|Ipswich Town 1 v 2 Derby County|
Tuesday, 23rd October 2012 Kick-off 19:45
Town 1-2 Derby County
Tuesday, 23rd Oct 2012 22:16
Town tasted last-minute defeat for the second time in four days as Derby County came from behind to beat the Blues 2-1 at Portman Road. The Blues were deservedly in front after DJ Campbell claimed the second goal of his loan spell but Theo Robinson equalised before the break and sub Nathan Tyson netted the late winner.
Town boss Paul Jewell made one change from the side which lost at Hull on Saturday with Andy Drury coming into the midfield with Daryl Murphy dropping out of the 18. Drury started in the role behind lone striker DJ Campbell with Lee Martin wide on the left.
Keeper Stephen Henderson and midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker made their home debuts for the Blues, while Massimo Luongo again missed out on a place in the 18 with only five of the six domestic loanees allowed to be included.
Town started brightly and within a minute Martin had twisted and turned on the edge of the area, before hitting a low shot which Derby keeper Adam Legzdins saved down to his left. Drury could only divert the rebound over the bar when under pressure.
Cresswell forced Legzdins into another early save, the keeper again getting across to his left to push a low 30-yarder which had fizzed off the wet turf wide after a Blues freekick had been cleared.
The early stages were all Town with Jewell’s side keeping possession and moving the ball around confidently.
The Blues threatened again in the 10th minute when Emmanuel-Thomas caught former Blues academy schoolboy and ballboy Richard Keogh in possession on the edge of the area and, after exchanging passes with Campbell, hit a shot which Legzdins saved to his right. Campbell, who played eight games while on loan with Derby in 2009/10, following up blazed over.
On 15 Michael Jacobs curled a freekick wide for the visitors after Luke Chambers had blocked a run from Rams’ 17-year-old midfielder Will Hughes.
Derby had begun to get a foothold in the game after Town’s decent start and on 20 Jacobs, who was linked with the Blues in the summer while with Northampton, shot from 20 yards but gave Henderson no serious problem.
But it was Town who would go ahead in the 24th minute. Chambers nodded down Cresswell’s ball back into the box from the right after a freekick had been cleared. Martin looped it on to Campbell on the edge of the six-yard box and the ball appeared to go into the net as Rams’ defender James O’Connor tackled the on-loan QPR man. Derby’s defenders raised their arms in vain for an offside flag, which may well have been warranted.
Emmanuel-Thomas almost created himself a brilliant Town second on the half hour, dazzling a number of defenders with his footwork as he cut into the area on the right before hitting a low shot which Legzdins blocked low down.
Town continued to look much the more threatening side, Martin hitting a low effort wide from 30 yards in the 34th minute. A minute later, the former Manchester United man was yellow-carded for a foul on Paul Coutts.
The Blues’ lead wasn’t to last for long. With five minutes of the half remaining Higginbotham cleared a long ball down the Town left straight up in the air, Conor Sammon picking up possession. The former Wigan man exchanged passes with Craig Bryson before hitting a 20-yard strike which Henderson couldn’t hold on to and Theo Robinson slammed home from close range to level the scores.
The visitors finished strongly having got back on terms but were unable to seriously threaten Henderson before referee Andy Madley blew the half-time whistle.
Town had been deservedly on top and might conceivably have been further in front having had a number of chances early on.
The Rams had just started to get more into the game when Town scored but hadn’t looked particularly dangerous. Their goal came from the sort of defensive error which has cost the Blues all too often in recent games.
Nevertheless, the first half performance had been a great improvement on the display at Hull at the weekend with Reo-Coker and Richie Wellens looking more up to the pace than they had at the KC Stadium.
Emmanuel-Thomas created the first shooting opportunity of the second half for Drury in the 49th minute but the one-time Luton man shot well over when in space and should have done better.
O’Connor was booked for a foul on Reo-Coker on 52 and from the freekick the ball was played to Cresswell on the left and the full-back’s powerful shot was well saved by Legzdins.
The always dangerous Sammon shot wide for the visitors, who had begun the second half the stronger, then Henderson saved a 20-yard shot from Jacobs after Wellens had given the ball midway inside his own half.
Jacobs, making his first league start for the Rams, again threatened on 59, hitting a shot wide from the edge of the box with the Blues struggling to regain control of the game.
Town were in danger of going behind again in the 62nd minute but Henderson dived bravely at the feet of Sammon as a cross flashed across the six-yard box from the right.
At the other end, Martin shot wide. Moments later, Campbell and Drury were replaced by Michael Chopra and Jason Scotland with the Town side looking very much as if it needed freshening up.
Despite the substitutions, the Rams continued to dominate the second half but all too often the ball was given away or crossed behind once they got into dangerous areas.
On 74 Legzdins did well to get across to his left to push an Emmanuel-Thomas freekick from 30 yards wide.
After the resultant corner had been half-cleared, the ball was played to Cresswell by Edwards, the full-back’s shot reaching Martin in a dangerous but offside position inside the box. For the visitors, Coutts shot over from an angle on the right.
Chopra was booked for a foul on Keogh on 79, although the Derby skipper appeared to make a lot of very little. The freekick came to nothing with the Blues having come more into the game in as it moved towards its final 10 minutes.
Coutts shot wide for Derby on 85, but it was Town putting on the pressure in the game’s final minutes.
As the match moved into injury time, the visitors scored the winning goal on the break. Sammon, who had been a threat throughout, crossed in low from the right and sub Tyson diverted the ball into the net from a few yards out.
The goal signalled the start of boos from the Sir Bobby Robson Stand and shouts of ‘You’re getting sacked in the morning’ aimed towards manager Jewell.
Town huffed and puffed in the remaining couple of minutes but couldn’t find a way through and the winless run was extended to 11 games.
At the final whistle there were further boos, while a number of fans remained in the Sir Bobby Robson Stand to chant ‘Clegg out’ and ‘Jewell out’ while a banner bearing the latter message was unfurled.
The Blues were the better side in the first half but after the break the visitors took control of what was a poor second period. A point might have been a fairer result over all, but Town – who lost for the fifth game in a row after being 1-0 ahead – seem incapable of holding on to a lead at present.
Another defeat drops Town to the bottom of the Championship and extends the winless run to 11 games. With home fans – who haven’t seen a victory since March – showing the first significant signs of discontent, Jewell’s position, which was perilous to start with, looks even more precarious.
Town: Henderson, Edwards, Chambers, Higginbotham, Cresswell, Drury (Scotland 64), Reo-Coker, Wellens, Martin, Emmanuel-Thomas, Campbell (Chopra 64). Subs: Loach, Smith, Chopra, Hyam, Mohsni, Carson, Scotland.
Derby: Legzdins, Brayford, Keogh, Buxton, O’Connor, Jacobs (B Davies 75), Bryson, Coutts, Hughes, Robinson (Tyson 82), Sammon. Subs: Deeney, O’Brien, Bennett, Roberts, Freeman. Referee: Andy Madley (West Yorkshire). Att: 15,417 (Derby 329).
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