Match: Burton Albion v Aston Villa
Date: April 8, 2017
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
Venue: Pirelli Stadium
Weather: 19C, sunny
Jonathan Kodjia (3 mins)
Lloyd Dyer (61 mins)
Villa’s stretched their unbeaten run to five games as they were held to a draw against Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium.
Jonathan Kodjia’s 19th goal of the season got the claret and blues off to a perfect start, only for former Bodymoor Heath academy player Lloyd Dyer to level in the second period.
It was a bittersweet afternoon for man of the moment Kodjia.
He was alert to intercept Ben Turner’s miskick to place a shot past Jon McLaughlin just three minutes in.
The Ivory Coast international then had to be replaced on 35 minutes after picking up a knock – Scott Hogan entering the field.
As expected, there was a response to the early opener from Nigel Clough’s battling Brewers despite few chances for either side.
There was a big let off for Villa just shy of the interval – former Wolves winger Michael Kightly met the lively Dyer’s cutback but his effort crashed off the post.
The early stages of the second period followed a similar pattern.
The Brewers won a number of set pieces – Bruce’s side showing their resilience to block and clear at the necessary moments.
Villa were always a threat on the break and almost scored their second – Jordan Amavi’s attempt blocked by two bodies – Albert Adomah’s follow-up into the side netting.
Burton carved a big chance to draw level soon after – Marvin Sordell meeting a cross into the box, his header just over the intended target.
They equalised just after the hour – Dyer meeting a long ball over the top and volleying past Sam Johnstone.
Bruce introduced Jack Grealish and Conor Hourihane as they looked for an immediate response.
After Alan Hutton and Amavi had both seen efforts blocked and edge off target respectively, former Barnsley man Hourihane let fly with a low attempt – stopper McLaughlin equal to it.
To their credit, both teams pushed for a clincher with the visitors finishing marginally stronger before referee Lee Probert blew the full-time whistle.
BURTON ALBION: McLaughlin, Flanagan, Brayford (C), McFadzean, Turner, Sordell (Varney 86), Dyer, Woodrow (Akins 71), Kightly (Mousinho 80), Murphy, Irvine. Unused subs: Bywater, McCrory, Naylor, Miller.
VILLA: Johnstone, Hutton, Chester (C), Baker, Taylor, Jedinak, Lansbury (Grealish 65), Bacuna, Adomah (Hourihane 66), Amavi, Kodjia (Hogan 36). Unused subs: Bunn, Elphick, Bree, Gardner.
Referee: Mr L.Probert
Assistant Referee 1: Mr J.Mainwaring
Assistant referee 2: Mr B. Smallwood
Fourth Official: Mr P.Dermott