|Ipswich Town 0 v 3 Hull City|
Tuesday, 13th March 2018 Kick-off 19:45
Ipswich Town 0-3 Hull City - Match Report
Tuesday, 13th Mar 2018 21:58
Town failed to score for the fifth successive home game for the first time in their history as Hull City comfortably beat the Blues 3-0 at a fractious Portman Road with manager Mick McCarthy holding an impromptu meeting with his players on the pitch afterwards. Town went close to opening the scoring early on when Jordan Spence hit the post on eight but went behind to Markus Henriksen’s 25-yard strike in the 18th minute, Harry Wilson doubled the lead for the previously struggling Tigers on 40 and Jarrod Bowen completed the scoring two minutes after the break.
Luke Hyam, Grant Ward, Jordan Spence, Jonas Knudsen, Tristan Nydam and Freddie Sears all started as Mick McCarthy made six changes to the team which drew 0-0 with Sheffield United on Saturday.
Cole Skuse missed out, presumably due to injury, as did Dominic Iorfa, having suffered a groin problem at the weekend, while Adam Webster, Martyn Waghorn, Callum Connolly and Myles Kenlock all dropped to the bench.
The Blues switched to what looked to be a 4-1-4-1 system with Stephen Gleeson the deeper midfielder with Hyam and Nydam ahead of him in the centre, Bersant Celina on the left and Ward on the right.
Joe Garner, whose wife gave birth earlier today, was due to be on the bench but was a late drop out, although apparently due to injury. Aaron Drinan took his place among the subs.
Hull made three changes, Fraizer Campbell came in for Abel Hernandez, who only recently returned from injury, Michael Hector for Ondrei Mazuch and Allan McGregor returned in goal for David Marshall.
Neither side threatened until the eighth minute when the Blues came within an inch or so of going in front. From Celina’s corner from the left, the ball was nodded on to Spence, whose flicked header across goal struck the post and bounced safely for the visitors.
But Hull quickly began to create chances. First Nydam got back to make a brilliant challenge to dispossess Henriksen, who had been found in space in the area on nine, then three minutes later Bialkowski saved well from Jackson Irvine after he had been found by Bowen.
Wilson struck a shot from distance which Bialkowski claimed at the second attempt on 13, but visiting fans had only another four minutes to wait for their side to take the lead.
Following a corner, Jackson Irvine stabbed the ball back to Henriksen 25 yards out and the Norwegian hit a well-struck low effort which beat Bialkowski across to his right and crept just inside the post.
The Tigers almost went two ahead in the 28th minute when Nydam gave the ball away to Bowen midway inside the Blues half and the former Hereford man unleashed a powerful shot which fortunately for Town struck the outside of Bialkowski’s right post.
The Blues had shown little attacking threat aside from a couple of Ward crosses from the right but on 38 they weren’t too far away from levelling.
Ward fed Sears to his right before breaking into the area and powerfully heading the former West Ham and Colchester man’s cross towards goal, McGregor reacting superbly to tip it over.
But two minutes later, the visitors doubled their lead. Ola Aina crossed deep from the right and the totally unmarked Wilson volleyed low past Bialkowski at the far post.
The second Hull goal was the trigger for chants of ‘Mick McCarthy, your football is s—t’ from the Sir Bobby Robson Stand, the again small crowd previously having been silent for the most part.
Celina was booked for a dive shortly before the half-time whistle was greeted by loud boos which increased in volume as manager McCarthy made his way to the tunnel.
Hull fully deserved their lead at the break, having been in control for most of the half. After Spence had hit the post, the Tigers had created two decent openings prior to Henriksen’s strike.
Frustrated Town had looked bereft of ideas with too many aimless long balls punted towards Sears but eventually began to make some impact. Ward, who presented the Blues’ greatest threat throughout was unlucky not to score with his header, but Town were made to pay for poor defending as Wilson added to the visitors’ lead.
It was little surprise that the Blues made two changes at the break, Waghorn and Connolly taking over from Gleeson and Nydam.
But two minutes after the restart the visitors made it 3-0. Bowen eased his way past Connolly on the Tigers left, feinted to cross before shooting low between Bialkowski and his near post.
The Town crowd began to sarcastically cheer every successful pass by a Blues player in no matter how unthreatening an area as the game reached the 50-minute mark, then similarly overreacted to a scuffed Sears shot from the edge of the box which was easy for McGregor.
On 55 Waghorn and Knudsen exchanged passes on the left of the area and the Danish international struck a shot which was cleared from inside the six-yard box.
Match Gallery: 3 photos
The Blues began to keep hold of the ball and on 59 Spence teed-up Connolly inside the box but the on-loan Everton man’s shot was blocked.
Hull swapped Campbell for Will Keane on 62. Moments later the announcement of the crowd 13,031 - another new lowest home league crowd for almost 20 years - led to chants of ‘There’s no one here’ from the Sir Bobby Robson Stand.
Following a long spell with neither side threatening played in virtual silence, Sears smashed Knudsen’s cross just wide as he sought to prevent his personal goalless streak from stretching to 34 games.
Hull sub Keane shot straight at Bialkowski on 78, then with 10 minutes left striker Ben Morris was handed his league debut by the Blues in place of Celina, while Kamil Grosicki took over from Irvine for the visitors.
The final minutes were played out in virtual silence until those fans who still remained in the Sir Bobby Robson Stand chanted ‘Mick McCarthy, get out of our club’ and ‘We want our Ipswich back’ during injury time.
The final whistle was again greeted by loud boos and further chants aimed towards McCarthy, while the players’ applause was reciprocated by those same fans.
The team and staff were then called over for a meeting on the pitch by McCarthy during which more chants were aimed towards the Blues boss. Further boos greeted the culmination of the brief meeting, which ended with the players applauded, before McCarthy was again booed down the tunnel.
It had been another thoroughly disappointing evening at Portman Road with the Blues, who have scored just twice in their last nine at home in all competitions, deserving nothing other than a heavy defeat.
Aside from Ward’s header at 1-0, they never really looked like getting back into the game and, between bouts of chanting towards the manager, the second half was played out in largely a pre-season atmosphere, the result having been all but settled by Hull’s third goal just after half-time.
One point from two poor displays has ended the scant hope the Blues had of making the play-offs and may well have seen McCarthy’s five and a half years draw to a close.
Town: Bialkowski, Spence, Carter-Vickers, Chambers (c), Knudsen, Gleeson (Connolly 46), Hyam, Ward, Nydam (Waghorn 46), Celina (Morris 80), Sears. Unused: M Crowe, Webster, Drinan, Kenlock, Morris.
Hull City: McGregor, Irvine (Grosicki 80), Hector, Larsson (Meyler 73), Bowen, Dawson (c), Henriksen, Clark, Campbell (Keane 64), Aina, Wilson. Unused: Marshall, Dicko, Tomori, MacDonald. Referee: Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire). Att: 13,031 (Hull: 290)
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