Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink saw Burton twice surrender the lead against Cambridge (Mike Egerton/PA).
12 February 2022

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink rues ‘opportunity missed’ after Burton pegged back

12 February 2022

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was left frustrated after seeing his side twice throw away the lead and have to settle for a 2-2 draw with Cambridge.

Albion got off to an ideal start when Gassan Ahadme won and converted a penalty from the first attack of the game, but Cambridge equalised through Harvey Knibbs’ hooked finish.

William Kokolo restored Albion’s lead in the second half, only for Sam Smith to secure a point for the visitors.

“It was an opportunity missed,” said Hasselbaink. “You have a brilliant start getting in front early on, which we have not had for a while, then you want to kick on and we didn’t do that.

“They score the one-one and the way they score it is really bad. It is from a transition.

“Our defender needs to head the ball. The boy is not allowed to do an overhead kick and we spoke yesterday about putting your body on the line, that pride for defending. If we do that we kick on.

“Their second goal is a second phase from a corner which is even more disappointing.

“Overall it was a difficult match. We had our chances and at 2-1 we have a good chance for 3-1 and if we do that the game is dead, but we keep on giving them hope and they are a side that keeps on going and doesn’t give up.

“They have got honesty and camaraderie and a player who can really create.”

After three successive defeats in league and cup without scoring Cambridge head coach Mark Bonner was delighted to see his side take something from the game.

“To make sure we took something from the game was so important,” Bonner said.

“It was a tricky game for us with an awkward pitch. We had good chances to break away and score on the counter-attack but our decision-making and execution, as well as the pitch, let us down a little bit and it makes the game really scrappy and scruffy.

“We have had to come from behind twice here against a side who once they take the lead are normally outstanding, which is excellent for us at the end of a brutal run over the last fortnight.”

Bonner was pleased with his sides response to going behind after only a minute.

“We couldn’t start any worse really,” he said. “The whole prep is about defending your box and we don’t deal with it at all. Dimi (goalkeeper Dimitar Mitov) nearly saves the penalty and gets a hand to it.

“That knocked us for a bit and we didn’t get going for about 20 minutes. We were leggy and lethargic and then we found a bit of drive and got stronger from there.”

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