Date: 19th December 2011 at 5:14pm
Written by:

Sorry it is late this week, but Christmas shopping with my wife had to be my priority this weekend. Not my decision you understand, but anything for a peaceful home life.

Looking around for news of ex-Burton players, we`ll kick-off (no pun intended) in the Championship with our near-neighbours, Derby County. Anyone who has read a newspaper since Saturday afternoon will know that Young Mr Clough wasn`t too happy with the goal the Rams conceded against the newly-resurgent Ipswich Town. Having seen the “goal” he has a point, but the attempted clearance by John Brayford was deemed to be too late, with the referee deciding the ball had crossed the line. That defeat saw Derby drop to sixteenth place in the table, with no sign of their recent slump ending. Needless to say Adam Legzdins watched on from the bench and this week there was no place for Jake Buxton, who was omitted from the matchday squad.

Also in the Championship, Nottingham Forest remain in the relegation places but at least picked up a point in a 0-0 draw at Bristol City. Lee Camp, our former loanee from Derby County at the time, got himself a confidence-boosting clean sheet into the bargain.

Dropping down a level into League One, Artur Krysiak also got himself a clean sheet as Exeter City drew 0-0 at home to Scunthorpe United, and Scott Malone missed AFC Bournemouth`s 2-0 home defeat to Sheffield United due to sustaining a hamstring tear. Unfortunately for our former Wolves loanee, this is likely to bring his stay at Dean Court to a premature conclusion which was due to end in January.

Good news however for Shaun Harrad, he actually got some time on the pitch this weekend! Only three minutes I`ll grant you, but playing time nonetheless and hopefully this will see a change in fortune for one of my favourite ex-Brewers. Bury`s 1-1 home draw with Brentford may well end up being a turning point for Shaun. Well hopefully.

Robin Shroot was brought into the action as a first-half substitute for Stevenage as they beat Tranmere 2-1 at home. Not content with just being on the pitch, it was Shroot`s free-kick that set up Mark Roberts for the winner.

Down in the depths of League Two there were a fair few of our old boys running around, getting themselves all muddy. Bryan Hughes continued his run in the centre of midfield for “who are Accrington Stanley” in their 3-1 home win over Torquay, even getting himself on the scoresheet. Exactly.

Crewe went one better than we did last week, taking a point off of Crawley in their 1-1 draw at Gresty Road, with Lee Bell playing the whole game. Just down the road another former loanee, Adam Yates, played for Port Vale as they hammered Aldershot 5-0, with former Stafford Rangers player Guy Madjo greedily helping himself to a hat-trick. Greg Pearson came on for Aldershot as a 55th minute sub`, but couldn`t help turn the tide in the favour of his present club.

Lewis Young found himself coming off the bench for Northampton Town in their 2-0 defeat at Oxford United, and James Collins played the full game for Shrewsbury as they put Macclesfield to the sword, winning 1-0 at home.

Things are getting no better for Matt Duke, who watched on from the bench as Bradford picked up a rare away victory, winning 1-0 at fast imploding Southend United. How he must be hoping Jon McLaughlin slips on the ice in the training ground car park soon.

Finally in our division, Russ Penn had to miss out through suspension as Cheltenham Town got themselves a 2-2 draw away to Barnet on Friday evening.

Down into non-league and Jon Shaw played the first half for Gateshead in their 2-1 BSP defeat away to Wrexham, for whom Lee Fowler played the first fifty-eight minutes, whilst Serge Makofo stayed nice and dry on the bench for Grimsby as they beat Ebbsfleet 4-3 at Blundell Park. Over at Mansfield Town, Adam Murray played the full game as they lost 3-1 at Southport. Shane Redmond was on the bench, but there was no sign of Bradford City loanee Nialle Rodney. Maybe he missed the coach.

Dropping into the Blue Square North, Richard Walker appeared for Solihull Moors in their 1-1 away draw with Stalybridge Celtic: Lee Morris missed out this time around. Lee Ayres may or may not have played for Worcester City as they won 2-0 away to John Newby`s Colwyn Bay, but I can`t find a line-up online so will assume that he played a starring roll.

In the Welsh Premier League Garyn Preen kept his boots clean as Neath v Prestatyn Town fell victim to the weather.

And that pretty much sums up everything I can find out for this past weekend. I was going to focus on brief Brewer Simon Whaley today, having discovered that he was turning out for Chorley FC in the Northern Premier League Premier Division. No sooner do I discover this little gem then he goes and retires, finishing at the age of twenty-six due to a persistent knee injury. As a player I had seen turn out for Bury and Preston on many occasions, I was genuinely excited when he signed for us on a short-term deal last season. However it wasn`t to be and we only got the occasional glimpse of a player who had been on the verge of a move to the Premier League whilst with Preston.

Therefore, the spotlight today falls on Danny Bacon, a player who graced the Pirelli pitch during our inaugural season at the new stadium. Having slipped away from Lincoln City, from whom he had joined us on loan during the 2005/2006 season, he spent time at Hednesford Town, Hucknall Town and Worksop Town, before pitching up at the grandly named Rainsworth Miners Welfare FC, where he now turns out. A forward who was unable to score too many goals in the professional leagues, it was no surprise to see him drift back into the part-time game.

So that`s it from me for this week, except to wish you all a very happy Christmas and New Year. Here`s looking forward to much Burton Albion success in 2012 and I hope that next year brings you all that you wish for and more.