PHOTOS: Ipswich Town 2, Burnley 1
ALL the focus before the game was on the man who used to build walls.
But the Clarets were undone at Portman Road by the man who used to drive vans.
Charlie Austin remains Europe’s top-scorer, but endured one of his most frustrating afternoons of the season, as New Zealand international Tommy Smith kept the 20-goal former brickie on a tight leash.
Instead, it was left to Ipswich’s top-goalscorer, former DHL driver DJ Campbell – with a rather more modest fourth goal of the campaign – to snatch the points with a late winner.
Both came through the hard way, Austin released by Reading as a youngster, while Campbell was let go by Aston Villa, but the pair have fought their way back into the professional game via non-league.
And Campbell was the happier of the two at the final whistle, after ending Sean Dyche’s perfect start to life as the new Burnley boss.
Campbell guided in a superb Carlos Edwards cross as the Tractor Boys countered on the Clarets with two minutes of normal time remaining, breaking on Burnley, who were looking for a winner of their own, having equalised Daryl Murphy’s controversial opener with a header from Sam Vokes 11 minutes from time, which was helped in by defender Danny Higginbotham.
It was Murphy’s header shortly after the break which was the talking point after the game, however.
The press room were divided, as were Mick McCarthy and Dyche.
Goalkeepers have become the most protected species in football, but Burnley custodian Lee Grant wasn’t afforded such a luxury five minutes into the second half.
After a scrappy first half, the second started in a similar vein, but Town managed to work the ball into the area from the right, and Richie Wellens hooked it across goal.
The ball looped up off Brian Stock, and Murphy took a look at Grant and moved towards the keeper, who, as he tried to claim it, collided into the Irishman and was forced backwards off his feet.
Murphy had the simple task of heading into an unguarded net, and the referee Mark Brown turned to his assistant for help.
No flag was forthcoming, and, despite vehement protests, the goal stood.
Many claimed Murphy had simply stood his ground, and while he was clever about it, the former Celtic man knew what he was doing.
Grant could have been stronger, but nine times out of 10 a foul would be given, and the goal changed the nature of the game.
A similar incident in the first half probably didn’t help Grant’s cause, as, again under pressure from Murphy, he dropped the ball onto his head, and Jason Shackell cleared off the line – though a free-kick was given.
The crowd were not happy, and maybe that was in the back of the referee’s mind.
Murphy’s goal gave Town real encouragement and they lifted their game against a Burnley side who were able to match their endeavour, but not their physicality.
The Clarets had more possession and shots than their hosts, who didn’t look like a bottom of the table side, but Town had the better chances.
Burnley looked the more polished side in the first half against a more direct Ipswich, who looked for the power of Murphy and pace of Campbell.
Chris McCann had an early sight of goal, dragging a shot wide after Dean Marney’s cushioned header from a raking Kieran Trippier pass.
Campbell forced a save from Grant within a minute, but at the other end, another deft header from Marney, from Danny Lafferty’s throw-in, allowed Paterson in at a tight angle, and he forced a stop from Stephen Henderson.
Campbell’s movement continued to trouble Burnley, and he saw a 20-yarder deflected wide off Shackell, before he swapped passes with Wellens, and his half-volley looked destined for the bottom corner, only for Grant to adjust and stoop to his left to claw the ball away superbly.
Ross Wallace scuffed a shot wide of the near post right on half-time, but Burnley went in looking capable of earning a first win at Portman Road in 42 years.
Hopes were hit by Murphy’s bizarre opener, which redoubled Ipswich’s efforts.
All of a sudden, McCann and Marney were struggling to break beyond Guirane N’Daw and Nigel Reo-Coker, and Austin was being well-shackled.
Town closed down well from the front, and time and space on the ball became scarce.
Dyche reacted by replacing Stock and Wallace with Marvin Bartley and Junior Stanislas, and Stanislas showed his positive intent when cutting inside from the left and firing over.
Austin needed support up front, and Vokes came on for Marney to add a physical threat.
Within five minutes that reaped dividends as Stanislas again cut in and floated over a delicious cross which Vokes got a touch on, and Higginbotham could only help on its way past Henderson.
Burnley sensed they could go on and win it, but they were punished for their admirable positivity.
Paterson’s left-foot cross was easily cut out, and N’Daw released the pace of Edwards down the right.
He held off a challenge from Bartley and superbly picked out Campbell, who guided the ball back across Grant and in to condemn the Clarets to a sixth away defeat from eight trips so far this season.
A fabulous first week of games for the new man ended in disappointment, but there has been much to praise.