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Page last updated at 17:11 GMT, Sunday, 26 April 2009 18:11 UK

Torquay 2-1 Burton

Roy McFarland
Roy McFarland took over in January, with Burton 13 points top

Burton Albion have been crowned Blue Square Premier champions despite a 2-1 defeat by Torquay, who have clinched their place in the play-offs.

Cambridge's draw with Altrincham meant that the Brewers could not be caught.

Albion had taken an early lead with an emphatic shot from Marc Goodfellow after just eight minutes.

But an 18-yard strike from Chris Hargreaves and a header just after the break from Elliot Benyon gave Torquay the three points they needed.

A nervy Brewers side looked a far cry from the team that held a 19-point lead at the top of the table as recently as mid-February.

But they managed an early lead through midfielder Goodfellow who capitalised on a poor Chris Todd clearance by lashing a ferociously swerving shot beyond the hapless Michael Poke in the Torquay goal.

The lead should have instilled confidence into the visitors, but instead Torquay hit back minutes later, restoring parity through a sumptuous Hargreaves strike from the edge of the area that nestled into the bottom corner of Saul Deeney's net.


The Brewers were all over the place, with the home side winning the majority of the loose balls, always probing and looking for space to exploit behind Burton's defence.

The Gulls were looking the hungrier of the two sides, and Lee Mansell was allowed to run unchallenged before firing a long-range shot into the keeper's hands.

The confidence of the home side was visibly growing, and Nicky Wroe even went for goal from the half-way line, punting a long range effort beyond the empty Burton goal with Deeney stranded.

It was a shot that never looked like going in but it outlined the danger and growing confidence of a bubbly Torquay side, whose passing and movement was slicker and quicker than their Burton counterparts.

Todd then came close to giving his side the lead, but his header was expertly tipped over by the lightning-quick reflexes of Deeney.

Chris Hargreaves
Hargreaves scored his second vital goal for Torquay in a week

Torquay took a deserved lead a minute after the restart after Benyon reacted the quickest to a Hargreaves flick-on from a long Kevin Nicholson throw and guided a header into the bottom corner.

Danny Stevens then got behind the Burton defence to fire in a low cross that Benyon almost connected with, but could only give away a free-kick for handball.

The visitors were being overrun in midfield and looked to be playing with one eye on results elsewhere, such was the pressure riding on this match.

But with news filtering through that Cambridge had failed to beat Altrincham, Burton knew their job was complete, and the celebrations could begin.

For Torquay, the result secured their place in the top five, and they will now face Histon in the play-offs.

Torquay: Poke, Mansell, Todd, Robertson, Nicholson, Stevens, Hargreaves, Wroe, Carlisle, Sills, Benyon (Sturrock 78).
Subs not used: Rice, Hodges, Carayol, Christie.

Goals: Hargreaves 13, Benyon 46

Burton Albion: Deeney, James, Stride, Buxton, Corbett, McGrath, Simpson, Goodfellow, Webster, Morris (Byrne 78), Butler.
Subs not used: Martin, Austin, Pearson, Newby.

Goals: Goodfellow 8

Referee: Paul Tierney (Wigan)

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see also
Cambridge Utd 0-0 Altrincham
26 Apr 09 |  Non League
Clough desperate for Burton boost
23 Apr 09 |  Burton

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