Burton Albion v QPR – How Predictable it all was!

Capital One Cup 2nd Round

Team: Murphy, Simpson, Dunne, Onuoha, Hill, Henry (Mutch), Faurlin (Fer), Wright-Phillips (Zamora), Hoilett, Phillips, Taarabt.

Subs Not Used: Green, Harriman, Ehmer, Doughty.

Attendance: 3,999

Burton Albion FC was formed as recently as 1950, but prior to this the town has had various football clubs, namely; Burton Wanderers who were formed in 1871 and later merged with Burton Swifts to form Burton United. There was also Burton All Saints who originated in the 1900’s before becoming Burton Town until the club’s demise in 1940.

Gordon Macey informs me that QPR have played just one previous match against a Burton based side. On 2nd April 1898, Rangers played a home friendly against Burton Swifts which we lost 2-3. Our goalscorers were McDavid and Evans. The team that day was; F. Hunt, J. Smith, F. Hughes, W. Walburn, F. Brooks, Mason, E. Hadwick, Evans, H. Hughes, R. McDavid and E. Wallington.

Pirelli Stadium is the current home of Burton Albion. Built in 2005, it replaced their previous ground which was demolished and turned into housing.

Some R’s fans had looked forward to the opportunity of visiting a new ground and as the Brewers were sitting in 4th place in League Two perhaps this would also include witnessing a rare cup win?


Harry Redknapp made ten changes and I have to say that apart from the young players that were excluded, the biggest surprise for me was the inclusion of Adel Taarabt to the starting line-up.

The first real chance of the night fell to the home side when Adam McGurk’s shot was easily saved by the Rangers custodian. Then, after 6 minutes or so, Alex MacDonald’s effort went just wide of the far post.

On 13 minutes, a good move from the R’s resulted in Karl Henry’s shot being deflected to a lurking Adel Taarabt, but he screwed the ball wide.

It was the Brewers who looked the more dangerous and Brian Murphy was forced down to make a very good save after Knowles had broken free. The home side went very close again after 19 minutes when MacDonald shot just inches wide of the post.

At the other end, Junior Hoilett pulled the trigger from 20 yards after being set up by Adel Taarabt but the ball bounced off the crossbar. Despite his long absence, Taarabt was certainly having his moments. Alexander MacDonald was booked after 27 minutes for a cynical foul on the Moroccan.

After a defensive mix-up in the 33rd minute, MacDonald somehow managed to get a shot in and Brian Murphy made a superb save with his body. John Mousinho was booked for another foul on Adel Taarabt.

As one added minute was announced, Marcus Harness unleashed a shot from outside the box which was deflected en route and momentarily it looked as if it was going on to hit the back of the net, but thankfully it ended up just wide. Half-time: 0-0.

Within minutes of the re-start, Taarabt shot just wide and 5 minutes later Danny Simpson was shown yellow after fouling MacDonald. There was some concern at the far end of the pitch when Ale Faurlin went down and after receiving some attention he left the field to be replaced by Leroy Fer.

Alexander MacDonald shot just wide of the target from outside the box and in the 76th minute, Richard Dunne was booked and the subsequent free kick was curled over the wall by McGurk and into the top right-hand corner.

A few minutes later, Shaun Wright-Phillips was taken off and the introduction of Bobby Zamora briefly lifted the spirits of the away contingent. Despite all his best efforts it was to be a lost cause.

Their fans chanted; ‘Premier League You’re Having a Laugh’ from time to time and on one occasion towards the end some R’s fans had had enough and joined in with them!

Jordon Mutch for Karl Henry was the final change after 81 minutes and the referee blew his whistle for the final time after 5 added minutes,

Harry Redknapp said on BBC Radio 5 Live after the game: “You give players an opportunity and you hope they can take it. But they didn’t take the opportunity tonight!”

Maybe you gave that opportunity to some of the wrong players Harry! And why weren’t the likes of Doughty, Harriman and Ehmer given their chance to shine? I have to say that I think it’s an absolute disgrace that they were overlooked!!!

My thanks go to Dave Llewellyn for the lift up to Burton from Hemel (and back of course) and to Roger Stokes for the first and final stage of the trip. He also put his foot down to make sure that I made the last 258 bus from Watford Junction to South Harrow.

Steve Russell