Burton Albion 2-1 Ipswich Town: Tale of two penalties as Blues lose
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A tale of two penalties saw Ipswich Town begin their League One season in defeat as they went down 2-1 at Burton.
A Tom O’Connor own goal brought Town level after Joe Powell’s opener, with both goals coming two minutes apart during a frantic first half, in which Town were second best to a Brewers side who gave them little time to breath.
But, after Louie Barry hit the deck in the second half, Town had a golden opportunity to put themselves in front, only for Scott Fraser to miss from the spot against his former club.
Town, having been second best for long spells of this game, got on top as time went on in the second period, only for Matt Penney to run across Powell’s heels, allowing Lucas Akins to slot the winner home from the penalty spot with less than five minutes remaining.
Paul Cook’s side had no response from there, as they fell to defeat.
Next up is a trip to Cheltenham Town on Tuesday night.
Cook made three changes to the Ipswich side which started last weekend’s League e-opener against Morecambe, with Louie Barry and Armando Dobra replacing Wes Burns and Conor Chaplin in the forward line and Janoi Donacien coming into the defence in place of Toto Nsiala.
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Dobra and Scott Fraser occupied the wide positions, with Barry pushed up right alongside Joe Pigott in attack.
The Blues took time to settle during a frenetic opening to the game which saw the hosts have plenty of the ball and force mistakes from their visitors whenever the men in blue did find themselves in possession.
Cook’s men did have the first real openings, though, firstly when Pigott was crowded out at the far post as he looked to meet Matt Penney’s cross, before Fraser slipped Barry away, only for the Villa loanee to be caught offside.
Kane Vincent-Young was required to make two blocks in quick succession as Burton continued to apply pressure, before the Town defence was finally breached.
A goal had been coming before Joe Powell produced an excellent finish to beat Vaclav Hladky, as he raced onto a pull-back from Lucas Akins after the Brewers had taken a quick free-kick.
The home advantage lasted just two minutes, though, as Dobra produced an excellent skip inside to win a free-kick in a dangerous position. Lee Evans took it, with Pigott attacking from deep and forcing Tom O’Connor to head into the back of his own net. The Burton man furiously appealed for a foul, but the scores were level.
Town continued to struggle to find their feet in a contest played at lightning pace, with little time on the ball in midfield before the two sides went in at half-time level.
Ipswich had the first true opening of the second period as Vincent-Young charged forward and hit the deck, with Fraser mopping up well to pick up the loose ball. Sadly, his cross was straight at the goalkeeper.
Barry had been largely anonymous before hitting the deck inside the box, under the challenge of O’Connor, winning a penalty as the Burton centre-half's troublesome afternoon continued. But Burton old boy Fraser couldn’t convert from the spot as his admittedly poor penalty was saved by Ben Garratt.
Cook’s response was to introduce Macauley Bonne and new signing Kyle Edwards from the bench, with the latter rattling the bar from outside the box within minutes of entering for his debut, as the Blues began to enjoy some better spells of pressure.
The Town boss himself found his way into the book after some touchline jostling with opposite number Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Burton left-back Ben Hamer, under the nose of the fourth official, before the two managers hugged it out with huge grins on their faces.
Rekeem Harper headed Scott Fraser’s free-kick over the top at the far post, before Penney’s infringement as he ran across the heels of Powell allowed Akins to step up and score what turned out to be the winner.
Harper had a shot saved as Town probed in search of an equaliser, but that’s as close as the Blues came as their previous 100% record at the Pirelli Stadium came to an end.
Burton Albion: Garratt; Brayford, Shaughnessy, Leak, Hamer; O'Connor, Taylor (Mancienne, 40); Powell, Smith (Bostwick, 88), Patrick; Akins
Subs: Balcombe, Borthwick-Jackson, Blake-Tracy, Amadi-Holloway, Williams
Ipswich Town: Hladky; Vincent-Young, Donacien, Woolfenden, Penney; Evans, Harper; Fraser, Barry (Edwards, 66), Dobra (Bonne, 66); Pigott
Subs: Holy. Ndaba. Clements, El Mizouni, Jackson