|Ipswich Town 1 v 2 Charlton Athletic|
Saturday, 22nd September 2012 Kick-off 15:00
Town 1-2 Charlton
Saturday, 22nd Sep 2012 17:18
Town fell to their second home defeat in a week as Charlton defeated the Blues 2-1 at Portman Road. Addicks skipper Johnnie Jackson and ex-Town loanee Ricardo Fuller netted shortly after the break with a deflected Jason Scotland strike the Blues’ only reply.
Scotland was making his first league start of the season with Michael Chopra (thigh) and Paul Taylor (cracked bone) both out injured.
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas returned to the team on the right of midfield, along with Andy Drury, who was in the centre with Guirane N’Daw dropping to the bench. New loan signing Danny Higginbotham was also amongst the subs.
The Town side wore black armbands in honour of Chris Kiwomya’s six-year-old son Lucas, who died earlier this week. Fans paid their own tribute, singing Kiwomya, My Lord in the sixth minute.
Former Blues loanee Ricardo Fuller made his first start for the Addicks, who were watched by comedian Jim Davidson from the directors' box, while ex-Town man Danny Haynes was amongst the subs.
Lee Martin, playing wide on the left with Daryl Murphy up alongside Scotland in attack, struck the game’s first shot but Addicks keeper Ben Hamer had no trouble in claiming.
Soon after, Murphy headed a Martin cross straight at the visitors’ keeper, then Scotland shot wide with the Blues on top in the opening minutes.
Charlton started to make more of an impact, a couple of crosses flew dangerously across the box but too far in front of their frontmen, then one-time Town trialist Lawrie Wilson fed Danny Green, whose shot hit the sidenetting, the Addicks fans erroneously celebrating a goal.
On the quarter hour, Fuller tricked his way in from the right inside the area and cut the ball back to Bradley Wright-Phillips, whose low effort was blocked by Tommy Smith.
The Londoners were looking significantly the more threatening side and in the 20th minute Jackson’s corner from the right was headed wide by Leon Cort, the Addicks fans in the upper tier of the Cobbold Stand again initially thinking their side had scored.
On 25 Emmanuel-Thomas, who had by now swapped flanks with Martin, was booked for a foul on Green after a misunderstanding with Aaron Cresswell had seen the former Dagenham and Redbridge man gain possession.
After Scotland had scuffed a third shot of the afternoon wide from the 18-yard line, Scott Loach punched away Dale Stephens’s powerful 30-yarder.
Murphy and Emmanuel-Thomas swapped roles with the visitors having had the best of it since the early stages.
As the half drew to a close, Scotland twisted and turned a few yards outside the area but the ball deflected away off his shin and out as he was challenged. In injury time, moments before referee Martin Atkinson blew his whistle, Fuller volleyed a freekick which had been half-cleared against Drury.
After a bright Town start during which they created their better openings, it was the visitors who had looked the more dangerous side and a better team than Charlton would probably have been in front at the break. However, Town had created one or two openings without having played particularly well.
The again under par Emmanuel-Thomas was replaced by Nathan Ellington for the second period, the former Wigan man making his first senior appearance since January, up front alongside Scotland.
Three minutes into the new half, the visitors went in front. Town initially failed to deal with a Green cross from the right, the ball just avoiding Wright-Phillips. Salim Kerkar sent a low ball back in from the left and Jackson diverted the ball into the net from six yards. The Blues players complained that Lee Martin had been fouled in the run-up to the goal, and may have had a case.
A second Charlton goal came only three minutes later. Ex-Town loanee Fuller dispossessed Luongo midway inside the Town half and was given the space to bring the ball forward before hitting a shot across Loach and into the net.
The crowd reacted angrily to the second goal, some sections of the Sir Bobby Robson Stand joining in Charlton chants of ‘you’re getting sacked in the morning’.
Luongo shot just wide on 54 as the Blues looked to get back into a game which, given recent form, looked a lost cause.
Three minutes later, Town pulled a goal back in somewhat fortunate circumstances. Scotland struck a 20-yard effort which looked unlikely to trouble Hamer until it struck Cort and wrong-footed the former Brentford keeper.
Luongo failed to trouble Hamer after a good run with the goal having put a spring back into the Blues’ collective step. On 61 Scotland and Ellington both had strikes blocked with Town now on the front foot.
The Blues continued to have most of the ball but without particularly threatening. On 70 Wright-Phillips struck a low effort from the edge of the Town box but Loach was untroubled.
Three minutes later, Scotland shot wide, then Murphy flicked a Luongo cross from the right well past the post. There was a scare for the Blues on 75 when Edwards headed back to Loach, the ball only just avoiding Wright-Phillips.
Ellington hit a strike which was clearly deflected wide on 76 after good work from Drury, referee Atkinson somehow failing to spot it. The returning frontman saw another effort blocked moments later after being fed by Scotland. Josh Carson replaced Murphy for the final 11 minutes.
Soon after, Green wasted a good opportunity for the Addicks, lashing miles over when given space on the edge of the area.
Town continued to push, albeit without laying siege to the visitors’ area, and in the 86th minute Carson saw an effort deflect over off Jackson after a corner had been cleared to him on the edge. From the resultant flagkick, Ellington flicked a header just past the post.
On 87 the Addicks might have increased their lead. Wright-Phillips found Green, who moved it on to Jackson, whose strike was well blocked by the advancing Loach.
Town had a great chance to get back on terms in the 89th minute after Drury had won a header on the edge of the box following a contested dropball. It fell to Ellington 10 yards out but the sub, who had put in a lively 45 minutes, lashed the ball over the bar.
New loanee Danny Higginbotham took over from Smith, the Stoke man joining the attack, with the game already into injury time. Moments later, keeper Loach went up for a corner but the Blues failed to make anything of it.
Ex-Blue Danny Haynes took over from the always dangerous Fuller with the game already well into five minutes of injury time.
Drury curled a late freekick well over moments before a final whistle which signalled a brief chorus of booing.
The two goals shortly after the break had given Paul Jewell’s side a mountain to climb and although they were better once Scotland’s deflected goal had reduced the margin and they had chances, Ellington’s probably the best, they were never particularly convincing.
While the Blues played well at Middlesbrough last week, they were less impressive against Wolves in midweek and today they looked a side short on confidence and very much one on a poor run of form.
The goals were again very preventable, while at the other end chances were missed, although by no means in the number they were on Wednesday.
Another home defeat adds to the pressure on manager Paul Jewell with tricky-looking away games at Barnsley and Brighton next up.
Town: Loach, Edwards, Chambers, Smith (Higginbotham 90), Cresswell, Emmanuel-Thomas (Ellington 46), Drury, Luongo, Martin, Murphy (Carson 79), Scotland. Unused: Lee-Barrett, Ainsley, Higginbotham, N'Daw, Hyam.
Charlton: Hamer, Solly, Morrison, Cort, Wilson, Kerkar (Pritchard 82), Jackson, Stephens, Green, Wright-Phillips (Dervite 90), Fuller (Haynes 90). Unused: Button, Evina, Hollands, Haynes, Smith. Referee: Martin Atkinson (West Yorkshire). Att: 16,587.
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