BURTON AND ROWETT PUT TOUGH WEEK TO ONE SIDE
Brewers unaffected by uncertainty
BURTON produced a champagne second-half show to celebrate Gary Rowett’s renewal of his vows with the League Two table-toppers – with the Brewers boss delighted by his side’s professional attitude.
Rowett could have walked off into the sunset after Championship side Blackpool offered him the chance to revive their fortunes.
But the Brewers boss committed his future to the Pirelli Stadium, partly for family reasons but also because he did not want to leave behind the best squad he has assembled.
And the players repaid his faith by steamrollering a York side that had not lost in their previous 23 league games – a club record – thanks to strikes from Lucas Akins and John Mousinho.
“I was slightly concerned that the events of this week might have led to the lads taking their eye off the ball,” Rowett said.“You always worry about things like that because you don’t want events off the field to affect the performance.
“It was going to be a difficult game anyway against a team who’d gone 23 games unbeaten in the regular season, so to do what we did against them shows again how potent we can be when we play well.
“John Mousinho was such an influential player for us. He’s shown the talent he’s got as well as being a disciplined leader of men.”
The first half was largely a story of two well-drilled defences and a pair of goalkeepers who never looked entirely convincing.
Femi Ilesanmi’s audacious shot from inside his own half had Burton’s Jon McLaughlin back-pedalling to spare his early blushes, but York’s goal also came under threat in a lively opening.
Akins teed up Adam McGurk on the edge of the box only for the Burton topscorer to shoot straight at Michael Ingham, while Alex MacDonald should have done better than send a free header too high from a Phil Edwards cross.
McLaughlin had some difficulty in scooping a Luke Summerfield shot round a post before McGurk spurned another opening for the Brewers by heading too high in the 13th minute.
After an even start, Burton began to take a grip on proceedings and York had an escape in the 28th minute when Mousinho’s lob was headed off the line by Keith Lowe after Ingham failed to get enough distance on a punch out.
At the other end, McLaughlin put his early jitters aside to save at the feet of Wes Fletcher after the striker had turned past Shane Cansdell-Sherriff.
Burton’s attacking efforts fizzled out as the half came to an end, but the hosts were quickly into their stride after the break. Akins turned neatly only to miss the target, but the winger made no mistake in the 55th minute.
McGurk’s shot was blocked by Lowe’s brave lunge but the ball broke for Akins to lash in from 12 yards.
The goal gave Burton the confidence to go out in search of a second – and it almost came in the 69th minute when McGurk shook the York crossbar from 18 yards.
But York’s fate was sealed ten minutes later as Mousinho pounced on a partial clearance to beat Ingram with a stunning 25-yard shot.
And York boss Nigel Worthington was frustrated his side’s unbeaten run fizzled out in such tame fashion.
He said: “Burton are decent side and you’ve got to give them credit because they’ve built themselves up over the last two or three years, but we won’t use that as an excuse.
“We didn’t pass the ball well enough and some of our decision-making was very much indifferent.
“I couldn’t fault our energy and effort but there are clearly things we can get better at. For me, we surrendered the good run we’ve been on for such a long time, too easily – and that’s not something that pleases me.
“We didn’t pass the ball, we didn’t do the things we’re good at.We’re a decent side, but we didn’t show up.”
OPENER: Lucas Akins fires in for Gary Rowett’s side
DOUBLE ACT: Burton’s goalscorers John Mousinho and Lucas Akins celebrate
STAR MAN JOHN MOUSI