It is fitting for a player born in Hammersmith that Tom Flanagan's first Burton Albion goals came along like London buses.

The Northern Ireland international had made 67 appearances in all competitions for the Brewers without scoring as he lined up for the pre-Christmas trip to Reading on December 23.

In the space of nine days, he had hit crucial openers in victories over the Royals and at Sheffield Wednesday.

The second of those will live long in the memory for Albion fans, with the left-back driving through four attempted tackles before slamming a powerful effort past Owls goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith.

Tom Flanagan celebrates his opener in the win at Sheffield Wednesday

Flanagan's newfound influence upfield has not gone unnoticed.

On top of the goals, the 26-year-old is showing greater intent to get into the final third.

He has continually worked to overlap and dovetail with Lloyd Dyer on the left flank over recent weeks, an important factor of Albion's counter-attacking game.

That was no more on show than in Saturday's FA Cup defeat at Birmingham City, where the pair linked up to create three or four good openings in the first half.

And Nigel Clough knows that is something Flanagan can continue to offer Burton.

"He's so athletic that he can do both," said the Albion manager.

Tom Flanagan marshals ex-Brewer Jacques Maghoma
Tom Flanagan marshals ex-Brewer Jacques Maghoma

"He can get up and down the pitch, and I thought he and Lloyd were a major threat down the lefthand side in the first half against Birmingham.

"Tom had more chances on Saturday than some of our strikers in three or four games - and he's coming from left-back!

"He had situations on Saturday, and maybe should've got another goal.

"But he played well again."

Flanagan has long since proved his defensive capabilities with Burton at full-back, having produced some commanding displays as Albion tightened up at the back during the second half of last season.

But in adding more attacking quality to his game over recent months, the former MK Dons man has helped play a key role in the Brewers' new 5-4-1 setup.

That saw him earn three inclusions in's teams of the week - a fantasy XI based on in-game statistics - since the start of December.