IRVINE LATE SHOW TOPPLES TERRIERS
NIGEL CLOUGH insists Burton are not out of the woods yet but could not hide his elation after a dramatic victory over high-flying Huddersfield.
Burton were under heavy pressure throughout, but the tenman Terriers’ continual push forward to try to keep pace with the top two allowed Burton to score a dramatic last-ditch winner through Jackson Irvine on the break.
The result lifts Burton four points clear of the danger zone with seven games left to play, and Clough said: “It’s euphoria in the dressing room.
“I don’t think too many people gave us a chance to get anything, and the manner of the way we did it, scoring so late on, we’ve got to start to try and calm the players down.
“It’s a big win for us but it’s by no means defining that we’re going to stay up from this. We’re going to have to keep that up for the next seven. We’re going to have to show the same sort of passion and desire to keep the ball out of our net.”
Burton’s back five were excellent throughout, with Ben Turner particularly superb just a day after being found guilty of racially abusing Brentford’s Nico Yennaris in December.
Clough added: “We’re incredibly disappointed and just have to wait for the written reasons. We stand by Ben 100 per cent.
“There’s certain characters who you can say, ‘Are you OK to play?’, ‘Yeah, I want to play’, and then he goes and plays like that. That’s the sort of character he is.”
It was a perfect away performance from Burton in a bad-tempered match that Huddersfield dominated.
Brewers left-back Tom Flanagan was involved in penalty shouts at both ends. He bundled over rampant right-back Tommy Smith inside his own box on 23 minutes but the referee waved play on.
Scott Duncan evened that out by again saying no two minutes later after Christopher Schindler’s tackle left Flanagan lying.
Huddersfield had all the territory but were unable to get the ball to their strikers, with Rajiv Van La Parra especially wasteful down the left.
That lack of a killer touch left the door open for Burton and they almost capitalised eight minutes from time as Flanagan’s shot forced Danny Ward into a save. The Terriers kept sending men forward in pursuit of the three points, and John Brayford had to be alert to keep Michael Hefele’s header off the line.
Whitehead received a second yellow card for his overly-aggressive pursuit of the follow-up, reducing Huddersfield to ten men. And Burton exploited that advantage in the 96th minute, with Marvin Sordell beating last defender Schindler on halfway before squaring for substitute Irvine to tap in.
Huddersfield boss David Wagner said: “It’s disappointing because of the result and because of our performance, especially with the ball and especially in the final third.
“We’ve shown a little bit of a lack in terms of the quality and we made too many wrong decisions.
“It’s not easy against such an opponent. On one side you have to be patient enough to have a good balance to avoid counters, and on the other you have to accelerate the game as often as you can to break them down.
“I was satisfied that the players tried everything – not always the right solutions, but they tried everything – and this makes it even more disappointing.”
JACK IN THE BOX: Burton Albion’s Jackson Irvine celebrates his dramatic winner with Marvin Sordell
STAR MAN BEN TURNER Burton