Eight things we learned about Ipswich Town’s 2-1 win at Burton Albion tonight

Freddie Sears scores Ipswich's second at Burton Albion

Freddie Sears scores Ipswich's second at Burton Albion

Following this evening’s 2-1 victory over Burton Albion at a very wet Pirelli Stadium, sports writer WILL RIDGARD looks at eight things we learned as Ipswich moved up to 15th place in the Championship.

Freddie Sears scores Ipswich's second at Burton Albion

Freddie Sears scores Ipswich's second at Burton Albion

1. Town are nearly safe!

Although mathematically still not safe from relegation, Town are pretty much home and dry in terms of Championship safety.

Town climbed to 15th position tonight, nine points clear of the drop zone, with four games to go, after Good Friday’s results.

Relegation rivals Bristol City (2-1 win v QPR), Blackburn Rovers (1-0 win v Nottingham Forest), and Birmingham City (1-1 draw v Rotherham) all picked up points earlier today, so it was vital that Town took something from tonight’s game ahead of Newcastle’s visit on Easter Monday.

2. Tom Lawrence’s inclusion was a welcome boost.

This was the winger’s first start after overcoming a troublesome groin injury that had recently seen him miss four games.

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The Wales international came on as a half-time substitute in the 3-1 defeat to Fulham last Saturday, assisting Christophe Berra for Town’s late consolation, and impressed on his full return this evening.

His direct running presented Ipswich with several chances in the first half, with Grant Ward and Freddie Sears going close.

The Leicester loanee also delivered some wicked crosses in the second period, and put in a sublime corner which former Town striker Luke Varney turned into his own net.

3. Luke Varney had an interesting night!

The experienced striker, popular during his numerous spells with Ipswich, was given a warm reception by travelling Town fans.

Even before his half-time arrival as a substitute, Town fans chanted his name, before warmly applauding his entrance to the pitch.

Well, just seven minutes after taking to the field, Varney opened the scoring in front of the Town fans - unfortunately for him, it was in the wrong net as he diverted home Tom Lawrence’s brilliant corner.

The hardworking striker did win his side a penalty, in the 86th minute, which Lucas Akins converted but it was to no avail.

4. Town’s travelling support was brilliant.

Flocks of Town supporters travelled to Burton upon Trent to cheer the team on.

Taking up a whole stand behind one of Burton’s goals, Town fans were in fine voice from the off, chanting numerous Town songs in a stadium many of them would have never visited.

And they were wildly celebrating when Town scored in front of them twice, in minutes 52 and 79, with skipper Luke Chambers passionately leading the celebrations!

5. This was the first competitive meeting between the two clubs at the Pirelli Stadium.

After Burton Albion’s rise through the leagues this century, this was the clubs’ first ever competitive meeting at the Pirelli Stadium.

While Ipswich won 2-0 at Portman Road earlier in the season, thanks to goals from Freddie Sears and Luke Chambers, tonight saw Town win 2-1, in front of 5,236 spectators.

6. Myles Kenlock enjoyed a fine performance.

Apart from conceding a late penalty, Kenlock defended well, was comfortable on the ball, and unluckily saw a first-half goal ruled out for offside.

The youngster diverted Grant Ward’s strike into the net for what would’ve been his first professional career goal, only for a very late flag from the linesman to scupper his celebrations.

Replays in fact showed that the left back was being played onside by a Burton Albion defender.

The left-back also went on a marauding run to set Freddie Sears up for Town’s second goal, before clumsily fouling Luke Varney for a penalty to set up a frantic finish.

7. Mick switched formations again.

Like in the 3-1 defeat at Fulham, Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy wasn’t afraid to switch systems during the match.

He started with a 4-2-3-1 formation, before switching to a 3-5-2 system just before half-time, with Freddie Sears partnering David McGoldrick upfront and Grant Ward slotting in at right wing-back as Jordan Spence moved into central defence alongside Christophe Berra and Luke Chambers.

Town then went back to 4-2-3-1 in an attempt to see the game off deep into the second period.

8. It’s very wet in the Midlands!

Upon arrival at the Pirelli Stadium, everyone was welcomed by a downpour of rain!

And the heavens continued to open, especially in the first half, making for a zippy and slippery playing surface.

Still, Ipswich fans didn’t care, as they left Burton upon Trent with all three points.

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