Burton Albion 0-1 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 3rd Aug 2019 17:09
Luke Garbutt's deflected debut goal saw the Blues to a 1-0 victory over Burton Albion in their first third tier game for 62 years. Everton loanee Garbutt found the net in the 11th minute to see the Blues to the three points against the Brewers, who were reduced to 10 men late on when Stephen Quinn was red-carded for two bookable offences.
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, Downes and Norwood exchanged a pass and the youngster played the ball 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 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.
However, four minutes after the restart, the Brewers should have levelled. Donacien was unlucky not to cut out a ball down the line to Scott Fraser, the ball was crossed into the area and despite his height Holy was only able to divert it slightly behind Akins, who brought it inside before blazing his shot over with the keeper still out of his ground. Town were very fortunate not to be back on terms.
Norwood found his way into referee Joyce’s book on 53, much the home fans’ delight, for dissent having argued with the linesman about a throw-in decision in the corner.
Burton were continuing where they had left off at half-time with the Blues unable to get the ball out of their half, although with Burton similarly unable to create a serious chance. On 58 Downes was booked for a foul on Liam Boyce.
Just after the hour mark Norwood had his first significant opportunity in a Blues shirt but scuffed well wide having been played in by Garbutt.
In the 63rd minute, Jackson, who had moved out to a wide right role in the second half with Rowe having switched inside, was swapped for Judge. The Irishman went into the role behind Norwood with Rowe returning to the right flank.
On 66 Burton replaced Kieran Wallace with Nathan Broadhead, who joined them on loan from Everton yesterday.
Town began to keep the ball much better after Judge’s introduction with the former Brentford man immediately looking to get in possession and dictate play.
Garbutt hit another deflected effort on 70 but this time the ball cannoned well wide, Rowe and Judge having worked the opportunity down the right.
Burton started to press again and on 75 Holy was forced to tip over a deflected Fraser cross which was threatening to loop under the bar.
Town though quickly caught them on the break but Garbutt's ball from the left was overhit with Norwood among those in the box awaiting a cross.
In the 78th minute the Brewers were reduced to 10 men when Quinn fouled Garbutt midway inside the Burton half as he broke towards goal. Referee Joyce quickly issued the midfielder his second yellow card of the afternoon and then a red.
While the Blues prepared to take the freekick, they were forced into a change with debutant defender Wilson, who looked to have suffered a minor knock, replaced by Huws, who was making his first appearance for the senior side since December 2017. Skuse moved to centre-half alongside Woolfenden.
Judge was fouled as he looked to shoot after the ball was played to him and from the resultant second freekick hit a shot which O’Hara saved to his right. On 82 Burton replaced Akins with another debut-maker Oliver Sarkic, who signed from Leeds this week.
With the man advantage the Blues began to pass the ball around with even greater confidence. However, they almost conceded a bizarre equaliser in the 86th minute when, with no danger previously present, the ball was played back to Holy who dallied before clearing against Boyce and the ball ricocheted only narrowly past his right post.
The ball had looked on its way into the net and Town first-team coach reacted by kicking a cool box in front of the dugout and was shown a red card by referee Joyce.
Soon after, Judge was added to the lengthy list of bookings for a foul on Colin Daniel on halfway. Daniel was then replaced by Reece Hutchinson on 88.
In the second of six minutes of injury time Fraser was booked for a foul on Rowe, before the ex-Macclesfield man, who could be well pleased with his performance, was replaced by Idris El Mizouni.
Deep in injury time, the Brewers came close to an equaliser again. A corner from the left was headed down and goalwards by Boyce but Woolfenden was on hand to nod over the bar.
Almost immediately Town nearly scored a second. After great work from sub El Mizouni, Huws hit a shot from the edge of the box which the Welshman screwed just wide, although Judge in space to his left was screaming for a pass.
That was the final action of an entertaining first Blues game in League One which Paul Lambert’s side deserved to win, but equally might have ended up drawing with Burton having had one or two opportunities in the second half, most notably when Boyce closed down Holy.
At the whistle the squad went over to acknowledge the support of the 1,791 travelling fans and skipper Chambers, who had watched the game from behind the dugouts, gave an airing to his traditional fist-pump. He'll be hoping it's the first of many this season.
Overall Paul Lambert’s side were worthy of a confidence-boosting first three points of the season which they will take into next week’s home game against Sunderland, who are almost certain to be a tougher test despite their 1-1 draw at home to Oxford today.
Town: Holy, Donacien, Woolfenden, Wilson (Huws 79), Kenlock, Skuse (c), Downes, Rowe (El Mizouni 90), Garbutt, Jackson (Judge 62), Norwood. Unused: Norris, Roberts, Dobra, Clements.
Burton: O'Hara, Brayford, O'Toole, Buxton (c), Daniel (Hutchinson 88), Edwards, Quinn, Wallace (Broadhead 66), Fraser, Boyce, Akins (Sarkic 82). Unused: Bywater, Nartey, Anderson, Sbarra. Referee: Ross Joyce (Cleveland). Att: 4,565 (Town: 1,791).
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