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Burton Albion 0 v 1 Ipswich Town
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 16th January 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Burton Albion 0-1 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 16th Jan 2021 17:07

Mark McGuinness’s first career goal saw the Blues to a hard-fought 1-0 victory against bottom club Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium. The centre-half nodded home a deflected Alan Judge cross in the 73rd minute following a free-kick with sub Aaron Drinan having hit the bar four minutes earlier.

Town boss Paul Lambert, who was back in the dugout but sitting on the bench for the most part, 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 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 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 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.

Five minutes after the restart Edwards almost sent Norwood away on the break, however, a Burton toe cut out the Welshman’s pass as Town counter-attacked with the home side having started the second half positively.

In the 55th minute Norwood was booked for coming back on to the field having been treated for an injury without being waved on, although the striker claimed, somewhat vociferously, that the fourth official had told him to go on.

Town began to start showing some threat, a neat interchange on the right involving Dozzell and Bishop saw Judge into space but the Irishman’s cross was blocked. Moments later, Norwood was swapped for Drinan.

The game was beginning to get a little more open and just after the hour mark, Joe Powell played in Akins, who tried to round Holy, however the Czech stuck out one of his long legs to take the ball away from the striker. From the resultant corner, Brayford was booked for a dive having again claimed a penalty after a tangle with Dozzell.

The Burton skipper shot well wide from 20 yards in the 64th minute with the Brewers having been the better side in the second half.

Town went very close to going in front in the 67th minute. Chambers turned away from his man on the right in the aftermath of a Dozzell corner from the left which like too many of Town’s flag-kicks had hit the first man. The skipper’s cross was flicked on by Bishop and Drinan looped a header over Garratt but off the bar and behind. The Blues were beginning to look the more threatening of the two teams.

On 71, Judge was found as he broke towards the byline by Chambers’s throw but the former Irish international’s cross failed to find a Town player.

A minute later, Hawkins took over from Bishop, who will have been happy enough with his return, having just won a free-kick just outside the area to the left.

And when play restarted, the Blues took the lead. Dozzell tapped the ball back to Judge from the free-kick, his cross caught a Burton foot on its way and McGuinness nodded his first senior goal past Garratt and into the net.

The Blues had begun to get on top after making a slow start to the second half, although the goal was their first shot on target.

Owen Gallacher was booked for a foul on Judge on the right in the 76th minute and from the free-kick the Blues went close to a second. The unlucky Drinan, who is still to score a senior goal for Town, stooped to head goalwards by Garratt somehow bundled it away.

Burton switched Powell and Vernam for new signings Sean Clare and Josh Parker, then on 79 Town replaced Edwards with Freddie Sears.

There was a scare for the Blues seconds later when the otherwise solid Nsiala inadvertently mis-kicked a cross from the left towards his own goal but Holy, who like Garratt had had a quiet afternoon, quickly got down to his left to save.

Sub Parker should have done better in the 81st minute when Akins pulled the ball back from the left but the debutant frontman blazed over from just inside the area.

Dozzell was booked for a cynical foul on Akins in the 83rd minute as Burton looked to get forward, then two minutes later Drinan joined him for a foul on Gallacher, who needed to be replaced by Indiana Vassilev having suffered a knock in the challenge.

Town saw out the final scheduled minutes and an additional four without much trouble to confirm a hard-fought three points.

The game was far from a free-flowing classic and Burton will rue not taking their chance just before half-time.

The Brewers began the second half strongly but Town, who were far from brilliant, gradually began to take control and were starting to look the more threatening side, Drinan having hit the bar, when McGuinness reacted quickest to the deflection on Judge’s cross to head into the net.

The win, completing the Blues' first double of the season, sees Town move up a place to seventh, one point behind Charlton in sixth with two games in hand with the Addicks on the same points as fifth-placed Peterborough and Doncaster in fourth with Posh having played the same as Town and Rovers one fewer.

Next up for the Blues are back-to-back home matches against Peterborough next Saturday and Sunderland the following Tuesday.

Burton: Garratt, Brayford (c), Edwards, Powell (Clare 76), Hemmings, Akins, Carter, Vernam (Parker 76), O’Toole (Bostwick 7,) Gallacher (Vassilev 86), Gilligan. Unused: O'Hara, Varney, Hart.

Ipswich: Holy, Chambers (c), Nsiala, McGuinness, Ward, Dozzell, Downes, Bishop (Hawkins 72), Judge, Edwards (Sears 79), Norwood (Drinan 59). Unused: Cornell, Woolfenden, Kenlock, Lankester, Sears. Referee: Neil Hair (Cambridgeshire).

Photo: Pagepix

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BromleyBloo added 17:07 - Jan 16
We played good - not great, but okay. Like others, unhappy with dropping Woolfy, but to be fair Nsiala was MOM - won everything in the air and two fantastic tackles in the first half, with McG similar. Ward also good. Second half we dominated, although we still need to create more scoring opportunities - just need to get the ball in the box more, simples!!! Also no injuries, so with players back, a platform to build from I think. There’s the challenge - compete, create, score, win...................


Sent from my iPhone

cromwellblue added 17:08 - Jan 16
Crikey, that was worse than last week. Seem to have gone back to long ball

Thank god they were equally awful.


DifferentGravy added 17:08 - Jan 16
Eh?|!? Played good......!?!?

Blueballs83 added 17:11 - Jan 16
Much better performance! Far more direct and played at much quicker pace! Still not generating enough chances, but an improvement from the slow and meandering recent performance! Shame about Norwood, will he ever remain fit.

runningout added 17:11 - Jan 16
Can’t wine too much with 3 points. Got to be self critical though and we have a hell of a lot to improve on

martin587 added 17:13 - Jan 16
3 points.That’s good enough for me under the current circumstances.Well done lads.Two hard games coming up now.

TimmyH added 17:13 - Jan 16
Another undeserved 3 points, how many of these have we had this season?...but saying that Burton could have played all day without scoring and we just look like a very average league one side. When was the last time we put in a decent performance, I really can't remember?

Surprised PL started both Edwards and Bishop today after lengthy lay-offs but then again he hasn't a clue. Lambert out!


jas0999 added 17:13 - Jan 16
Great to win a game of football, but struggled for long periods against the worst team in the league. No doubt Lambert will be as arrogant as ever - as if we’ve just beaten Barcelona!

I’m more interested to see how we do against Peterborough and Sunderland.

MickMillsTash added 17:13 - Jan 16
A difficult watch
Huge need for improvement next week

ShropshireBluenago09 added 17:13 - Jan 16
Was a ‘must win’ and we did. Performance not great but with players coming back we look better. Really need KVY back and a decent left sided wing back instead of Ward.
Good to see Holy back, not convinced by Cornell.

Kirbmeister added 17:15 - Jan 16
Won’t be many posts on here tonight. A lot of disappointed town fans tonight (at least ones who post on here).

Barty added 17:15 - Jan 16
3 hard fought points and keeps us in the mix. PL - please play 2 up front from now on.

SpiritOfJohn added 17:16 - Jan 16
Not a great performance, but a very welcome 3 points.

johnwarksshorts added 17:16 - Jan 16
Lost commentary on ifollow. First half sounded and looked like park football. Nsiala mom, Chambo blocked certain goal, good substitutions by Lambert. These were the only highlights. But take 3 points and move on.

DifferentGravy added 17:17 - Jan 16
Burton are the poorest side Ive seen us play this season and will go down unless they have a dramatic turn around under Jimmy FH. Awful first half, slightly improved second half although we only ever looked like scoring from a set piece. If it wasnt for some calm goalkeeping (twice) by Holy and a Chambers goal line block, it could have been very different. But its a win. Nice to see a couple of runs from Teddy. Judgy did ok in the 10 minute spell we had in the second half. Downes looked steady in midfield.

Ball was played forward alot quicker today but poor old Norwood was the only one up there. Once again the tactics/formation were dreadful. Shambert incompetence let off the hook again.

Any other manager would get so much more from these players


chopra777 added 17:17 - Jan 16
A win is better than a kick in the mouth. A better team on paper, but we were lacking an edge once again. Too many hoofed balls and a lack of invention. Come on Lambert we need another win next week. Someone please create some magic. Congratulations to McGuiness on his goal.

StavangerBlue added 17:18 - Jan 16
1-0 against the bottom club. Jeez, a top-half finish looks optimistic. Playoff finish, no chance.

Saxonblue74 added 17:20 - Jan 16
The only difference from last week was the opposition. 3 points, a few players back, apart from that nothing to shout about I'm afraid.

heathen66 added 17:20 - Jan 16
Good result and a welcome 3 points
Not sure we set out to win a 'must win' game with only one striker
With this in mind not surprised it was a defender to spare Lamberts blushes.
Not convinced by Lamberts tactics, team selection or style, but will take this 3 points
Hopefully something to build on with stiffer tasks ahead with Paterborough and Sunderland to come.

skankerman added 17:21 - Jan 16
Good to see a win
Always believe that we have enough in the squad to push up the league.
If only we had a Manager who could motivate his troops, that sadly is the burning issue here

grubbyoik added 17:21 - Jan 16
3 points granted.. but I just can't see the bigger picture.. that was shambolic to man and as for the manager... don't get me started..

dunkleberrydog added 17:22 - Jan 16
This is such a poor brand of football, but Lambert seems to believe it is really really good. How can we be punting the ball away and going to the corners against League One’s bottom club like headless chickens? .we used to play football, and we still could if directed differently. Woeful, but we scrambled three points again...

Suffolkboy added 17:26 - Jan 16
Three points are always welcome ; and nobody can truly expect to ‘put on the style ‘ on every occasion .
Build on this , pick out the good, set aside the dubious with conviction and do even better in the two games ahead especially !
That should really help restore confidence and point the way ahead !

cat added 17:27 - Jan 16
Great to get a win but that was awful to watch.

happybeingblue added 17:29 - Jan 16
see the delusional happy clappers are on radio suffolk,think that frank is possibly more annoying than lambert,probably more entertaining than watching the dross game though :)

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