Ipswich Town 3-0 Burton Albion: Jackson inspires home win
- Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com
Ipswich Town moved a point closer to the League One play-off places following an ultimately-comfortable victory over Burton.
Kayden Jackson got his side off to the perfect start as he fired home from the edge of the box just 43 seconds into a contest he left a real mark on, as he laid on Town’s second and third goals.
Wes Burns doubled the advantage, finishing from inside the box from Jackson’s cross from the left, before switching to the right flank to serve up goal number three as a pinpoint ball across the area allowed Bersant Celina to tap home.
Town were ultimately comfortable winners in this game but did need to see off a dangerous Burton side who always looked a threat from set pieces, while heavy rain and wind in the early stages of the game made things extremely difficult.
But Kieran McKenna’s men dealt with all of that well, before going on to secure three big points.
The success, along with results elsewhere, move Town a point closer to the top six, with the gap now just four heading into Tuesday night’s game with Cheltenham at Portman Road.
McKenna made three changes to his side heading into this game, with the expected one seeing Lee Evans return from illness in place of Tyreeq Bakinson in the middle of midfield.
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Jackson kept his place following a decent showing at MK Dons a week ago, though his two attacking partners were changed as both Celina and Conor Chaplin dropped out.
Sone Aluko came into the team on his 33rd birthday, while there was also a surprise start for Joe Pigott, who jumped into the starting XI after not making the bench at Stadium MK a week ago.
Things could not have started better for the Blues, who found themselves ahead inside a minute as Jackson picked up a Wes Burns pass and drove towards the edge of the box, where he ultimately let off a left-footed shot which skidded along the turf and into the bottom corner of the Burton net.
Town survived some dangerous set-pieces and a couple of awkward moments around their own box, before Lee Evans was forced to clear off the Ipswich line as Jacob Maddox fired a half-cleared corner and Christian Walton was required to claw a second set-piece away as it looked like drifting into his net.
Burton were threatening from set plays as they looked to put the ball on top of an Ipswich side who had a few openings of their own, without finding the final ball, before Walton was needed to make smart stops to keep Joe Powell’s clever free-kick and Tom Hamer’s header out of the Town net.
Pigott hit the post and Woolfenden had a goal ruled out for offside, as the Blues began to find a groove in the final 10 minutes of the first half, with much of the attacking threat coming down the right flank but delivery hit and miss.
Town had a golden opportunity to double their advantage prior to half-time when Conor Shaughnessy and goalkeeper Ben Garratt found themselves on different pages as the defender looked to pass the ball back to safety. His pass was woefully under-hit, as Garratt failed to come, freeing Aluko through on goal, but the attacker delayed his pass too long and failed to find Sam Morsy. The chance was gone.
Referee Carl Brook was booed off at the interval, following a half including several questionable 50/50 calls, and was greeted by the same calls as he and the two teams returned for the second half.
Burns had the first shot of the second half, firing wide from the edge of the box, before the Welsh winger fired another cross through the penalty area which flew a couple of yards in front of Pigott once again.
Aluko tried his luck from range, with Garratt spilling his low shot but Jackson not quite being able to follow it up before the goalkeeper claimed it, before those two Town players were heavily involved in the move which doubled the home advantage.
Aluko started it with a sublime ball out to the left from the middle of the pitch, where Jackson was able to advance into the box and play a deep cross for Burns to turn home as he shot into the floor and then into the net.
McKenna turned to his bench on 68 minutes, bringing Celina and Chaplin into the game in place of Pigott and Aluko, with Celina soon on target as he stole in at the back post to tuck home a superb Jackson cross.
The North Stand sang the striker’s name as he added his second assist of the afternoon and, after nearly setting up Morsy for the fourth, received a thunderous reception as he left the field with 10 minutes remaining and was replaced by Norwood.
Town continued to push, creating late openings to add to their advantage, but the winning margin remained at three as McKenna’s men were applauded off at the final whistle.
Ipswich Town (3-4-3): Walton; Donacien, Woolfenden, Edmundson; Burns, Morsy, Evans, Thompson; Aluko (Chaplin, 68), Jackson (Norwood, 81), Pigott (Celina, 68)
Subs: Hladky, Burgess, Bakinson, Bonne
Burton Albion (3-5-2): Garratt; Brayford, Hughes, Shaughnessy, Blake-Tracy; Hamer, Kokolo (Chapman, 74), Maddox, Powell; Ahadme (Niasse, 63), Saydee (Smith, 68)
Subs: Kovar, Chapman, Leak, Mancienne, Lakin
Att: 20,516 (174 Burton fans)