Uche left in tears as Burton strike late
JIMMY Floyd Hasselbaink put Burton Albion’s early season achievements into perspective after two late goals deservedly beat Port Vale.
Tom Naylor and Nasser El Khayati finally put the finishing touches to Albion’s dominance with goals in the last six minutes.
They came after both sides had been reduced to ten men, with Port Vale’s Uche Ikpeazu sent off for a send yellow card in the first half after he dived and Robbie Weir received a straight red with 11 minutes remaining.
Hasselbaink said: “What we are doing is incredible, being able to compete against the bigger boys in this division such as Sheffield United, Wigan and Coventry.
“We needed our squad out there and you have to give credit to the players.
“Port Vale made it very difficult for us. Teams will come here now and shut up shop and it’s up to us to find a way to break them down.
“We played the game out very well and it was a big win for us.We will keep fighting and there’s a real spirit in this team.”
Opinions were divided on referee Dave Coote’s handling of Vale striker Uche Ikpeazu, who left the field in floods of tears after being given two yellow cards in the opening 26 minutes.
The first was for a fierce aerial challenge on Weir, the second for tumbling inside the Burton box.
Hasselbaink thought the striker was lucky to survive the first incident but Vale boss Rob Page was having none of it.
“Yes, there was contact – but this is a contact sport,” Page said.
“Uche has kept his eyes firmly on the ball when he went for the challenge. In the second incident, he went down but bounced straight back up again.
“To play with ten men for that length of time is a big ask and it was harsh for us to defend like we did and come away beaten 2-0.
“Doddsy (Louis Dodds) should have had a clear penalty before they broke away for their second goal.
“I don’t think any decisions went our way out there. I can understand the impatience of the fans.” Burton turned the game into virtual attack against defence in the second half, with Ryan McGivern twice getting his head to goal-bound shots and Anthony Grant clearing off the line
Ironically after seeing midfielder Weir get a straight red for a reckless challenge on Sam Foley, Albion finally broke through when Naylor steered a header past Jak Alnwick from six yards from substitute Zeli Ismail’s cross.
Albion refused to sit on their advantage and El Khayati waltzed into the penalty area in the 90th minute to add a superblytaken second goal.
STAR MAN MARK DUFFY Burton