sport

Rowett hails battling Burton

Gary Rowett was unhappy with some of the decisions that left Burton clinging on with 10 men in the 2-1 win at Mansfield.

The victory left the Brewers unbeaten, but Rowett was angry to see Robbie Weir sent off by referee Darren Drysdale for an alleged head-butt on Jamie McGuire three minutes from time.

The visitors thought McGuire should have seen a red card for stamping on Weir and that home defender Martin Riley should have joined him for a punch in a mass confrontation in the seventh minute of stoppage time.

A goal in each half from Alex MacDonald and Callum McFadzean had Burton in charge of a very tight affair, but home striker Matt Rhead pulled one back for Mansfield before tempers began to fray.

"It was a hard-fought win against a team who are very direct in their play, which they are good at," said Rowett.

"You know you are going to come under pressure and you want the referee to make decisions.

"It was a difficult game to referee but by letting one or two things go and not dealing with them it just spiralled into an absolute scrap and a fight, which suited Mansfield and the way they want to play.

"I was disappointed with one or two things but very pleased with the three points that we thoroughly deserved."

On Weir's red card, Rowett said: "Until I have seen the video it is difficult to comment but all the players around him said he has not done anything.

"They say he was stamped on and as he got up the two players put their heads together, but Robbie says he has not head-butted Maguire which is what the referee says. I will have to have a look at it again.

"There were several worse tackles that went unpunished, which was unjust. I am not here to criticise officials, but he made it difficult to manage afterwards."

Burton remain unbeaten this season in all competitions, and Rowett added: "I have got to be immensely proud of the start we have made, but it is just a start. That is all it is and we won't get carried away."

Mansfield boss Paul Cox felt defeat was harsh on his team.

He said: "I was disappointed not to come away with anything. We deserved at least a draw and, dare I say it, had we been a bit cuter, maybe all three points.

"That's the most frustrated I've been all season. The boys have come in puzzled how they've lost.

"I can't remember Dimitar \[Evtimov\] having a shot to save, yet they've scored twice.

"You can say they were lucky but I want myself and the players to start being lucky too. I want my players to shoot and try to affect the game in the last third. You would be amazed at what happens if you hit the target.

"I thought we were the better side without actually giving too much of a threat in the last third. Their first goal came massively against the run of play and we were up against a strong wind too.

"We have got to be a bit better in both boxes and we are perhaps missing one or two ingredients to polish off all the hard work we are putting in.

"Burton will be in the top three at the end of the year, so if we take them a benchmark we are not far away in certain areas.

"Burton are resolute and do what they do well. They keep clean sheets and nick goals when they need them."

On the controversial clashes near the end, Cox added: "It was a hot-blooded game and the closest we have to a local derby now. I didn't see the Jamie McGuire incident and, at the end, I though it was a full blown fist in Martin Riley's face. It's not like him to react. He is not that way inclined."