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Burton Albion 1 v 2 Ipswich Town
SkyBet Championship
Friday, 14th April 2017 Kick-off 19:45
Burton Albion 1-2 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Friday, 14th Apr 2017 22:01

Ex-Blue Luke Varney netted an own goal and Freddie Sears his sixth of the season as Town beat Burton Albion 2-1 in their first ever competitive game at the Pirelli Stadium. After a first-half in which Myles Kenlock had a goal ruled out for offside, Burton sub Varney nodded a corner past his own keeper on 52, Sears added a second in the 79th minute, before the Brewers pulled a goal back via a Lucas Akins penalty four minutes from time but Town withstood some late pressure to claim the three points and all but confirm their Championship status.

The Blues’ away game at Burton Albion remains 0-0 at half-time, Myles Kenlock having had a goal ruled out.

Top scorer Tom Lawrence and midfielder Cole Skuse returned to the Town starting line-up for the Blues’ first ever competitive game at the Pirelli Stadium.

Tommy Smith and Toumani Diagouraga dropped to the bench as the Blues switched to 4-2-3-1 system with Skuse, who missed the previous two games due to a concussion, alongside Emyr Huws in central midfield with Grant Ward ahead of them and Lawrence on the left and Freddie Sears on the right, and David McGoldrick the lone striker.

Michael Crowe was the sub keeper with Dean Gerken presumably having picked up a knock.

For Burton, former Blues striker Luke Varney and one-time loan keeper Stephen Bywater were both on the bench.

Blackburn’s 1-0 win at Nottingham Forest earlier this afternoon meant the Blues went into the game with the gap to the relegation zone only six points.

On a wet surface following a downpour an hour or so before kick-off and further steady rain as the game began, Burton struck the first shot of the game after a scrappy and frenetic opening 10 minutes.

John Brayford played the ball in from the right to the edge of the area and on-loan Fulham striker Cauley Woodrow, understood to have been a January Town target, was allowed to get in a shot on the half-turn but hit it too close to Bartosz Bialkowski.

Brewers keeper Jon McLaughlin was forced into a more serious stop two minutes later when McGoldrick struck a low effort across the wet turf and the former Bradford man did well to get down to his right to palm away from goal. Brayford cleared the loose ball.

On 16 Huws sent Sears away down the right with a well-weighted pass and the former Colchester man sent over a deep cross which McLaughlin claimed ahead of McGoldrick.

Six minutes later the Town number 10 flicked a Jordan Spence long ball into the path of Sears on the right from where he cut the ball back to McGoldrick, who shot over from the edge of the box.

The Blues were on top and on 24 a defender’s misreading of a bounce on the edge of the box almost saw Sears in on goal but the ball got caught under his feet. A minute later, following a corner on the left, Lawrence shot wide from distance.

Town had had most of the chances but on 26 the home side went close when skipper Luke Chambers looked to see the ball back to Bialkowski and Woodrow dispossessed him and crossed into the area where Huws turned it over.

Right on the half hour the Blues thought they’d gone in front but were denied by a linesman’s flag. Lawrence brought the ball in from the left and it deflected out to Ward, whose shot was turned in by Myles Kenlock, who briefly celebrated his first senior goal before spotting the flag, which video evidence suggested had been raised incorrectly with the 20-year-old onside.

Town should have gone in front in the 33rd minute when McGoldrick fed Sears in space on the right of the box after good work from Lawrence but the ex-West Ham striker blazed over when he should at least have hit the target.

Soon after, Burton claimed a penalty when a diving Chambers blocked a Woodrow shot but the ball appeared to have hit the Town captain in the face.

Huws stuck a low shot from distance through to McLaughlin on 38, then Kenlock did well to head away in front of Woodrow from a Lloyd Dyer cross from the right.

McGoldrick was immediately sent away on goal between two defenders at the other end but having got on the ball the striker slipped under the attention of Brayford before he could get in a shot.

There was a scare for Town on 41 when Ben Turner stabbed a loose ball over following a corner, before the Blues switched to a 3-5-2 system with Spence the third centre-half and Ward the right wing-back. Lawrence took up a central role behind strikers Sears and McGoldrick.

With the rain by now falling heavily, referee Oliver Langford ended what had been an entertaining half in which both sides had had chances.

The Blues had had more of the opportunities, although overall it had been an even game.

Kenlock will feel aggrieved that what would have been his first ever senior goal had been ruled out, while Sears will believe he ought to have done better with his chance, while McLaughlin had been the more tested of the two keepers with Bialkowski at the other end yet to make a serious stop.

Burton swapped ex-Blue Varney for Marvin Sordell ahead of the second half - the start of which was delayed due to a suspect package which was soon identified as of no concern - with Town continuing with their 3-5-2 formation.

Four minutes after the restart, Lawrence whipped over a dangerous ball from the left which bounced awkwardly in front of McLaughlin, who dealt with it confidently.

And in the 52nd minute the Blues went in front. Lawrence sent over a corner from the left and ex-Blue Varney inadvertently diverted into his own goal ahead of Huws, who otherwise had seemed set to nod home.

Skipper Chambers led the celebrations in front of the travelling Town support. It was Varney’s first goal in a Burton shirt, having scored three when at Town earlier in the season.

The Brewers looked to get straight back into it with Bialkowski forced into his first significant save when Michael Kightly was found in space on the Burton left and hit a shot which the Pole did well to stop and hold sharply down to his left.

Match Gallery: 8 photos

Town, with McGoldrick and Lawrence increasingly dangerous, were looking more likely to add a second than the home side were to level, albeit without creating a further clear-cut opportunity.

However, on 66 Skuse did well to stab away from Kightly after Varney had looked to send him away with Berra grounded.

Four minutes later, with the Blues putting the Brewers under pressure, McGoldrick claimed a penalty when he appeared to be shoved as Sears crossed from the right. The Irish international looked to have a case.

Town, by now back in their 4-2-3-1 system, found themselves forced to defend as the game moved into its final 15 minutes. Berra blocked a cross from the right, then Bialkowski punched from under his bar and Huws cleared.

On 77 McGoldrick twisted and turned on the right of the area but saw his shot blocked and was then dispossessed before he could cut the loose ball back to Sears. From the corner, Berra stooped to nod wide.

Two minutes later, the Blues doubled their lead. Huws caught Jackson Irvine in possession on halfway and Kenlock brought the ball forward to the edge of the box before feeding Sears. The striker’s first shot was blocked but he followed up to lash into the roof of the net.

Burton immediately swapped Kightly and Woodrow for Lasse Vigen Christensen and Akins. On 85 Town switched the again hugely McGoldrick for Brett Pitman.

With four minutes remaining Burton were awarded a penalty when the otherwise excellent Kenlock sent Varney tumbling with an awkward challenge on the right of the area. Sub Akins took the spotkick and shot into the roof of the net to make it 2-1.

Town should have sealed it moments after the restart when Pitman was sent clear by a long clearance but the sub scuffed his shot and McLaughlin saved.

The Blues swapped Lawrence for Tommy Smith during four minutes of time added on in which they found themselves under pressure.

Burton came close to grabbing an equaliser when McLaughlin cleared long and Christensen brought the ball in from the left before hitting a right-foot shot which deflected into the air off Berra and hit the top of the bar.

Town defended the resultant corner to claim their first competitive victory at the Pirelli Stadium at the first attempt, their second double of the season and their fifth away win of the campaign.

Overall, the Blues deserved the three points having been on top for much of the second half, after being unfortunate not to have gone in a goal ahead at the break.

Sears’s second goal ought to have sealed it but the late penalty made the final minutes more nervy than they ought to have been.

The result means the Blues are back to being nine points clear of the relegation zone, now in 15th, with four games to go and with a number of the sides below them still to play one another.

A freakish series of results aside, Town’s Championship status seems secure ahead of Monday’s home game against Newcastle United.

Burton: McLaughlin, Flanagan, Brayford, Mousinho (c), Turner, Sordell (Varney 46), Dyer, Woodrow (Akins 80), Kightly (Christiansen 80), Murphy, Irvine. Unused: Bywater, McCrory, Naylor, Barker.

Town: Bialkowski, Spence, Chambers (c), Berra, Kenlock, Skuse, Huws, Ward, Lawrence (T Smith 90), McGoldrick (Pitman 85), Sears. Unused: Crowe, Bru, Emmanuel, Diagouraga, Samuel. Referee: Oliver Langford (West Midlands). Att: 5,236.

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Photo: Action Images

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MVBlue added 22:03 - Apr 14
Must admit i'm relieved. Well done lads.

LesTibbetsbrokenleg added 22:04 - Apr 14

jas0999 added 22:06 - Apr 14
Good to win a game. Wigan and now Burton beaten by us. Wow. What a sorry state of affairs that we are in mid April and only now able to breathe a sigh of relief that ample points have been secured to stop us being relegated. What gas happened to thus once great, proud club?

This remains a terrible season. The only hope now is that Evans finally acts and removes MM from his position.

Superblue95 added 22:06 - Apr 14
Safe now so just 4 games of this miserable season to get out of the way now

andycookguitar added 22:06 - Apr 14
Great result, well done to Mick and the team. COYB!

bostonusablue added 22:06 - Apr 14
Great result. Hopefully we are safe now. Anyone know if we will set a record for least number of first half goals scored in a season? We don't have many.

Still want MM out!

StringerBell added 22:06 - Apr 14
McCarthy had gone full circle and 'saved' us again - what a genius that man is. If that's not enough to convince 20k to renew their season tickets what is?

martin587 added 22:07 - Apr 14
Well done lads,welcome three points just about puts us safe.Happy drive home.😆😆😆.👍

Currie10 added 22:09 - Apr 14
Well done lads, a wins a win and though this season has been an utter disaster, appears we're now safe with 4 to play. Hopefully a few of Blanchfield etc will gain some minutes now before the season ends.

Mick doesn't become a bad manager overnight lets not forget that. Though the footy is sterile etc he was well and truly stitched up this season regarding Murphy. There is no way in hell ( whatever you think of Mick ) he would have let us enter this season in such a position. Clearly promised a replacement and it didn't happen.

Next season - Mick or no Mick we NEED more backing. The club is littered with many spending ££££. Though we did increase transfer fees in Ward / Webster ( which have both turned out rather well ) we do need more. We demand top 6 yet so do 18 clubs in the division. It's not 1999 with Port Vale / Swindon / Oxford / Bury etc propping up the bottom. Many a club can realistically challenge. Next season Wolves + Birmingham will have likely spent a fortune. I hope Wendy go up this as my gf is a Wendy fan / they will spend an absolute fortune should they remain down.

Personally, I happen to think should Mick remain we'll do better next season. Douglas is off ( yippee ) and there is a good chance more of the youngsters will gain their chance. Webster being back will be massive.


cat added 22:10 - Apr 14
A welcome away win, more so for the sake of our "gonna be smug Dino", and his pro followers, maybe a swing in the wrong direction for the "Fickle Inbetweeners", as for me no change, and there won't be. Can't comment on game as did not watch, listen or even be bothered about it in all honesty. No excuses now not to mix the team up and try the youth, with the obvious exceptions of Chambers and Skuse!!.

alfromcol added 22:12 - Apr 14
Mick can take the money, proud in the knowledge that he has kept us up twice now!!! Will look good on his CV

iaintaylorx added 22:12 - Apr 14
Kenlock was outstanding by the sounds of it tonight, but let's wait for Mick to slate him like he did for giving away a corner last week and he'll probably be dropped to the bench... Always welcome 3 points but I really hope Evans see's that Mick is NOT the man for this club anymore. Just because he saved us from relegation, it doesn't mean he is unsackable! Alot of managers would have saved us when he came in, but he seems to think he was the only man possible to pull it off.


Bluetone added 22:13 - Apr 14
Good result now if McCarthy keeps to his word the youngsters will be given a chance and hopefully allowed to play proper entertaining football.

jpring89 added 22:13 - Apr 14
Glad were safe but you dont need to be a genious to know if we play like this for the duration of next season we are relagated. If nothing changes were fu2k3d !!!

warksonwater added 22:13 - Apr 14
'Nice' to be back 'up' to 15th spot. significant position as we haven't finished lower than that for about 60 years, while 'bigger' clubs than us have been down to the third tier. In that sense we need to keep going in order to retain this very humble position!

OwainG1992 added 22:13 - Apr 14
Well done on the win. Always happy to see us get 3 poonts. Still want Mick to leave in the summer regardless. Suppose we'll see what happens.

bluesman added 22:14 - Apr 14
MM has done well this season in the face of a lot of crap from people and with little money and a small squad.The truth is he's a bloody good manager. A lot of the time he can'r do right. Town were pretty good against Fulham and whats more they played decent football all game, not a hoofball in sight. And then you get the give us our Town back crowd on here moaning about the result they said didn't matter the week before! But MM is his own man and a good job too. Good luck to him and I hope we can hang on to him

milliem added 22:14 - Apr 14
The Budgies lose at home to ten men and Town win away. That's made my Easter!

pragmatic added 22:18 - Apr 14
Good points currie 10 makes a change from
Some of the bile & vitriol often posted

Tony88 added 22:22 - Apr 14
You didn't mention that Scuse was third in FotMob ratings but of course you wear blinkers.

waspsforever1 added 22:23 - Apr 14
Please please sort negative crap out. We can do this Start again get the youngsters in they are ready from what I've seen. Please m sort it and start again !!!

iaintaylorx added 22:24 - Apr 14
You're in the minority with Skuse.. Also, spell my name right, Toni.

sixtyblue added 22:24 - Apr 14
Obviously by comments on here the big up Mick brigade obviously do not go to home matches and think that one win away superb management.Get real you people the dross this season beggars belief.

planetblue_2011 added 22:25 - Apr 14
Good win town but it's all up to Evans to hopefully give Mick a few quid to spend next season.
The signings have to be Lawrence & Huws straight away. Even if Lawrence costs us 4m Evans has got to give Mick the cash. Can't see Lawrence getting in the Leicester team & really think if we offer him decent wages he will come here. Sign Huws as well, Dickenson from Col u & maybe another CB depending on Chambers & Berrs's futures.
Work out who to keep & sell in the defence, Webster will be number 1 CB when he's back.
Strikers think if Sears keeps up his good form with McGoldrick & Pitman stays with Lawrence & Moore then that is a decent strike force for next season. Play Kenlock & Emmanuel more.
Dozzell, Bishop, Benyu, Rowe are all in contention for next season. Hyam? Bru? Could all be going in the summer. Keep Bart & we could be a force next season.
A fit Jonny Williams would be a great perm signing as well!!
Keep the faith hahaha⚽️

itfchorry added 22:26 - Apr 14
Pragmatic/McCarthy OUT

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