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League Two

Gary Rowett hails Burton Albion

21 April 2014

Gary Rowett hailed his Burton side after they secured a League 2 Play-Off place for the second season with a 1-1 draw at Newport County.

Michael Symes' first-half penalty earned a point for the Brewers after Andy Sandell had given the Exiles a fifth-minute lead.

But the draw all-but ends Albion's hopes of automatic promotion as they slipped to six points behind third-placed Rochdale with two games to go.

Burton boss Rowett said: "Making the play-off is a really big achievement for all the players, staff and everyone connected with the club.

"It was always going to be difficult to do it after losing so many players at the start of the season.

"I also thought it was going to be hard to get a point here. If you look at the way the game started, it was a really, really physical game.

"It was never going to be an easy game to play in and we made a very poor start.

"It took us 10 minutes before we even got going and we found ourselves 1-0 down in that 10 minutes. But we got ourselves back into the game and I thought we settled down a bit then.

"They started the second half the brighter of the two sides but for the last 25 minutes we were on top and could have nicked the win.

"We got into one or two really good areas but unfortunately we were not able to take the chances. But would probably have been a bit unfair on Newport because they played well.

"They will be disappointed with the penalty decision, as I would be if I was in Justin Edinburgh's position.

"Obviously at this stage in the season we would have loved to get all three points and stay in the hunt for an automatic place but it wasn't to be."

Newport remain in 15th place after the stalemate but Bristol Rovers' defeat means the Exiles are guaranteed to be playing in League Two next season.

County assistant manager Jimmy Dack said: "We're very disappointed with their goal.

"I thought it was a very soft penalty.

"We watched it again at half time and the referee didn't have a good sight on it.

"I thought he made a big decision and it was a very costly one for us. I don't know what penalties are these days, it's about whoever can con the referee.

"There was not much Darcy (Blake) could have done the lad was leaning into him and he was trying to stand his ground.

"You look at the reaction from their bench and they were not evening expecting a penalty.

"But I thought we played very well.

"Over 90 minutes we gave a really good account of ourselves so I have to give them a pat on the back for that."

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