Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Burton Albion 0, Hartlepool United 1

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Burton Albion 0, Hartlepool United 1

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Gilder

So keen was Brian Clough to see Burton continue their FA Cup journey that, shortly before yesterday's kick-off, he revealed he had been planning to trip a couple of Hartlepool's leading lights as they emerged from the Eton Park tunnel.

Had the 68-year-old been sprightly enough to carry out his threat, he could well have been looking forward to a reunion with another of his former clubs.

But, with Pool at full strength and Clough's son Nigel, the Brewers' manager, unable to engineer the sort of upset which had brought the television cameras to Staffordshire, it was Neale Cooper rubbing his hands in glee last night at the prospect of a January trip to the Stadium of Light.

A second-half goal from Joel Porter sealed Hartlepool's place in the third round for the first time in 11 years and set up a North-East derby against Sunderland.

"It's a fantastic draw, we couldn't have asked for a better tie," said Cooper after his men were made to work hard by the Conference outfit in a competitive fixture.

"Three or four of the boys are Sunderland fans and are from that area so it's bound to be an exciting occasion for all of us.

"I've never been to the Stadium of Light. It looks like a fantastic place. The fans were great in coming to Burton to support us and this is their reward. This was a hard game and we had to dig in deep."

This was a rare chance for both sides to show their talents to the nation; Cooper and Clough have assembled teams renowned for footballing finesse but, in a fast and frenetic first half, quality was in short supply.

"They flooded the midfield and it was difficult to get in behind them," said Cooper. "It's frustrating when you can't get through but that's how it is when your opponents have 10 men behind the ball."

Few of these players will have performed on live television before and there were plenty of nerves on display. In an anxious opening, Matt Duke appeared to have stage fright but, despite a sequence of questionable decisions and some poor touches, the home keeper survived. …

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