Stand-in Dean Lyness repays Gary Rowett's confidence as Burton Albion tackle keeper woes
ROOKIE goalkeeper Dean Lyness will get another chance to shine when Burton Albion complete three games in six days with a League Two match at home to Aldershot Town tonight (7.45pm).
Lyness found himself unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight for his full League Two debut against Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday after on-loan Hull City keeper Mark Oxley was found to have broken his hand in Thursday's FA Cup first round replay at Altrincham.
Despite conceding a 28th-minute penalty for tripping Dagenham striker Jake Reed, Lyness had an assured day.
He had started well, claiming a couple of difficult balls into the box confidently and later made several saves.
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He even saved the penalty he had conceded, although Dagenham scored from the rebound after Lyness pushed Michael Spillane's kick on to his left post.
After the match, which the Brewers won 3-2, manager Gary Rowett said: "Dean is someone we've brought in for the future.
"It would be lovely to think that he might solve our problem but it might be asking an awful lot of him at the moment. One thing's for sure, we won the game with him in the side, so I won't be afraid to put him in there again.
"If you took the penalty out of it on Saturday, he did nothing wrong."
Burton have been unlucky with the goalkeeping position this season and Lyness was the fourth to start a game.
After Ross Atkins, on loan until January from Derby County, started the season as first choice, former Port Vale man Stuart Tomlinson was brought in on a short-term deal – but snapped a cruciate ligament in his knee in the game against his old club.
Lyness came off the bench that night to see out the game, holding his nerve in front of the large and noisy contingent of Vale supporters.
Burton go into the Aldershot game with spirits high after progress in the FA Cup followed less than 48 hours later by the Dagenham win.
Tonight's is the first of successive games against the current bottom two in League Two, with a visit to Wycombe Wanderers to come on Saturday, and the opportunity is there for the Brewers to climb into the top three.
Burton will make a late decision on striker Calvin Zola for tonight's game after he went off with a blow to the head against Dagenham.
Zola took the knock in the sixth minute but kept going until the 20th, when it became clear he was disorientated and he was helped off the field by his team-mates.
"Calvin wasn't technically concussed, so he hasn't got a mandatory break from playing but we will have to assess him and we'll take no chances with his health," said Rowett.
The tall Congolese forward has been the focal point of Burton's attack this season but his possible absence began to look less crucial when the Brewers scored three times without him on Saturday, with fellow strikers Matt Paterson and Billy Kee both on target.
For Kee, it was a welcome return to the form he showed last season before picking up a groin injury which kept him out for most of the second half of the campaign and disrupted his pre-season this time.
"It was good timing that Billy came up with his best performance of the season by far," said Rowett.
"When you look at any game he's played this season, he's had chances, however he's played, so I think, with a run in the side, we will start to see the best of him and he'll start to put more of them away."
Satisfied as he is with progress, Rowett is still thinking of strengthening his squad.
"It's a crucial part of the season, with the emergency loan window closing on Thursday, and I will certainly look at adding one and maybe two before then," he said.