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Ipswich Town 1-1 Blackburn Rovers - Half-Time
Saturday, 14th Jan 2017 16:08

Tom Lawrence was on target for the Blues and Hope Akpan for Blackburn as the first half of Town’s home game against Rovers ended 1-1.

Town made three changes from the team which drew 2-2 with Lincoln in the FA Cup last week with skipper Luke Chambers, Cole Skuse and Bartosz Bialkowski returning.

England U18 international striker Ben Morris and left-back Pat Webber were again included among the subs.

The Blues, watched from the directors’ box by Forest Green striker Kieffer Moore (pictured above), whose signing is expected to be confirmed later today, lined up in a 3-5-2 system with Adam Webster, Chambers and Christophe Berra the three centre-halves, Josh Emmanuel and Jonas Knudsen the wing-backs, Skuse, Kevin Bru and Andre Dozzell in central midfield and Lawrence up front with Freddie Sears.

Following a minute’s applause in tribute to former England manager Graham Taylor, who died this week, the Blues were first to threaten.

A seventh-minute Lawrence freekick on the left was cleared out to Bru, whose hooked pass found Sears in space to the left of goal but the striker scuffed his shot across the face of goal when he will feel he ought to have scored.

Town continued to have the better of the opening stages with ex-Blackburn loanee Lawrence making one of his now familiar mazy runs before over-hitting his pass out to Emmanuel on the right.

On 10, following a spell of passing on the right, the on-loan Leicester man’s cross eventually found its way to Knudsen, who hit a shot on the turn which flew wide.

A minute later Sears went close again after Charlie Mulgrew had misjudged a long ball over the top but Rovers keeper Jason Steele was out quickly to snuff out the chance.

The Blues had been well on top but on 14 ex-Town loanee Liam Feeney broke quickly and fed Sam Gallagher on the left, however, Bialkowski came off his line swiftly to block.

Bialkowski was in action again two minutes later, tipping a Gallagher header over after Ben Marshall had crossed from the right.

On 26 Elliott Bennett, a player Town were keen on in the summer, hit a shot over from distance with the visitors by now more in the game.

But the Blues regained their earlier impetus and on 36 Dozzell, who had got more involved in the game the longer the half progressed, played in Sears on the right of the area with a clever pass but Steele palmed the ball behind.

Town had been the better side but without testing Steele enough but in the 38th minute they took the lead.

Knudsen was fouled just outside the area on the left and after Bru had tapped him the ball Lawrence hit a low strike which the Blackburn wall appeared to jump over and which Steele allowed to squirm under him and into the net, the loanee’s sixth goal of the season.

On 41 Dozzell brought the ball in from the right and found Bru, who looked to turn the ball back into the 17-year-old’s path and failed to find him when he probably should have shot. A minute later Lawrence was booked for a foul on Akpan.

In the 43rd minute Rovers got back on terms and as so often of late the goal stemmed from a Town error.

Berra gave away possession on the Blues left to Feeney, who crossed to Danny Graham. The former Middlesbrough man stabbed it out to Akpan, who smashed a low shot past Bialkowski from the edge of the box.

The Blues only had themselves to blame for losing their lead but quickly went about restoring it, Lawrence hitting a 25-yard effort which Steele did well to push past his right post, then Knudsen slammed a powerful volley which the keeper blocked with his chest but with no Town player able to add a final touch.

Referee James Linington’s whistle ending the half was greeted by muted applause with the Blues having been on top, passing the ball around slickly at times.

Rovers had shown little and having got their noses in front the Blues should have gone on to impose their superiority over the opposition further, but once again were left rueing a preventable goal as they went off at the break.

Town: Bialkowski, Emmanuel, Chambers (c), Webster, Berra, Knudsen, Skuse, Bru, Dozzell, Sears, Lawrence. Subs: Gerken, Best, Ward, Digby, Douglas, Morris, Webber.

Blackburn Rovers: Steele, Williams, Lowe (c), Feeney, Marshall, Graham, Mulgrew, Gallagher, Akpan, Lenihan, Bennett. Subs: Raya, Greer, Emnes, Nyame, Tomlinson, Mahoney, Brown.

Photo: TWTD

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Bubsy added 17:17 - Jan 14
Well done Mick and the boys!!!Ipswich til i die.

norfstanda added 17:19 - Jan 14
3 massive points today. Playoffs anyone........?

bedsitfc added 17:24 - Jan 14
Well done town.

Danny Ward not in Rotherham squad today I wonder???

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