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BURTON Albion made club history by going to the top of the Blue Square Premier for the first time.

But it was anything but easy as relegation strugglers Northwich Victoria put on a battling display for new manager Steve King.

In the end it took a superb finish by Shaun Harrad to separate the sides as Burton's goal enjoyed something of a charmed life against their hosts.

Harrad, who tomorrow travels with the England C squad to Italy, struck in the 19th minute when he neatly turned his marker to drill home a low shot from 22-yards.

But either side of that goal, Northwich could - and should - have punished a strangely hesitant Burton defence.

Veteran former Blues and Villa goalkeeper Kevin Poole twice came to the rescue with saves to foil the lively Aaron Burns, while Peter Whinn shot high and wide from several good positions.

After being denied the second goal in a better spell for Burton after the interval, Harrad had to make his presence felt in his own penalty area.

The striker cleared a Mark Roberts shot off the line and the Northwich defender also went close with a header as Burton clung grimly to their lead in the closing stages to seal their place at the top.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Nov 9, 2008
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