For Burton Albion fans it has been a torrid season as The Brewers stumbled punch drunk from defeat to defeat. Their Championship survival hinged on today’s game.
A late-season push saw a ‘Great Escape’ on the cards as they arrested a season of slide with a trio of successive wins against Bolton (2-0), Sunderland (2-1) and Derby County (3-1) saw the Brewers set up a grandstand finish against Preston North End.
Despite falling behind to a Callum Robinson opener, Burton hauled themselves back in to contention to survive the drop with a Hope Akpan (63′) equaliser.
The 1-1 scoreline saw fans of the beleaguered Brewers dreaming of survival against the odds after a bad season. That equaliser put them in 20th position and on the brink of survival, only for the last minute Gods of football to conspire against them.
As it stood, Barnsley and Bolton stood with Sunderland as the three relegated sides and Burton would have been safe. But a huge twist of fate, Bolton coming back from 2-1 down to beat Nottingham Forest 3-2 (Wheater 87′, Wilbraham 88′) was enough to damn the Brewers back to League One.
As it was, Preston’s winner from Louis Moult (90′) was merely the coup de grâce on Burton’s hopes of survival – the Brewers’ fans now having to readjust to life in English football’s third tier.
Burton Albion fans react as relegation is confirmed after Preston loss
This fan is refusing to be too downcast at relegation.
— BikingBrewer (@DerekWainwright) May 6, 2018
Here’s the view of a long-time Burton fans and BBC Derby journalist.
Absolutely gutted, but you can’t legislate for Bolton’s stunning late turnaround. For so long looked like Akpan’s stunner was going to keep #bafc up. Ultimately it wasn’t defeat today that caused relegation, it was
the run of just 4 points from 17 home games. Such a shame. #COYB
— Tony Bentley (@BrewersTony) May 6, 2018
A poignant picture and some fine words from this Burton fan.
After 2 years in the @SkyBetChamp our time has come to an end. A bad season for the most part, but Nigel Clough’s men made it a thrilling end to the season.
— Robbie (@RTurnerDesigns) May 6, 2018
Simple words for heartfelt sentiments.
Genuinely couldn’t be more gutted.#BAFC
— David (@dturner1997) May 6, 2018
This set of tweets says it all.
Gutted after that had good go but in the end I don’t think we could have given anymore! Keeps these boys together for next season #Bafc
— Optimistic Brewer till its impossible (@markharden) May 6, 2018
Gutted #bafc ☹️☹️😰😰😰
— tom jarvis (@TomBAFCjarvo) May 6, 2018
— Ian Burgoyne (@CaptainUtd) May 6, 2018