|Burnley 2 v 0 Ipswich Town|
Barclays Premier League
Saturday, 4th May 2013 Kick-off 12:45
Burnley 2-0 Town
Saturday, 4th May 2013 14:58
Second-half goals from Junior Stanislas and Martin Paterson saw Town fall to a 2-0 final day of the season defeat at Burnley. After a dull first half the game, played between two sides with nothing to play for, improved slightly after the break with the Clarets deserving the victory.
Tyrone Mings was handed debut for the Blues, the December signing from Chippenham Town starting at left-back with Patrick Kisnorbo making his full league debut for the Blues at the centre of the defence alongside Tommy Smith. Scott Loach was in goal and Richard Stearman at right-back.
Aaron Cresswell started on the left of midfield with Anthony Wordsworth and Luke Hyam in the centre and skipper Carlos Edwards on the right. Frank Nouble and Daryl Murphy are again up front. Academy second-year scholar Jack Marriott was included on the bench for the first time.
Midfielder Andy Drury didn't travel with his partner expecting a baby, while Aaron Mclean was with his parent club Hull as they secured promotion to the Premier League.
Michael Chopra, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Reece Brown and Jason Brown sat in front of the Town support in the David Fishwick Stand, having made a brief pre-match walk-through appearance in the Burnley pressroom.
The Blues, in white and black, threatened first in the second minute, Kisnorbo heading Wordsworth’s corner from the left over the bar.
Town started the brighter of the sides and on eight Kisnorbo nodded over another left-sided Wordsworth corner after a Murphy shot had been deflected wide.
The game looked every bit an end of season match between two sides with nothing to play for. On 18, Burnley managed their first attempt at goal, Sam Vokes heading well over.
Four minutes later, Cresswell sliced a dipping effort just over from 25 yards but keeper Lee Grant wasn’t troubled. On 23 Burnley's Danny Ings shot well over from distance for the home side.
Debutant Mings almost picked up his first Town assist in the 25th minute after finding Murphy with a fantastic long diagonal pass. The Irishman did well to hold off a couple of defenders but saw his shot at goal bundled behind.
As the game reached the half-hour mark, Kieran Trippier’s 25-yard strike deflected wide after Mings had done well to clear a cross from the left. From the resultant corner, Clarets skipper and one-time Canary Jason Shackell headed over at the far post. Neither side created anything else significant before the break with the 0-0 scoreline a fair reflection of a not overly exciting game. That the match had a post-season friendly type of feel was probably no surprise given that neither side had anything to play for.
Town had probably had the better of the chances, but overall the first 45 minutes were a bit of a non-event as a spectacle.
The second half began in much the same manner as the first had ended. The first opportunity came seven minutes in, Frank Nouble crossing from the left and Wordsworth having a header blocked. Four minutes later, Dean Marney struck a half-volley wide at the other end.
The chances suddenly started to come more frequently at each end. Murphy headed an excellent Mings cross straight at Grant, then Martin Paterson hit a 20-yard strike which Loach similarly claimed.
Just as the game reached the hour mark the home side went in front. Sub Junior Stanislas picked the ball up midway inside the Blues’ half and with the Town backline standing off hit a 25-yard shot into the top right-hand corner of Loach’s net.
Prior to the restart Jack Marriott was handed his first team debut, replacing Nouble up front alongside Murphy.
The Clarets weren’t far from adding to their lead two minutes later when Trippier crossed from the right and Loach saved Vokes’s downwards header.
Stanislas went looking for another goal in the 66th minute but this time his strike flew over Loach’s crossbar. The former West Ham man had made a big impression having been introduced eight minutes into the second half with the Blues looking distinctly ragged.
Town went looking for the equaliser and after a corner Smith had two strikes blocked from the edge of the box, having been teed up by Marriott. The Town Player of the Year’s third effort was too close to Grant.
Marriott had quickly settled into the game and in the 70th minute broke into the area after an exchange of passes involving Wordsworth and Murphy but a defender stuck in a toe to dispossess him just as he looked through on goal.
Marney just failed to get on Paterson’s low cross from the right a minute later, before Marriott wasn’t far from scoring his first senior goal. A freekick midway inside the Burnley half on the right was taken short to Wordsworth, who sent in a cross which the young striker headed down but not far enough to Grant’s right, the keeper claiming.
On 77 Loach saved from Ings, then at the other end Mings and then Murphy flicked on a long throw but without creating an opportunity.
The very lively Marriott hit a 25-yard strike into Grant’s arms two minutes later with the youngster looking a threat.
Paterson volleyed over on 83, moments before Jay Tabb replaced Anthony Wordsworth in the Blues midfield.
The home side were looking the more likely scorers as the season entered its final five minutes and on 87 Paterson increased his side’s lead when he flicked on a header from a corner from the right into the net.
As the game entered injury time, Burnley swapped keeper Grant for veteran Brian Jensen, who is celebrating his testimonial year.
The Clarets continued to put on the pressure in the closing stages with a low ball running across the Town six-yard box in the final moments but without receiving a final touch.
The second half was an improvement on the first in terms of entertainment and the home side deserved their win having created the better of the chances, although Stanislas’s opener was a great strike out of nothing.
Manager Mick McCarthy is unlikely to be too disappointed with the result, however, with the Blues having completed the main business in hand – securing Championship survival - last week.
The Town manager will have been pleased to have blooded youngsters Mings and Marriott, whose displays will have pleased him, while Aaron Cresswell completed his record of taking part of every minute of what has been a long season, which from virtually the start has been an ultimately successful battle against relegation.
The Blues end the season 14th, six points from the relegation zone, with Peterborough and Wolves joining Bristol City in taking the drop into League One, and eight points from the play-off places.
Town: Loach, Stearman, Kisnorbo, Smith, Mings, Edwards (Hewitt 81), Hyam, Wordsworth (Tabb 83), Cresswell, Nouble (Marriott 60), Murphy. Unused: Lee-Barrett, Chambers, Tabb, N'Daw, Martin.
Burnley: Grant (Jensen 90), Lafferty, Shackell, Long, Trippier (O'Neill 90), Stock (Stanislas 53), Marney, McCann, Vokes, Ings, Paterson. Unused: Jensen, Howieson, Hewitt, Bartley, Wallace. Referee Mick Russell (Hertfordshire). Att: 12,820 (Town: 830).
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