Ipswich Town 0-0 Burton Albion: Blues offer precious little on drab afternoon at Portman Road

Grant Ward looks to push forward early in the Ipswich Town v Burton Albion (Sky Bet Championship) ma

Grant Ward looks to push forward early in the Ipswich Town v Burton Albion (Sky Bet Championship) match. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town were barely able to land a blow on basement boys Burton on a drab afternoon at Portman Road.

Bersant Celina takes on Lucas Akins in the first half. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLE

Bersant Celina takes on Lucas Akins in the first half. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

The hosts were looking to back up last weekend’s victory at Sunderland and build momentum heading into next weekend’s East Anglian Derby with Norwich, but they were able to neither as they were forced to settle for a point.

Nothing Mick McCarthy’s side tried came off, with almost every Blues player guilty of giving the ball away cheaply on occasions, and chances limited solely to efforts from outside the box.

Mustapha Carayol came off the bench in the second half and appeared the most likely to make something happen, as he ran at his man on a number of occasions and flashed a shot wide from outside the box.

MORE: Stuart says: Four observations on Ipswich Town’s 0-0 home draw with Burton Albion

But no goal came, with McCarthy’s side forced to settle for a point in a game where former Blues youngster Darren Bent had the two best chances for a Burton side who had the better of the possession.

The return of Bersant Celina was McCarthy’s only change, as the Manchester City loanee returned to the side in place of Freddie Sears, but the Kosovan saw little of the ball in the opening minutes as the Blues struggled to get the ball under control.

Burton were solid and compact but knocked the ball around nicely, far from ‘parking the bus’, but the Blues offered very little, giving possession away time and again and resorting to long balls that were never there.

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The only two chances of any note inside the first half an hour went to Burton, and came from range, as Lloyd Dyer and Martin Samuelsen both blasted harmlessly wide. Jamie Allen then had another effort, which he scuffed over the top, which prompted a chorus of boos from sections of a frustrated home crowd.

Both Mick McCarthy's Ipswich Town and Norwich City drew last weekend. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Both Mick McCarthy's Ipswich Town and Norwich City drew last weekend. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Those boos rang out again at the break, after which the Blues emerged with a little more purpose and worked the ball nicely to Grant Ward on a handful of occasions without being able to fashion that elusive first chance.

MORE: Ratings: Bialkowski and Carayol the pick of the bunch on a dire afternoon - grades from Burton

The best opportunity fell to a man all-too familiar to Portman Road, when Bent was slipped in by a John Brayford header, but the former Ipswich youth product saw his shot saved by the legs of Bartrosz Bialkowski. He was soon presented with another opportunity, with his effort on the spin easily held by Bialkowski.

That saw McCarthy turn to his bench, in the form of Stephen Gleeson and Carayol, who replaced Callum Connolly and Ward.

Waghorn flashed a shot across goal without troubling former Town loanee Stephen Bywater, before Carayol threatened to awake the home crowd from their slumber with two good attacking runs.. Sadly, though, they ultimately led to nothing.

Everything the Blues tried failed to hit the mark, with Garner, Waghorn and Celina all losing the ball when looking to attack.

The most likely to make something happen was Carayol, with the debut-making winger letting fly from fully 25 yards and brushing the side-netting, before Cameron Carter-Vickers could only direct his head from a Waghorn corner wide of Bywater’s goal.

Celina’s shot on target was greeted by ironic cheers, before Bialkowski was called upon in the final minutes to keep a header from his own man, Chambers, out the net before the final whistle sounded.