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    L Orient


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    Man Utd


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Pirelli Stadium, England

Attendance: 6191

* Local time based on your geographic location.

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Burton Albion 0-0 Man Utd

Seven-year-old William Clough enjoyed the afternoon of his life at the Pirelli Stadium as dad Nigel's Burton battlers held mighty Manchester United to an FA Cup draw.

Clough junior, grandson of legendary manager Brian, sat by his father's side throughout a pulsating 90 minutes which shredded the emotions and ultimately left the Brewers celebrating a lucrative Old Trafford replay on January 18.

It might have been even better too as, for the second time in 12 months, Sir Alex Ferguson's team were totally embarrassed by Conference opposition.

Jon Shaw and Darren Stride both had first-half headers booted off the line by Phil Bardsley, although Burton were grateful for Saul Deeney's injury-time stop to deny a Richie Jones thunderbolt.

But, just as 12 months ago when Exeter drew at the `Theatre of Dreams', this time it was Burton who walked off to a standing ovation, knowing their result was totally deserved, leaving legendary wine buff Ferguson to exit the once home of beer brewing nursing a pretty severe hangover.

  • 'It was a bit of a battle'
  • When the stadium announcement offered ticket details for a potential Old Trafford replay 15 minutes before kick-off, even the home fans in a capacity crowd offered a chortle.

    No-one was laughing when the information was repeated during the interval though, least of all the United fans who demanded `Fergie sort it out' as the teams disappeared back down the tunnel.

    It was at their end that Bardsley had twice been called on to blast the ball of the goalline, both following routine corners which Burton heads had climbed highest to reach.

    Facing a side 104 places below their illustrious visitors, Burton were rated no better than 25-1 chances, odds roughly similar to those being quoted against fellow Conference outfit Exeter when they faced United at the same stage of the competition last year.

    Ferguson declared that embarrassing goalless draw at Old Trafford as the most disappointing FA Cup experience he had ever had as Red Devils chief.

    Clough thought the memories of that miserable afternoon would count against his team but, on a pitch cleared of sand yet still badly rutted, United soon found themselves on the back foot.

    Shaun Harrard had particular reason to feel pleased with himself as he gave the visitors' defence the runaround.

    Had it not been for Wes Brown, United could have suffered but time and again the England star was forced to race back and made vital interceptions and blocks.

    It took the visitors 38 minutes to force their first corner and it almost brought them a goal as Louis Saha met Jones' set-piece with a low diving header which flashed just wide.

    On his first senior start since May 2004, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was named captain, but the Norwegian made little impression in the wide right berth he had been handed when Park Ji-sung pulled out after injuring himself in the warm-up.

    Solskjaer was involved in the build-up to United's two most notable attacking though, finding Bardsley on both occasions.

    The first time, Bardsley cut a cross back for Giuseppe Rossi, who meekly missed his kick. On the second, the young full-back took the responsibility himself, lashing a volley which flashed over Burton's goal.

    It was a similar effort to the one Harrad had let fly with minutes earlier, forcing Tim Howard into a decent save.

    Howard also produced a low stop to deny Chris Hall, although there was little he could have done to keep out the two Burton headers Bardsley cleared.

    Ferguson opted not to make any changes at the interval but after another 13 disappointing minutes which brought just a single decent opportunity, which Kieran Richardson missed after he had been sent through by Mikael Silvestre, the United boss called for the calvary.

    The response was almost immediate as Rooney let fly with a spectacular overhead kick, then Ronaldo set up Saha, whose header was ruled out for offside.

    Saha tumbled under pressure from the excellent Darren Tinson as he tried to reach another Ronaldo pass, then Rooney forced two stops out of Deeney as Burton began to creak.

    But with Tinson and Ryan Austin outstanding at the heart of the home defence, the Brewers survived. Keith Gilroy nearly won it for them at the end too with a deflected effort which forced Howard to scramble across his goal.

  • 'It was a bit of a battle'
  • Burton boss Nigel Clough hailed his part-time side's 'staggering' FA Cup

    draw with Manchester United - then wrote of their chances of finishing the job

    at Old Trafford on January 18.

    Saul Denney's last-gasp save to deny Richie Jones ensured Burton emulated

    fellow Conference outfit Exeter's achievement of 12 months ago by booking a

    third-round replay with the 11-times winners, and an estimated £500,000


    It was the least Burton's part-timers deserved as they humbled a United side,

    who could not find a winner even after Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo had

    been introduced just before the hour mark.

    'It would have been sickening if United had scored at the end and more than a

    little unjust too,' said Clough.

    'For a group of part-time lads to get a 0-0 draw with Manchester United is


    'At half-time, I told the players no-one would remember what they did in the

    first half if they didn't do it again in the second.

    'I don't know how much this will mean to the club in financial terms but if

    you had seen the look on my players' faces at the end, you would realise it will

    mean an awful lot more for them just to get the chance to play at Old Trafford.

    'I was in the Nottingham Forest side that beat United in the FA Cup at Old

    Trafford in 1989 but we have absolutely no chance of doing that.

    'We will lose the replay I am sure but I am equally sure my players will

    enjoy the occasion even more than they did today.'

    'Over the previous couple of years the FA Cup had gone a bit flat in terms of

    shocks but the Conference clubs have really made the FA Cup this year,' said

    Ferguson, who will have new signings Nemanja Vidic and Fabrice Evra available

    for the return.

    'There have been one or two surprise results over the last couple of games.

    Tamworth and Nuneaton have already done the FA Cup proud and today Burton were

    really committed and gave us a very good game.

    'We didn't want a replay and I didn't expect one. If we had taken our chances

    we wouldn't have had to play one but the money will give Burton a lifeline, just

    as it did for Exeter last year.

    'They worked their socks off and there is nothing wrong with the result as

    far as football is concerned.

    'But the most important thing from our point of view is that we are still in

    the competition.'

    Scoring Summary

    • Burton Albion
    • Manchester United

    Match Stats

    • Burton Albion
    • Manchester United
    6(3) Shots (on goal) 12(3)
    5 Fouls 16
    3 Corner kicks 6
    2 Offsides 4
    39% Time of Possession 61%
    0 Yellow Cards 0
    0 Red Cards 0
    3 Saves 3


    • Burton Albion
    • Manchester United