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Ipswich Town 3-0 Preston North End - Match Report
Saturday, 4th Nov 2017 17:03

Goals from Martyn Waghorn, David McGoldrick and Bersant Celina saw the Blues to a 3-0 home victory over Preston North End at Portman Road. Waghorn curled home a freekick in first-half injury time, McGoldrick headed the second four minutes after the break and Celina sealed what in the end was a very comfortable Town victory with a superb strike on 64.

Waghorn, McGoldrick, Callum Connolly, Adam Webster and Jordan Spence returned to the Town side with Dominic Iorfa, Grant Ward and Kevin Bru dropping to the bench having started at Cardiff in midweek, along with Tommy Smith and Flynn Downes, who were left out of the 18.

On-loan Everton man Connolly, primarily a defender, started in central midfield alongside Cole Skuse, while McGoldrick, Waghorn and Celina began the game behind lone out-and-out frontman Joe Garner, who was facing his old club.

Irish international striker Sean Maguire had joined Preston’s lengthy injury list with a hamstring injury with six Lilywhites defenders among those already sidelined.

Town centre-half Webster required treatment for a head injury in the fourth minute having clashed heads as he won the ball in the area, referee Andy Madley somewhat harshly awarding a freekick against the former Portsmouth man.

Preston carved out a chance on six, one-time Town target Jordan Hugill feeding Ben Pearson to his right. The former Manchester United trainee hit a shot which Bartosz Bialkowski saved, Spence eventually turning behind as referee Madley awarded a freekick to the Blues for a foul.

McGoldrick found some space on the right of the Preston area a minute later but his strike was deflected behind.

On 17 Preston keeper Chris Maxwell almost presented a golden opportunity to Celina on the edge of his box when he tapped the ball further in front of him than he intended as he looked to kick clear but recovered before the Kosovan international could reach it.

The first 20 minutes were a rather stop-start scruffy affair with a number of interruptions as players suffered head injuries with referee Madley generally over-fussy, although Preston striker Hugill was lucky to avoid a yellow card for a series of fouls on Webster.

However, the former Port Vale man’s luck ran out on 23 when he pulled Webster over once again on the edge of the Town box.

The Blues began to get on top of what had been an evenly balanced game and in the 25th minute they had the ball in the net.

Celina cut in from the left and crossed to Garner, who was in an offside position on the right of the area. The former PNE man hit a shot across goal which McGoldrick turned in at the far post with the flag having already been raised. The Ireland international was subsequently booked for kicking the ball away in frustration.

A further injury break followed soon afterwards with Skuse having picked up a knock on the edge of the Town box and Garner and Lilywhites skipper Paul Huntington clashing heads in the centre circle.

After briefly trying to continue Skuse made his way off on the half hour with Bru replacing him in the centre of midfield.

After another scruffy period the Blues again began to gain the ascendency as the half moved towards its final 10 minutes, McGoldrick almost pulling off a clever turn as he took down a 34th minute Knudsen cross from the left.

But another stoppage soon followed, Preston’s Darnell Fisher eventually coming off and Marnick Vermijl replacing him at right-back.

Town’s most fluent passing move of the half yielded a freekick 25 yards out as the half moved into five minutes of injury time - which seemed conservative given all the stoppages - Bru and McGoldrick having combined before Waghorn was tripped by John Welsh, who was booked.

Waghorn got the nod ahead of Celina, perhaps surprisingly given the on-loan Manchester City man’s brilliant strike at Burton last week, but the summer signing from Rangers proved himself equally adept at set pieces, curling the ball around what looked to be a poorly placed Preston wall and into the net, the Town number nine’s eighth goal of the season.

The visitors came close to an equaliser moments before the whistle, Daniel Johnson bringing the ball in from the right before hitting a shot which scuffed the top of the bar.

Given the constant stoppages, the half had unsurprisingly been very disjointed. As soon as the game started to flow, it was again brought to a halt.

Town had looked to go long far too often with the goal indirectly coming from their best passage of play of the period.

It was a half which desperately needed Waghorn’s goal, Town’s top scorer making the most of Preston’s lack of organisation for the freekick to give the Blues a lead which saw the players applauded off at the break despite what overall was a less than engaging first 45 minutes.

Four minutes after the restart, the Blues doubled their lead. Bru showed composure on the ball on the edge of the box before feeding Spence in space on the right from where the former West Ham man whipped over a deep cross to the far post and McGoldrick rose above Vermijl to nod his seventh of the season past Maxwell.

Having gone two goals in front, the Blues began to look a far more confident side and in the 51st minute Spence crossed from the right, Bru flicked on and Knudsen headed wide at the far post, the Dane clearly feeling he should have done better.

Four minutes later, McGoldrick deftly played in Connolly on the left of the area, the loanee lobbing the advancing Maxwell, but the ball was cleared from the line and away from the breaking Bru by Preston defender Kevin O’Connor, who was making his first Championship start.

At the other end, Tom Barkhuizen first shot wide from an angle on the left then straight at Bialkowski from a more central position.

But the second half had been almost all Town and on 59 Waghorn’s cross from the right was cleared to Knudsen, whose powerful shot from the 18-yard line scraped the top of the bar.

Six minutes later, the Blues made it 3-0 with the goal of the afternoon. Spence and Celina exchanged passes deep inside the Town half after a Preston attack had broken down, the Kosovo international sending the right-back away at pace. Spence returned the ball to Celina, who had continued his run, and, with everyone anticipating a cross, the loanee smashed his sixth goal for Town into the roof of the net.

There was no repeat of last week’s shirt throwing, instead he celebrated with a fan in the front row of the Cobbold Stand.

Connolly was warmly applauded off as Grant Ward replaced him in the Town midfield in the 66th minute, before McGoldrick shot not too far wide from well outside the area to the left. On 70 Paul Gallagher took over from Welsh for Preston.

Hugill headed over or the visitors on 72 and and 74, then a minute later was fortunate not to see a second yellow card when he jumped into Webster, appearing to catch the Town defender with an elbow.

Three minutes later, Waghorn was replaced by Tristan Nydam, the first goalscorer receiving a warm ovation from the Blues support as he made his way to the touchline and then down the tunnel.

After Preston’s Pearson had been booked for dissent, McGoldrick shot through to Maxwell on 85 with the Blues seeing out the final minutes confidently.

As the game moved into three minutes of injury time Hugill beat the Town offside trap on the left before cutting in and hitting a shot which Bialkowski saved.

But a Preston comeback had never looked on and the Blues saw out the final moments to beat a side in the top half of the table for the first time this season.

After scoring the goals either side of the break, the win was never really in question and Town might have added more than Celina’s brilliant strike to their total.

The Blues have now gone 15 games at the start of a season without a draw for the first time in the club's history, beating a record of 14 established in the 1954/55 campaign. Overall Town haven't drawn for 22 matches with the club record 26.

The victory, Town’s fifth at home this season, sees the Blues up to seventh, just a point off the play-offs, going into the international break.

Town: Bialkowski, Spence, Chambers (c), Webster, Knudsen, Skuse (Bru 31), Connolly (Ward 66), Waghorn (Nydam 78), McGoldrick, Celina, Garner. Unused: Gerken, Iorfa, Sears, Kenlock.

Preston: Maxwell, Fisher (Vermijl 37), Huntington (c), Boyle, O’Connor, Welsh (Gallagher 70, Barkhuizen, Pearson, Browne, Johnson (Harrop 63), Hugill. Unused: Hudson, Horgan, Harrop Gallagher, Mavididi, Robinson. Referee: Andy Madley (West Yorkshire). 14,390 (Preston: 435).

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Reuserscurtains added 17:06 - Nov 4
3-0 win, 7th in the league with a game in hand of those above. Positive evenings viewing. Let's enjoy tonight after what has been a horrible atmosphere between fans, manager of late. Come on town

Dissboyitfc added 17:06 - Nov 4
A welcome 3 points, above Norwich Again!

therein61 added 17:08 - Nov 4
A welcome 3 points and while I have no wish to see a town player injured the misfortune to Skuse has again proved as in our purple patch last season when he was out we are a better side without his negativity.

Pumpee1980 added 17:08 - Nov 4
Great result but not too sure how comfortable it actually actually was looking at the stats?? Never the less happy with 3 points and back above the scum!

cat added 17:10 - Nov 4
Great result with plenty of goals & a clean sheet. Well done the lads. It will certainly ease the pressure on MM going into the international break, but changes nothing from my perspective. Celina showing he has ‘plenty in the tank’ so all in all a satisfying performance.

Elizabeth added 17:12 - Nov 4
Great result ! Well done lads and
MM & TC .. happy Sat night!!


prebsa added 17:15 - Nov 4
A fantastic result but the first half was very drab. Without the goal people would have been much more unhappy.

Celina proving to Mick again that he should be in the team. Let’s hope the dinaour keeps him in the team and dosent kick him back out after the international break.

The table makes us look a lot better than we actually are and with a game in hand too. Not sure how we have managed it but we are doing alright in the league. Shame when we play it looks awful.

Second half was much better and good to get two more goals. Gives everyone something to cheer about. Hopefully take that into the break and continue to play some better football the other side of the break!

TimmyH added 17:16 - Nov 4
Good 3 points against a fragile Preston at the moment with their injuries and recent poor form. No doubt MM's tactics is to by-pass our almost non existent midfield and get the ball to McG, Waghorn, Celina and Garner asap. 3 goals from 4 efforts on goal harks back to earlier in the season and probably flatters us somewhat certainly considering we did nothing until the free-kick at 45+ minutes.

Well done all but will take a lot to win me over...amazing we haven't drawn a game yet.

blueboy1981 added 17:20 - Nov 4
....... well you can only beat what's put in front of you - and that was the case today.

3 points gained from a bizarre starting line up - so let's not get carried away, but let's all enjoy the win anyway.

Mick Mills summed the situation, and game, up extremely well.
Change still needed, there is more to be had from this squad of players.

Bluetone added 17:20 - Nov 4
Great result against a weakened Preston ! Well done lads.

Fat_Boy_Tim added 17:22 - Nov 4
Was a good performance in the second half.

That aside, how's this for a shout? -

Joel Garner should play in midfield. Every time he's on the ball he finds a pass and he CAN score goals but it's not the be all and end all of his game. He needs ball to feet and we need a good attacking passer in midfield.

blueboy1981 added 17:22 - Nov 4
........ when will we see an effective midfield again at Portman Road ? - there just isn't one.

PragmaticBlue added 17:24 - Nov 4
Can everyone just enjoy the moment instead of posting more anti-MM rants until at least Monday morning?

irishtim added 17:24 - Nov 4
Well can never please some. Celina in the team. A win. Get behind the team. If we do maybe playoffs can be achieved.

itfchorry added 17:29 - Nov 4
While we welcome the result - Preston very poor
team -

Should have walloped them by 6 or 7

Sadly looks like we are stuck with McCarthy
until May.

runningout added 17:32 - Nov 4
Brill.. Preston looked as good as we were midweek

martin587 added 17:33 - Nov 4
I'd forgotten what a happy drive home was like until now.Very well done lads.Great three points.👍

Lightningboy added 17:35 - Nov 4
This is what can be achieved when your manager plays his top 2 scorers and the fans favourite rather than leaving them on the bench.

How on earth we are 7th god only knows but i'll take that tonight.


BartonBluee added 17:39 - Nov 4
Well deserved 3 points. Referee killed the first half, we finished it in the second. Anyone focusing on MM and TC after winning 3-0 need to get a life. if you asked most fans at the beginning of the season, if they'd be happy with 7th and a game in hand by November they would say yes. Up the Town, keeping the boo boys quiet.

rock added 17:43 - Nov 4
Of course the happy flappy brigade come out after we beat a poor Preston side...

Rensham added 17:46 - Nov 4
Rensham for manager #topsix

BlueandTruesince82 added 17:47 - Nov 4
We should have beated Preston today, we did. Job done.

Happy with a win as always

arc added 17:48 - Nov 4
There were some great clips on Twitter of the first goal; the view from behind the goal made it obvious that it was a complete howler from the PNE keeper. If he had just stood still the ball would have hit him in the chest!—instead he hopped to his left leaving half of the goal empty. It really wasn't an especially good free kick from Waghorn. Still, we'll take it! :-)

Karlosfandangal added 17:48 - Nov 4
3 wins in 11 and playing 6 defenders plus hoof ball Get arrogant McCarthy out....... oops sorry got caught up in the mind of of a true Town fan....

As a not true fan ... 2 wins in 3 and six goals 7th in the league and a game in hand and Huws still to come in..... better than last year and scoring goals......wonder how Derby fan feel with a £7 million Lawrence in the side

EssexTractor added 17:48 - Nov 4
First 35minutes marked by ball heading skyways,( apparent) head injuries, a near miss by Preston , again Bart the saviour.
Then after an intricate move forward as a delayed half time approached, Waghorn the upended player maybe surprised Us all with a goal 1.0, but difficult to not forget the drab beginnings
Second half and Spence who seemed to be in a misty daze before his oranges showed what he can do , providing chances for MCGoldrick , superb header and Celina , rifled shot , worthy of a match much higher in quality than this one.
Last 30 minutes ensured we didn't concede.
MCGoldrick had more pace today and was in my opinion best player on the field.

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