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Burton Albion 0-1 Ipswich Town - Half-Time
Saturday, 3rd Aug 2019 16:07

A Luke Garbutt debut goal has given the Blues a 1-0 half-time lead at Burton Albion.

James Norwood, partnered by Kayden Jackson up front, was one of four debutants with Tomas Holy in goal, James Wilson at the centre of the defence alongside Luke Woolfenden, making only his second start for the Blues, while Garbutt was at left midfield.

The Blues used the 4-4-2 system they utilised at Cambridge last week with Cole Skuse deeper than Flynn Downes, who faced no action following his red card at the Abbey Stadium, in central midfield.

Emyr Huws and Alan Judge were both among the subs, as were youngsters Armando Dobra and Bailey Clements.

Skuse skippered with regular captain Luke Chambers suspended following his red card on the final day of last season.

Andre Dozzell didn’t travel due to a knee injury but Jordan Roberts was back among the subs having been sidelined after suffering a knock at Colchester.

Burton, who finished ninth in League One last season, included ex-Town loanee Stephen Bywater on the bench.

The Town travelling support packing the away end were in fine voice as the Blues’ first ever game in League One - their first at third tier level in 62 years - got under way.

In the third minute Danny Rowe, playing wide on the right, broke away and fed Norwood, who had made a clever run towards the right of the box, but the ball was stabbed away for the first of two corners.

The Blues, with owner Marcus Evans watching, continued to look the more threatening side and on six Kenlock crossed from the left but beyond Norwood.

On 10, Town keeper Holy was called into action for the first time, the big Czech keeper rushing off his line quickly to claim a ball played through the middle for Lucas Akins to chase.

A minute later, the Blues took the lead. Following another Rowe run down the right, the ball was played to Garbutt 25 yards out in the centre, just towards the left and the Everton loanee struck a shot which took a big deflection which wrong-footed Burton's debutant keeper Kieran O’Hara and beat him to his right.

The debutant scorer celebrated in front of the Town bench before being joined by his team-mates before the team took drinks on what was a very warm afternoon at the Pirelli Stadium.

Blues keeper Holy made his first save for the Blues with his foot in the 20th minute after a cross from the left had fallen to Ryan Edwards, another debutant, but it wouldn’t have counted with the linesman indicating that a foul, a pull, had been committed in the build-up.

On 23 keeper Holy caught a high ball into the box then immediately sent Norwood away with a throw down the left. The striker played a low pass across field to Rowe, who cut in and hit a powerful shot which O’Hara did well to palm wide to his right.

Three minutes later, Norwood robbed Stephen Quinn, brother of ex-Blue Alan, midway inside the Burton half before being cynically upended by the ex-Sheffield United man, who was shown the game’s first yellow card.

From the freekick, the ball was played to the right to Garbutt, who chipped a ball to the far post where Downes’s header was saved. However, the linesman’s flag had been raised anyway.

At the other end, Wilson blocked a shot from Edwards before Holy again used his 6ft 9in stature to punch away a ball into the box.

Just after the half hour, Kenlock crossed from the left towards Norwood but the ex-Tranmere man inadvertently touched the ball with his hand as he took it down having got in front of his defender.

In the 33rd minute Skuse played a brilliant cross-field pass to Rowe, who took it down, cut in and hit a low shot which O’Hara did well to keep out at his near post.

Two minutes later, Edwards reacted to a challenge by Downes, leading to a brief outbreak of handbags with Skuse shoving the Australian. Referee Ross Joyce made Edwards, who joined the Brewers from Hearts over the summer, his second booking of the game.

Norwood was enjoying what’s already becoming a familiar ongoing spat with the opposition centre-halves and a lively dialogue with the referee. On 37 the Blues striker was spoken to again having been - probably harshly on that occasions - adjudged to have fouled Jon-Joe O’Toole, although without being shown the yellow card the home fans felt he deserved.

There was a scare for the Blues two minutes later when a low John Brayford cross from the right was just kept out at his near post by Holy.

Following the resultant corner, the keeper scrambled out of his goal to the left but the ball was chipped over him into a crowded box but the Town defence managed to clear.

The Brewers had their best spell of the half in the minutes towards the break but with Town standing firm.

As they had all game, the Blues remained a threat on the break and in the 43rd minute Burton captain Jake Buxton just diverted Garbutt’s low cross from the left behind ahead of Jackson.

After the corner had been half-cleared, the ball fell to Skuse not far outside the area and the stand-in skipper hit a shot which was deflected wide.

In three minutes of injury time, Norwood belted a shot into a defender after another Rowe-inspired counter-attack, the Blues having comfortably defended, not for the first time, a freekick played into the box from a potentially dangerous area.

The Blues were good for their lead at the break and might well have been even further ahead but for O’Hara’s stops from Rowe with Town a particular threat when breaking on the Brewers, Norwood having provided a focal point that was missing for much of last season.

Despite having a lot of the ball, the home side had rarely seriously threatened, although they pressed the Blues more towards half-time, but with Town’s backline having remained resolute and keeper Holy having claimed everything in the air with confidence.

Town: Holy, Donacien, Woolfenden, Wilson, Kenlock, Skuse (c), Downes, Rowe, Garbutt, Jackson, Norwood. Subs: Norris, Judge, Roberts, El Mizouni, Dobra, Huws, Clements.

Burton: O'Hara, Brayford, O'Toole, Buxton (c), Daniel, Edwards, Quinn, Wallace, Fraser, Boyce, Akins. Subs: Bywater, Nartey, Anderson, Hutchinson, Sbarra, Broadhead, Sarkic. Referee: Ross Joyce (Cleveland).

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