Burton Albion 0-0 Ipswich Town - Half-Time
Saturday, 16th Jan 2021 16:03
The Blues and Burton Albion remain level at 0-0 at half-time at the Pirelli Stadium.
Town boss Paul Lambert, who was back in the dugout but sitting on the bench, made six changes with Tomas Holy, Toto Nsiala, Flynn Downes, Teddy Bishop, Gwion Edwards and James Norwood starting XI.
Holy replaced Dai Cornell in goal with the Welshman on the bench. At the back, Nsiala came in for Luke Woolfenden, who was also among the subs, alongside Mark McGuinness.
In midfield, Downes, a half-time sub in last week’s 3-2 home loss to Swindon, returned in the three alongside Andre Dozzell and back-from-injury Bishop ahead of them, while Alan Judge moved to wide right.
It was the first time the all-academy trio had started a competitive match in the same midfield three having impressed in the pre-season friendly against West Ham.
Edwards, still joint-top scorer with five goals along with the still absent Jon Nolan despite having been out since November, was wide on the left with Armando Dobra not involved.
Norwood, who scored his first league goal of the season having come off the bench last week, is the central striker, while Aaron Drinan dropped to the bench alongside Oli Hawkins, back after missing out last weekend with a minor knee problem. Kayden Jackson and Emyr Huws, who both started last week, missed out on a place in the squad and both watched from the stands.
The Brewers, playing their first home game since Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s return as manager, made two changes with midfielder Ciaran Gilligan and striker Charles Vernam coming into the side for midfielder Colin Daniel and defender Kieran Wallace, who were both missing from the 18. Ex-Blues striker Luke Varney was among the subs.
The game kicked-off after both teams had taken a knee in support of Black Lives Matter but was stop-start in the early minutes due to injuries to Burton players. On seven Jon-Joe O’Toole was replaced by Michael Bostwick.
Neither keeper was tested in a battling first 15 minutes as the teams sought to gain control. Burton had come closest to creating a chance when Lucas Akins crossed from the right but the ball scuffed off Ryan Edwards’s head and away from goal.
Town began to see more of the ball in the Burton half as the game passed the 20-minute mark but without causing Ben Garratt in the Brewers goal a problem with an easily caught Judge cross his only involvement.
The Blues were looking forward earlier than has usually been the case with Norwood looking to make runs in behind.
On 29 Chambers was booked for a challenge on Bostwick, although having appeared to make no contact with the home substitute who had leapt somewhat dramatically in the air.
Four minutes later, Vernam broke towards the byline on the left of the box and Nsiala slid in the divert behind. The Burton man required treatment before continuing.
Town continued to see most of the ball and on 38 Edwards, lively on his return, crossed from the left but was unable to find a team-mate.
The Blues eventually won a corner from which Nsiala rose highest but was unable to get enough on the ball to send it towards goal due to a foul, according to the centre-half. Referee Neil Hair wasn’t interested.
Burton skipper John Brayford appealed that he’d been fouled by Dozzell as a subsequent corner looped past him at the other end but again the official paid no heed to the appeals.
Burton should have gone ahead in the 44th minute when Ryan Edwards’s deflected cross looped over Holy, struck the bar and fell to Vernam, who seemed certain to score until Blues skipper Chambers threw himself into the path of his effort at goal to divert it behind.
After three additional minutes referee Hair brought a scruffy half in which chances had been very rare at both ends.
The standout opportunity - in truth the only clear-cut chance - was Vernam’s at the end which Chambers had blocked superbly.
The Blues had failed to give home keeper Garratt anything to do with one or two crosses from either flank and Nsiala’s header their most dangerous moments.
Town had, however, been less ponderous in possession than in recent games with more of the match being played in the opposition half, while Chambers and Nsiala had often looked to play early balls forward for Norwood to chase.
Returning trio Edwards, Downes and Bishop had shown glimpses of their best form but without having been able to hurt the opposition.
Burton: Garratt, Brayford (c), Edwards, Powell, Hemmings, Akins, Carter, Vernam, O’Toole (Bostwick 7,) Gallacher, Gilligan. Subs: O'Hara, Parker, Varney, Vassilev, Hart, Clare.
Ipswich: Holy, Chambers (c), Nsiala, McGuinness, Ward, Dozzell, Downes, Bishop, Judge, Edwards, Norwood. Subs: Cornell, Woolfenden, Kenlock, Lankester, Sears, Drinan, Hawkins. Referee: Neil Hair (Cambridgeshire).
Photo: Action Images
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