|Burton Albion 0 v 1 Ipswich Town|
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 3rd August 2019 Kick-off 15:00
|Pessimistic added 17:56 - Aug 3|
arnold241 added 18:34 - Aug 3
Les57 added 19:28 - Aug 3
Les57 added 19:29 - Aug 3
Mullet added 20:08 - Aug 3
Statuesque in marble hues, all 7 feet of Holy stood between the goal and peered over the heads of Donacien, Woolfenden, Wilson and Kenlock. A flat four of Rowe, Downes, Skuse and Garbutt completed the two banks in the counter-attacking 442, headed by the man who’s all beard and baldness; Norwood and the contrasting pace of Kayden Jackson.
It was a new look town in every conceivable way, in new surrounds, but with the comfort of encountering Burton fairly recently. A lot has changed for both clubs, but some faces remain the same. Apart from Jake Buxton’s. If you want proof that League 1 ages you, look into his eyes and greying maw.
Town started fairly well, despite Burton kicking off. Each defender had a simple and solid first touch away. Kenlock volleyed, Wilson nodded and Woolfenden too but when it came to Donacien to get involved, Rowe sold him short on the line and two wingers appeared to take the ball away. It was only Rowe’s nutmeg response which sent him away and allowed Town fans to roar him on into empty space. The resulting chances fell to Garbutt corners, which needed eight phases of play before he got to repeat his outswinging Leadbitterisms.
Holy has a weird habit of always sliding out on his right-hand side, he did it to claim low and loose balls toward Akins and Boyce several times, even when it seemed instinctive to go to ground the other way. He came for crosses with the reach of a crane, a swing of the arm, meant a Norwood nod forward had Town counter attacking a Burton side happy to sit back and try to spring a trap behind our makeshift line.
It took just over ten minutes for Town to find success. Skuse dampened down play in the middle. Wilson looked across and switched it out wide. Rowe flew down the line and his instinct to cut in, saw him jump into the barrier of two yellow shirts. Quickly handing off the ball to Downes, the blondes were flowing forward with champagne runs. An exchange with Norwood on the edge of the box proved good value, out it went to Garbutt who also likes to cut in on his left. It was with that foot he hit it, it was off the balls of Norwood it seemed to ricochet, and squirt past the wrong-footed O’Hara for a less than Hollywood finish.
Elbows, feet, heads all clattered on the terrace as blue smoke choked the celebrants heralding the Ipswich promotion chase catching fire. Norwood could only celebrate rather than claim it, Garbutt owned that moment and opened his account to great relief both sides of the barrier.
With the game opening up and Town realising they didn’t have to do the fancy thing every time, simplicity yielded greater results. Feet in, standing up your man and setting up a simple run and simple pass was all it took to keep time and a step ahead. Burton thought they were level when Edwards fired only to be denied by Holy. Boyce had already fouled further down the six yard box.
The frontman was a simple and dishonest menace, finding fault and the floor all day. Sometimes justifiably, but with Wilson looking like a man ejected from a folding deckchair every time he challenged for a header and pivoted on the striker’s shoulder, you can see why Burton felt aggrieved now and again.
Former midfield maestro Alan’s little brother Stephen was one of the many old heads in the burton team. Whilst Edwards and Fraser were doubling up on a Donacien who started and ended the half poorly, it was the ex-Blade who cut into Norwood on half-way and got himself booked needlessly to stem the blue tide turning on his outnumbered colleagues.
Downes and Skuse were showing him how it should be done, dropping shoulders and looks to move the ball away from danger cleverly. It was total voetbal from the captain’s best mate when he launched a sixty yard switch into Rowe’s path. The inside forward has real dynamite in his boots, and was unlucky not to blow the home side away with vicious shot. It flew across goal and was only tipped past it by a great save.
Whilst Town laboured at times, their hard work made them look good for their lead. Holy only really playing himself into bother with the odd Friday night car park punch at crosses he really should have caught, regardless of his name. He could count his blessings when Brayford forced him into a smart jab along the ground at his near post. A hint of the corner conceded being unnecessary as it looked already to have bent out.
Likewise, when he kicked with his left, his distribution went hardly anywhere but up and back toward his own defence.
Town might have doubled their advantage when Garbutt bent his own low questioner across the box. Jackson used his speed to dive into its path at the near post, but never made any contact as Buxton coolly read the danger and extinguished it.
The defender was lucky in earlier altercation where either he or Edwards appeared to lunge in two footed during a melee. Slow to blow up or keen to play on the referee then missed a clear moment of madness in a half where he otherwise got most calls right.
The second half started in a much different fashion. Town went from flat and pragmatic efficiency in 442, to a more dynamic but off key 4231. Rowe in the 10 spot, Jackson down the right subtle changes to the shape. However, Rowe and Garbutt’s tendency to cut in and Jackson’s inability to remember he was a striker allowed Burton to pour down on both full backs now.
Their greater success in possession meant an increase in pressure for an Ipswich side still very much in its formative throes. It was elbows however that saw the feisty Norwood talk himself into the book. Suggesting through the universal language of mime and shouting the F-word a lot to the linesman, that he had in fact been receiving the physical punishment he was flagged for dishing out.
The pressure of wanting to be the main man was clearly weighing down the legs and head of a man with an obvious talent for engineering danger. The tragedy in this game being it was he who suffered the unfair judgements of marginal calls. Time and again he would find a runner or a defender to exploit, but the ball or the opportunity he needed was nowhere to be found.
Akins however, would put our strikers’ woes in the shade with a blazed effort way over and wide of the goal. Once more, an overwhelmed Donacien saw his attempt to clear his lines ensnare him out of position. Returned square, Holy dipped as if going under a door, not a window of opportunity to prove his assuredness. The Burton man drew him in, and with artistry opened his body too much as the goal beckoned to be filled and he slapped a shot into the faces of expectant home fans instead.
Downes seemed to upend Boyce all too easily on half way, and made sure of his card by volleying him in mid air, before dropping his head and raising his hand like a boy learning how to be a man about such adversity.
Garbutt would then put through Norwood with one his better balls and moments of creativity. The Toffee stuck it on a plate for the striker who gobbled up ground but stabbed wide when a certain second seemed there.
When Judge came on to see what he could do, it was Jackson who made way. Rowe returned to the right wing in the new formation and the Irish magician was given centre stage. Both men would combine to pick out Norwood and spread play to Garbutt in minutes where Ipswich redressed their lack of play and panache.
Burton looked unlikely to get back into the game, and it seemed all but over when Quinn dived in to Downes from behind. He immediately pointed to where he should have won the ball, knowing he was taking an early bath and hoping to divert the decision with amateur dramatics. It was no good, and off he was waved by jubilant Suffolk types and grumbling Burtons.
Huws came in for Wilson who sat on the floor clutching his toes. Back went Skuse as a sweeper and the Welshman stood head and shoulders above everybody else soon after.
An aborted and intricate set up saw Norwood run and Judge miss the pass, only to dive into a 50:50 and upset the odds of winning a free kick with an Oscar worthy cry of pain. A second kick by Judge, from closer in and a comfortable save ensued where previously Celina scored.
Town were comfortable despite more changes than they would have liked. It was the fear of Christ which swooped down upon us, when Holy miskicked under no pressure. Smashing against Boyce who half heartedly chased him down the ball span for an eternity past the keeper and then the post. A ruckus ensued on the Town bench and fingers and cards were pointed before some was ushered away. This time Lambert remained bristling under his polo shirt, no doubt stinking of Brut and bullishness.
With victory nearly kicked into the distance, Town pressed forward. El Mizouni emerged from the bench for MOTM Rowe. Taking over wing play, the youngster had not yet taken the knocks or praise the Impish Danny boy had all game.
The Tunisian proved to be the one who upturned the home side and our expectations with determined keep ball in the corner. Picking out Huws the Welshman saw the posts and saw glory skewering a left foot drive wide. On the far corner of the six yard box was Alan Judge, trying to make himself seen as he jumped up and down on the spot, shouting at Emyr long after the goal kick had been taken. The little fella might not have been happy.
It was six long minutes of injury time. Each second felt like a season in the Championship. Each kick, felt in the guts of every fan behind the goal. Town cleared off the line from a corner which came against the run of play. Burton poured on the intensity but not the poise to claw back a draw.
A polo shirted man in black greeted us all when the whistle came. Pottering around like a Dad as the lights go up at a kids party ushering and thanking and taking credit all at once, and all a bit sheepishly. It doesn’t matter if it was ugly, it doesn’t matter if it wasn’t always convincing. A svelte bloke with a precision engineered beard and tattoos, pumped his fist at his in triumph as he emerged from behind the scenes of clapping and high-fiving team mates. The rain held off until we walked out of the ground, points in the bag and fair few pairs of pants still in bum creases no doubt. It was a sign.
Robert_Garrett added 20:20 - Aug 3
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