Match Report: Burton Albion 0-4 Long Eaton United

The tie at Midlands League One between Burton Albion and Long Eaton United took place at The Lamb in Tamworth. As the teams walked out to begin the warm-up the rain seemed to come harder until it was a total downpour. Fortunately, the game took place on a 4G pitch so there was no danger of the match being called off.

Hayleigh Sutton and Paris O’Connor were out with injuries for Burton. This was such a shame as both are such important players. I make no secret as to why I adore Burton and that is due to Jordan Atkin. For me, I believe that she is such an underrated player and one who I would love to see at Villa one day as there aren’t many defenders would handle her pace.

From the referee’s whistle the game was end to end with. Long Eaton tried to use their pace with balls over the top but Charlotte Heggs was playing the role as sweeper keeper well, clearing anything that came near her.

Burton had a good 5-10 minute spell but the Long Eaton keeper, Jamie Lee Kingham, pulled off some cracking saves. This included a great shot by Jordan Atkin that looked destined to go into the net and another by Ellie Milsom. But in this spell the unfortunate thing for Burton was they didn’t seem to contest the second ball enough.

The opening goal came from the penalty spot after Amy Pashley gave Heggs no chance in the goal. The goal seemed to dent Burton’s confidence as Jordan Atkin tried to push them forward but seemed to have no one to pass to on a lot of occasions.

Heggs cleared the ball but it fell to Amy Pashley, Heggs was caught out of position as Pashley hit the ball over Heggs, the keeper managed to get a touch but not enough to tip it over the bar as Long Eaton took a 0-2 lead on the 36th minute.

The second goal really knocked the stuffing out of Burton as Long Eaton had another two chances as Charlotte Heggs pulled off a cracking save in a one on one situation that looked goal bound. And just before half time it looked like being 0-3 but a goal-line clearance saw the score stay at 0-2 as the half time whistle blew.

Photos from Adam Nunn

The introduction of Lucy Copeland in the second half seemed to help Jordan Atkin as she could move onto the wing, her natural position.

Twelve minutes into the half Long Eaton once again added to the score as a great ball across the box picked out Laura Sears who finished with a death touch giving Heggs no chance in the goal as it went bottom corner making the score 0-3 and giving Burton a massive mountain to climb in the second half.

Burton didn’t give up with Jordan pushing them forward and also Lauren Greaves impressing but they just couldn’t find the finish as once again Jamie Lee Kingham stopped anything that came toward her goal. Her saves show why she has been opposition player of the match so many times this season.

In the 75th minute, the game was stopped as Charlotte Heggs was forced to leave the pitch due to an injury. She could barely walk and wanted continue but there was no chance of her carrying on. With no goalkeeper on the bench, the captain Gina Rushton went into the goal. The first thing she did was to become sweeper keeper as once again Long Eaton used their pace over the top but she ran out to clear the ball.

Determined to keep her clean sheet, Jamie Lee Kingham once again made the save when it looked like Jordan Atkin was going to get a consolation late on for Burton.

Late on a corner was delivered into the box for Long Eaton in the 90th minute and it added to Burton’s misery as Shannon Parkes met the incoming ball and it somehow came off the post hitting the player on the line going into the net giving Long Eaton the 0-4 win away from home.

A lot of the players in the Burton team had come from the development as they are struggling with injuries and depth, think this showed on the day. It’s a shame they couldn’t get ahead in the game, it might have gone very differently but after the penalty. Burton was always chasing the game and Long Eaton used this to their advantage taking their chances.

You could see how much Burton missed Hayleigh Sutton and Paris O’Connor. Jordan Atkin (Even though I’m biased) could walk into any team and never look out of place with her pace and delivery, it’s always a pleasure to see her play and was more of a pleasure to get to chat to her after the game. It was great to go back to The Lamb, the former ground of Aston Villa. I hope to return on Wednesday to see Burton Albion take on West Brom and hopefully get to see Jordan Atkin, Lauren Greaves, Lou Anderson and Charlotte Worth get back to winning ways.

Ryan Hamilton instructs his Burton Albion side

Photos from Adam Nunn

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