Brew­ers un­af­fected by un­cer­tainty

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Rex Page

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

PIC­TURES: Gor­don Clayton

DOU­BLE ACT: Bur­ton’s goalscor­ers John Mous­inho and Lu­cas Akins cel­e­brate


NHO Bur­ton

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