We may have only met Burton Albion twice previously in our history but last season’s encounter at The Pirelli Stadium had more than enough drama to make up for that lack of games.
Dean Smith took his side to the banks of the River Trent in March looking to recover from back-to-back defeats at home to Huddersfield Town and Wolverhampton Wanderers. Meanwhile, Albion, who many had expected to be the league’s whipping boys, were confounding the critics with a six-game unbeaten run leaving them safely the right side of the drop zone.
Nigel Clough’s side had taken ten points from their previous four home games and they seemed to be well on their way to making that 13 from five as they led 3-1 at the break. Sergi Canos’ first goal since re-joining The Bees had only served to wake The Brewers up as Marvin Sordell struck twice in identical fashion from corners, before Cauley Woodrow added a third, to put the home side in control.
Dean resisted the urge to make changes at the break and that decision paid off six minutes after the break as Lasse Vibe kept his composure to slide home from close range. Attacking the travelling fans in the terrace, the momentum was all with The Bees now. On the hour, a slick passing move saw Canos slide home for his second of the afternoon: his celebration taking him into the heart of the fans behind the goal.
Burton were shell-shocked and the chances kept on coming for The Bees. Florian Jozefzoon was somehow denied by John Brayford on the line, Jota struck a post, and Nico Yennaris had two efforts blocked in quick succession. Just as it looked like the home side might hang on, Jozefzoon fizzed in an unstoppable low ball for Vibe to prod home his second at close range. The Danish striker then turned provider a minute later for Jota to flick past McLaughlin to complete an incredible second-half turnaround.
The victory sent Brentford into the international break on a high with Smith’s side going on to take 14 points from the final eight games of the season to ensure a third straight top ten finish in the second tier. Such a cruel defeat could have crushed The Brewers but they responded strongly, wining at Huddersfield Town and Birmingham City and beating Leeds United at home, to secure their survival with games to spare.
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