Boro’ have taken on their fair share of opponents down the years and some of those teams have simply been no more than passing acquaintances, while there are others that have become – well – annoyingly familiar. For all the many times we’ve faced teams like Woking, there have been rare match-ups too. So, we’re asking, where do Burton Albion stand in the grand scheme of things?
Burton Albion: Us And Them
By the time that Burton Albion – or Nigel Clough’s Burton Albion to give them their official title – joined us in the Conference, we’d been there for nine seasons already. You could be forgiven for thinking the 2002-3 season was the first time we crossed paths with this Staffordshire side, but – like with your Wokings and your Crawleys – our acquaintance was made long before the Conference.
Yep, the Brewers might have been tardy about joining the ranks of the non-league top dogs but our shared past began way back in September 1984 and the second qualifying round of the FA Cup. And we ended up becoming a notch on what became one of their greatest ever cup runs, with Albion powering through to make an honourable third round exit at the hands of Leicester City.
Since then, we’ve gone on to meet 21 times in all competitions – even though Boro’ had some catching up of our own to do when it all became too much for NCBA in 2009 and they got themselves promoted to the Football League. OK, it was only a season ahead of our good selves, but the Brewers became yet another club to pass through the Conference in a shorter space of time than us.
With a move to the Pirelli Stadium in 2005, Burton set a platform for their future that’s still looking in rude health. It took them a grand six seasons to nail League Two, but Jimmy Floyd’s management saw them do it in style – not for the first time leaving Boro’ behind. Mind you, we still have the better head-to-head record and have triumphed in 10 of the 21 meetings, with three draws.
Did we say Burton’s future still looks in rude health? Well, we only just spotted they’re at it again. Top of League One as we sit and gaze mournfully at our own prospects at the wrong end of League Two. It looks like they’re going to do a Yeovil – we mean it in the ‘promotion to the Champo’ sense, rather than the two straight relegations. Could they even do a Bournemouth? Well, who knows!
You’d have to say that it’s looking like a very considered rise up the charts. Let’s face it, there is no shortage of quirks in this game – much to the extent you’d wonder if football has as much certainty to it as fruit machine games online at fruityreels.co.uk. But the Brewers have – not unlike ourselves over recent years – but the foundations that can then be built upon and it’s pushing them on.
After all, the Brewers haven’t suffered a relegation since 1977 – almost the entire lifespan of our humble club and surely one of the better records going in the Football League? We can perhaps look upon Burton Albion sitting at the top of the division above and think it was nearly us a few seasons back, but we can also look at them and believe that, y’know, it still might be possible too.
BoroGuide’s Burton Albion club profile – for old time’s sake…