Burton Albion 5-2 Fleetwood Town: Brewers blitz Fleetwood in electric second half
Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Burton Albion and Fleetwood Town played out a seven-goal thriller, as Jimmy Floyd Hasselbank's side denied Fleetwood a league double.

The game started slowly but really came to life in the second period, in which five of the game's goals were scored, as Burton put on a ruthless attacking display.

Story of the game

Ultimately, both sides came into the game with very little to play for, with Burton having secured another season in League One at the weekend and Fleetwood themselves occupying a mid-table spot in the division.

One thing the visitors could contend for was a league double over their opponents. Fleetwood won the reverse fixture 2-1 back in September thanks to goals from the departed Paddy Madden and top scorer Callum Camps.

The visiting team made a quicker start, with John Brayford doing well to block Camps’ early effort from inside the area. Initially, however, both teams were tentative in possession in a game that had the feel of a so-called dead rubber from the start.

Burton’s first real chance came 15 minutes in when a well-worked corner found its way to Lucas Akins, who had two close-range efforts blocked on their way to goal.

Ten minutes later, Akins again found space in the box with Ryan Edwards ready to receive the ball in the middle of the box,  but the ball was cut out before it could reach the midfielder.

It took some great initiative from Albion midfielder Terry Taylor to produce the first goal of the game. Taylor dispossessed Sam Finley, and the ball rolled to Akins, who took one touch out his feet and curled the ball into the top left corner.

Before the first goal could be digested, Joe Powell stepped up to take a free-kick from around 25-yards out and whipped it into the net off the right post to give Hasselbank’s side breathing space in a game that seemed unlikely to produce any fireworks to start with.

Overall, the half lacked real attacking intent on either end; it was just two moments of individual brilliance from Akins and Powell that ensured Burton had a two-goal cushion at the break.

The heavens opened up in the second half, and as the rain came lashing down, the hosts pushed for a third, with Sean Clare seeing his deflected effort roll just wide of the post with the ‘keeper rooted to his spot.

Fleetwood were slowly being pushed back by Burton, who seemed to be seeing out the game well before Kyle Vassell broke with the ball down the left-hand side and played the ball across and into the path of Finley, who touched the ball past the on-rushing Kieran O’Hara and into the net.

The hosts responded well to the unexpected setback. They almost instantly restored their two-goal lead, as Danny Rowe fired a cross into the box, which Callum Connolly almost diverted into his own net but was saved by the crossbar.

The Fleetwood goal sprung the second-half into life, as Simon Grayson’s side went back down the other end and had a goal-bound effort from full-back Danny Andrew blocked on the line to deny them the equaliser they coveted.

With their lead retained, the hosts were able to deliver the sucker punch – Tom Hamer hit a cultured strike with the outside of his boot into the bottom right corner after substitute Jonny Smith rolled the ball into his path.

Just like that, the hosts had their two-goal advantage back and had something substantial to hold to the final whistle.

Burton could have seen the game out there, but instead, they went for the jugular. Substitute and top scorer Cane Hemmings scored two great goals between a consolation goal from Jordan Rossiter as the game ended with a flurry of goals.

Talking points

Powell's free-kick a joy to behold

The attacking midfielder scored a brilliant free-kick on Saturday against Wigan Athletic and tried to one-up himself on this occasion.

There was not a whole lot to separate the sides in the first half, at least not before the 22-year-old waved his wand of a left foot at the ball and arrowed his free-kick seemingly off both posts and into the net.

Fleetwood much improved in the second, but it was not enough

The Cod Army made a slow start to the half, but after scoring, they seemed to kick into gear for a brief period in which the game became an end-to-end affair.

However, the next goal was always going to be crucial, and despite having clear-cut chances to grab an equaliser, the Brewers got the goal which ultimately killed the game.

Star player

Lucas Akins

Burton's busy bee up top - Akins ultimately deserved his first-half strike, which was excellently taken for his endeavour in a half where chances to score were few and far between.

The game opened up more in the second, and although the striker did not find another goal, his off the ball work and hold up play created plenty of opportunities for others.