Mustapha Carayol chose the perfect time to curl home his first of the season with a superb effort from the edge of the box just six minutes later.

Reading always looked dangerous going forwards and it took a free-kick from skipper Lewis Wing to halve the deficit before Bobby Kamwa added a third for Albion just before half-time, blasting in from close range after Reading had failed to clear their lines.

The visitors scored again just before the hour mark when Sam Smith beat Max Crocombe from the penalty spot after Jasper Moon had been adjudged to have brought down Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan.

Albion survived a nervy final half hour as Reading pushed for an equaliser to give their survival hopes a massive boost.

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.

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.

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.”

Burton’s League One game with fellow strugglers Cheltenham has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

The Pirelli Stadium surface failed an inspection after heavy rain on Tuesday afternoon.

A Burton statement read: “Tonight’s game against Cheltenham FC has been called off due to a waterlogged pitch.

“The match referee inspected the pitch, which has been hit by a large deluge of rain this afternoon, and informed both clubs that the game could not go ahead.”

Burton are 18th in the table, four points above the relegation zone, with Cheltenham third bottom and seven points from safety.

Burton interim manager Gary Mills was “proud” of his side after claiming back-to-back wins at the Pirelli Stadium with a hard-fought 1-0 success over Shrewsbury.

The home side took the lead with their first chance of the game, Joe Powell’s corner whipped perfectly onto the head of striker Beryly Lubala, who guided his effort into the back of the net on 16 minutes.

Mills said: “I’m absolutely delighted with the attitude and application of the boys over the Christmas period.

“The willingness to defend the goal as a unit is something we’ve been working on and we’re really proud.

“The game played out exactly as we planned for, we know they’re effective in what they do which makes us so proud is what we achieved as a group.”

Despite the narrow manner of the victory, Mills was particularly impressed with the quality his side showed in the defensive third of the pitch.

He added: “The lads put their bodies on the line and showed that want to keep the ball out of the net as well as the solidarity, spirit and togetherness.

“I’d hoped the forward players would help their defenders out and put the ball in the net a few more times but they’re warriors.

“The group are really together and they want to perform for each other and the football club which is fantastic.”

Shrewsbury boss Matt Taylor was disappointed with the nature of the defeat but wanted to highlight his players’ work-rate and commitment.

Taylor said: “I felt we did enough to win the game let alone lose it.

“I know it can’t be that a team only has to score one goal to beat us but we’re in a tough moment in terms of results but, more importantly, we’re in a really difficult spot in terms of available players.

“I can’t question the players’ effort but I can question the quality when we’re in those big moments when we get chances because the players have done it this season and we know they can do it.”

The Salop faithful were audibly upset with what they were seeing from their team and Taylor was keen to sympathise with the supporters.

He added: “I can hear their frustrations and I’ve got no issues with that but you have to understand where we are.

“This football club did really well last season with a different group of players and where we are now with the players we have available, we’re at full stretch.

“I knew the job would be tough but what I didn’t expect was all of these unforeseen issues where we would pick up injuries that you’d argue are some of our best players and make it really difficult for us.”

Burton and Bolton had to settle for a point apiece as goals from Mark Helm and Dion Charles cancelled each other out in a 1-1 draw at the Pirelli Stadium.

Helm put Burton ahead soon after half-time before Bolton, looking to get back to winning ways after their 4-0 home defeat to Wigan last time out, equalised through Charles just before the hour.

Albion had the clearest opening of the first half when winger Bobby Kamwa took advantage of some poor Bolton defending to run through and round goalkeeper Nathan Baxter only for his effort to hit the post.

Kamwa also fired wide from the edge of the box as Wanderers made a nervy start but the visitors grew into the game and both Randell Williams and Charles forced good saves from Max Crocombe in the Brewers goal.

The second half could not have started any better for Burton with Helm firing home a minute after the break when the Wanderers defence failed to deal with Kamwa’s cross.

However, Bolton were level just before the hour when Charles pounced on indecisive Burton defending on the edge of the box to score.

Crocombe made an outstanding save to deny former Burton striker Victor Adeboyejo as Bolton pushed for all three points but neither side could find a winner in a pulsating encounter.

Derby recorded a first-ever victory at the Pirelli Stadium as they beat Burton 3-0 in Sky Bet League One.

James Collins, skipper Conor Hourihane and Conor Washington all netted as the Rams got their season up and running after last week’s 2-1 home defeat to Wigan.

Collins, a former Albion loan player, struck an early blow, heading home in the seventh minute to convert Hourihane’s free-kick from the right.

Burton almost found themselves two behind a couple of minutes later, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing denied at close quarters by a smart save from Jamal Blackman.

Burton went close in the first half through Sam Hughes, who was twice denied by Joe Wildsmith in the Derby goal, while the Rams stopper almost gifted Albion an equaliser by firing a clearance straight at striker Josh Gordon that rebounded over the bar.

Max Bird should have added a second but inexplicably failed to convert a low cross from Mendez-Laing with the goal at his mercy just before the hour mark.

Hourihane’s calm finish with 12 minutes remaining gave Derby the comfort of a two-goal advantage before substitute Washington added a third late on.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.