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Potter strike earns battling Oxford United a point
Burton Albion 1
Alfie Potter scored a superb equaliser as Oxford United battled back for a 1-1 draw in npower League Two at the Pirelli Stadium today.
It saw the U's go back into the play-offs and was no more than they deserved after a batlling second-half display.
The Us's were looking to get back to winning ways after the disappointment of the draw with Hereford and the loss to Crewe.
They were also anxious to get back into the play-offs after dropping to eighth following Saturday's results.
Oxford made one change to the side that drew with Hereford last week, with Asa Hall coming in for the suspended Damian Batt.
Asa Hall took over Andy Whing's defensive midfield role.
It was the home side who started the stronger, with Jacques Maghoma causing problems on the right flank. Burton took the lead on 13 minutes after a concerted spell of pressure from the home side. The elusive Andres Gurriera got down the right side of the area and cut the ball back for Adam Bolder to smash the ball home from ten yards past Ryan Clarke. Seconds earlier, Clarke made a super save to deny Brewers skipper John McGrath after Callum Driver's cross from the right was missed by Calvin Zola, before Andy Whing made a super block on that man Gurriera.
It was all Burton with Oxford forced to defend in numbers and the visitors were grateful to Liam Davis for making a great block on Maghoma as he tried to make it 2-0.
Oxford's first chance didn't arrive until 36 minutes when Alfie Potter fed Simon Heslop but he blasted over.
Just before the break, Jon-Paul Pittman saw his shot charged down after good work from Whing.
Oli Johnson was brought into the fray for the second half, with Hall coming off as the U's changed their formation to an attcking 4-4-2 formation.
Jake Wright made a good challenge on Maghoma as Burton came out looking to build on their lead.
Potter almost levelled when the winger broke clear only for Atkins to tip his well-struck shot for a corner.
Oxford kept up the pressure and it paid off with the equaliser on 59 minutes. Potter weaved his way through the Brewers defence before smashing the ball past Atkins into the far corner. The last time he scored was back in September - against Burton.
Minutes later Johnson burst through, but his shot lacked power. Just after the hour mark, James Constable saw his left-foot shot fizz inches wide of the Burton goal.
The U's more positive approach was paying dividends, with Burton looking a bit rattled, with Constable a constant menace.
Pittman was getting better as the game went on with his strong running causing problems.
Both sides went for the kill and it was hard to predict who would win it.
Pittman broke down the right and drew a foul by Ryan Austin, but Peter Leven's free-kick was easily held by Atkins.
Potter had the chance to win it for the U's on 86 minutes, but his lacked power as a grateful Atkins gathered the ball.
Leven then went close with a free-kick.
At the other end, Adie Yussef went close to winning it for Albion, but his shot went wide.
Oxford threw everyone forward, but Burton held on to deny them.