|Ipswich Town 0 v 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers|
Wednesday, 19th September 2012 Kick-off 19:45
Town 0-2 Wolves
Wednesday, 19th Sep 2012 21:57
Town missed a hatful of chances as Wolves left Portman Road with a 2-0 victory. A second-half own goal by Tommy Smith then a long distance strike from sub Tongo Doumbia were enough to take the points with the Blues profligate in front of goal throughout.
Paul Jewell made one change from the side which lost at Middlesbrough with Massimo Luongo replacing Andy Drury in midfield.
Full-back Joe Whight took over from Ronan Murray on the bench, despite the Irishman’s suspension for his red card in the U21s only applying to non-first team games.
The Blues started brightly, Paul Taylor, playing in behind main striker Michael Chopra, hitting an early shot well over and then Wolves keeper Carl Ikeme punching a Lee Martin freekick away in front of Guirane N’Daw.
On nine Bakary Sako’s left-wing corner flew across the box and Christophe Berra scuffed across the face of goal when he should have done better with the visitors taking control of the game.
Chances at either end were few and far before an unusual hiatus in play just prior to the half hour mark when a corner flag broke off at ground level and a steward and a member of the groundstaff took several minutes to put it back in place.
Once play resumed, Martin forced Ikeme into a save down to his right from a freekick in the 32nd minute but the Midlanders were still on top overall and a minute later Razak Boukari shot just wide of Scott Loach’s left post.
Town almost went in front in the 41st minute when Martin superbly broke from just inside his own half and out-paced the Wolves defence, but the advancing Ikeme blocked his effort at goal. It was a terrific run and the Blues’ best opportunity up to then.
As half-time drew close, Carlos Edwards played a clever pass to Daryl Murphy inside the area but the Irishman couldn’t get control under pressure. The ball subsequently fell to Taylor, who found Chopra on the right, the striker cutting it back to Martin, whose low shot on the turn was too close to Ikeme.
The Blues were finishing the half strongly but as the period entered injury time Boukari crossed from the Wolves right and Sako hit a volley which Loach saved down to his right but couldn’t hold.
Just before the whistle, Taylor was clearly pulled back in the area by Christophe Berra after he had caught the centre-half in possession but referee Graham Scott, whose last Blues match was the 7-1 defeat at Peterborough last season, wasn’t interested.
The scoreline was just about fair at the break after a not overly engaging half. Wolves had controlled periods of the game but Town had finished on the front foot and had had the better chances, in addition to what looked a decent penalty shout.
Town started the second half well, Martin creating a half-chance for Taylor which the former Peterborough man could only divert into the air, Murphy forcing Ikeme to concede a corner. The keeper failed to claim the corner but the Blues were unable to get a shot at goal.
Moments later, Massimo Luongo made a strong run into the area but the ball was cleared before the on-loan Spurs man could get in either a shot or a cross. On 53 Taylor was replaced having appeared to turn his ankle in a challenge, Jason Scotland taking over.
Town should have gone in front in the 55th minute when Aaron Cresswell whipped in a freekick from the right after Martin had been fouled. Chambers headed down, Chopra chested goalwards and David Edwards blocked on the line as Tommy Smith looked to add the final touch. The loose ball fell to Murphy but the on-loan Celtic man shot wide when he ought to have hit the target.
Chopra shot well wide on 57, then at the other end Boukari got away down the Blues right and cut back to Bjorn Sigurdarson, who shot wide when he should have done better.
Town had another call for a penalty on the hour mark when Murphy headed across to Scotland, who seemed to be felled by Berra, but referee Scott again wasn’t interested.
Loach saved to his right from Doyle on 61, then the Ireland international hammered a volley from the edge of the box against the Town keeper’s right post from a David Edwards knockdown with the visitors now having a spell in the ascendency.
Town went almost as close on 66 when Chopra fed Scotland and the Trinidadian broke into the box and crossed for Martin who slid in but could only divert it over the bar
Two minutes later, the visitors were in front. Sako sent in a freekick from the left which Smith sought to clear but he only succeeded in hitting the ball against his arm and into his own net for a bizarre and somewhat unfortunate own goal.
Luongo shot wide as the Blues looked for an equaliser after latching on to a loose ball in the 70th minute, before Jay Emmanuel-Thomas took over from Murphy and Martin switched to the left. Soon after, Edwards scraped an effort wide for the Blues when he ought to have made more of it.
On 76 Smith had a chance to redeem himself when Martin knocked down a cross from the right after a Blues corner but the New Zealand international shot over when again the keeper should have been made to work.
A minute later, it was 2-0 to the visitors. Sub Tongo Doumbia picked the ball up midway inside the Blues half and hit a low strike beyond Loach and into the net.
As the game moved into its final 10 minutes N’Daw played in Scotland but the Trinidadian international continued Town’s evening of wastefulness by blazing over the bar. Seconds later, Andy Drury replaced N’Daw.
Chopra was booked for a dive as he took the ball past defenders inside the Wolves half after good work from Scotland. As the match moved into its final three minutes Edwards scraped another effort high and wide.
Sako hammered a freekick well over and then a struck Chambers with a subsequent strike in injury time with Town never really looking like getting back in the game after going two goals behind. Boos from the home fans greeted the final whistle.
Once again Town were made to pay for mistakes at one end and profligacy at the other. While the first goal had an element of misfortune about it, that it came from another set piece won’t go unnoticed and Doumbia shouldn’t have been allowed to score from the distance he did for the second.
Martin, Chopra, Murphy, Smith, Edwards and Scotland were all guilty of missing at least once chance at some stage, in several cases more, almost always without forcing keeper Ikeme into a save.
The result leaves Town in 23rd in the early season table and with fans becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of home wins in particular, a run stretching to six in the league since the end of last season.
Town: Loach, Edwards, Chambers, Smith, Cresswell, N'Daw (Drury 81), Luongo, Martin, Taylor (Scotland 53), Murphy (Emmanuel-Thomas 71), Chopra. Unused: Lee-Barrett, Ainsley, Whight, Hyam.
Wolves: Ikeme, Stearman, Ward, Johnson, Berra, Boukari, Henry (Doumbia 66), Edwards, Sako, Sigurdarson (Ebanks-Blake 66), Doyle (Magreitter 80). Unused: De Vries, Peszko, Hunt, Foley. Referee: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire). Att: 16,540 (Wolves: 723).
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