By Jon Harries
Last Saturday was a Dons masterclass in the first half on Saturday v Cambridge United. Scott Twine opened the scoring after Warren O’Hora played Watters in down the right whose ball across was tapped in at the back post.
The lead was then doubled after McEachran found Twine in a pocket of space, his ball through found Watters who took a touch before burying the chance. Twine then made it three with a trademark free kick. Simply put the best 45 minutes under Manning’s tenure IMHO.
The second half Cambridge woke up and finally played the way I expected them to. Putting our players under pressure on the ball and playing with tempo and purpose, but It didn’t stop us getting a 4th goal. Jack Iredale passing the ball straight to Twine, and after a clever one two with Watters and he smashed it into the ball into the roof of the net, that’s 5 goals in his last 4 appearances.
“Watters on fire your defence is terrified”
Cambridge scored a consolation goal through Sam Smith but in truth the game was won in the first half.
Their most recent game was the FA Cup replay at the Lamex against Stevenage. I only listened on the radio but from what fans have said that were there most opinions were the ref ruined the game. Harry Darling scored just before halftime before Josh Martin was sent off for…….. apparently violent conduct, but I can’t see anything in the footage going around social media and I fully expect to it to be rescinded.
45 minutes to hang on but unfortunately Jamie Reed scored from a header and although we hung on right until the end of extra time, a Harry Darling foul on Elliott List earned a second yellow card, and an opportunity for Luke Norris to send Stevenage through from the spot which he converted. In the grand scheme of the season this isn’t a major issue, it’s the way it happened that is.
Saturday’s opponents Burton Albion started the season with three wins in a row and the rise from relegation threat at the start of last season to being part of several teams with a realistic chance of promotion at the start of this season. The wheels though have slowly come off though for Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink with a small squad and injuries to key players being a massive part of their decline down the table including losing their last three League 1 games to Oxford, Wigan, and Charlton. They didn’t help themselves when Deji Oshilaja and Jayden Stockley decided that they wanted an early night tangling with each other at a corner and both been sent off. Charlton took the lead through Ben Purrington and comfortably hung on with Burton offering next to nothing and their fans asking for some identity. Currently 13th in the table they will hope to be there or thereabouts come the end of the season.
Ben Garratt and Jamie O’Hara are two competent goalkeepers, the former currently holding the shirt. John Brayford and Michael Bostwick have tasted promotion previously with Lincoln, Jonny Smith and Joe Powell are very talented midfielders capable of individual moments of magic and Daniel Jebbison (loan from Sheffield United) is one to watch in the future.
The man in focus is striker Kane Hemmings. Burton’s form over the recent seasons has been down to the Scotsman. It was hoped Louis Moult could take the burden off Hemmings, but he picked up an injury in preseason and isn’t expected back until January, so Hemmings is tasked with the huge burden of leading the line. Great with the physical side of play and clever movement he missed the start of the season himself with injury. 15 goals like last season might be a push but if he gets double figures Burton will be OK, but he currently boasts just 2 from 13 games, and midfielder Tom O’Connor currently leads the scoring just 4 from 13 games.
Predicted Line Up
Kioso – Baldwin – O’Hora – Lewington – Harvie
Kasumu – McEachran – O’Riley
Twine – Watters
I imagine Burton will set up similarly to Cambridge therefore one enforced change with Darling suspension. Watters is on form, but Eisa and Parrott will be waiting in the wings. I predict a 3-1 win with Watters x 2 and Parrott to score. I’m still not confident on a clean sheet though but I am confident of a win.
Photo Credits – Bestqwallpapers & Burton Albion FC