Adam McGurk and Lucas Akins fired Burton back top of League 2 at the hands of Portsmouth. McGurk’s 2nd minute tap in was followed up by a fine Lucas Akins’s strike to maintain Burton’s unbeaten start to the season. The win puts Albion 2 points clear at the top after Morecambe drew 0-0 with Cheltenham on Saturday.
Burton were able to name deadline day signing Stuart Beavon and dad-to-be Lucas Akins in their starting 11 whilst Portsmouth lined up in a 4-4-2 system after previous weeks adopting 3-5-2, Jed Wallace and Ricky Holmes were allowed to play further forward. Burton started very quickly after dropping down to third before kick off, took the lead after just 90 seconds. Great pressure on the right put Akins away, he crossed to Beavon who made space to unleash a cross shot which found Adam McGurk at the back post who tapped home. Burton kept control of the game with Portsmouth finding it hard to keep possession in the early exchanges but as the half grew on they began to come more in to the game. Craig Westcarr and Jed Wallace had pop shots but Burton remained in front. Portsmouth began to find more room in the Burton half but Albion had Beavon as the out ball up front bringing his team mates into play.
Portsmouth started the second half brighter and went close on two occasions after a period of pressure, Wynter and Taylor had shots smothered by McLaughlin in the Albion goal. Albion doubled their lead 10 minutes into the second half, after good build up play from Beavon, McGurk and MacDonald the ball was played to Akins. The summer arrival from Stevenage received the ball with his back to goal, shifted the ball onto his left foot and fired in to the far corner. Andy Awford quickly responded going back to his 3-5-2 system with Miles Storey bringing introduced for Nicky Shorey which gave Pompey an extra boost. Burton went close from Blyth who came on for McGurk with Pompey having a penalty appeal turned down for handball but Burton remained comfortable in the end.
Burton are looking to put last year’s play off defeat behind them and with 5 wins out of 6 at the start of the season, they are laying down a clear marker for the rest of the division. Portsmouth remain ninth and will put this result behind them, on another day they will create more chances at the top of the pitch. With a talented youngster in Jed Wallace, they have the quality that will see them finish in the play offs with consistency being the major issue for them this season. Burton will in the mix come the end of the season and be looking for it to be third time lucky.
Burton: McLaughlin, Edwards, Sharps, Cansdell-Sheriff (MaFadzean 82), Taft, Akins, Weir, Mousinho, MacDonald (Palmer 89), Beavon, McGurk (Blyth 72)
Portsmouth: Jones, Wynter (Butler, 79), Robinson, Ertl, Shorey (Storey 60), Dunne, Holland, Wallace, Westcarr, Holmes (Agyemang 74), Taylor