TEN-MAN BREWERS GO TOP OF TABLE
BURTON ALBION boss Nigel Clough was delighted to see his side go top of League One as Mark Duffy’s goal helped them beat a struggling Blackpool, despite playing the whole of the second half with ten men.
Robbie Weir was shown a second yellow card before the break but Duffy produced a goal to match his performance, curling a sublime shot beyond busy Blackpool goalkeeper Colin Doyle just after the hour mark to ensure three points at the Pirelli Stadium.
Clough said: “It was a remarkable performance and result and the spirit we have shown was excellent.We said to them at halftime, don’t change anything because after the first ten minutes we were dominating the game but lacking that cutting edge.
“We sent them out in the second half to attack when we could have made defensive changes.
“We didn’t want to send that message out but instead go out and attack and some of the football we played in the second half, was the best we have seen since we returned.
“It was a stunning goal from Mark Duffy, we’ve been trying to get a striker to hold the ball up like Stuart Beavon did and it was a lovely finish.”
The home side started brightly with Duffy going close with a drive narrowly wide of the post before Blackpool responded, forcing John McLaughlin into a smart save to deny Bright Osayi-Samuel.
Nasser El Khayati saw a free-kick deflected narrowly wide and Duffy’s shot was well tipped around the corner by Doyle as the home side continued to press for the opening goal.
Weir’s sending off just before the break made Burton’s chances for the win seemingly much harder and there was little option for the referee, with both fouls needless after being caught in possession.
Despite being down to ten men, the Brewers continued to press early in the second half with Lucas Akins and Duffy forcing a series of smart saves from Doyle as Burton ramped up the pressure.
The elusive goal came just after the hour when Duffy curled a shot past Doyle after a neat interchange on the edge of the box with Beavon to give Clough’s side the lead.
For a team with a man advantage, Blackpool looked all at sea, barely mustering a chance as manager Neil McDonald looked on in dismay at his side’s abject performance with the away fans voicing their displeasure.
The Seasiders finally woke up with just 15 minutes left but they could not muster an equaliser and Burton nearly snatched a second late on, with Doyle again saving his side with a fine save from sub Tim Thiele.
McDonald said: “Losing is horrible but first half I thought we contained them and possibly should have taken the lead.
“But for half an hour in the second half we never got going, we didn’t pass the ball and we didn’t stop them from playing.
“When we got the ball, we didn’t pass it and show the composure we had in the first half and that’s the most disappointing aspect.
“We created lots of chances in the final 15 minutes and could have taken a point.”
STAR MAN MARK DUFFY
Albion Burton SMILE THEN! Mark Duffy is congratulated by team mates after scoring the winner