|Ipswich Town 1 v 1 Norwich City|
Sunday, 2nd September 2018 Kick-off 12:00
Ipswich Town 0-0 Norwich City - Half-Time
Sunday, 2nd Sep 2018 13:19
Town’s East Anglian derby at home to Norwich City remains 0-0 at half-time with Jon Walters having come closest to a goal when he struck the post.
Dean Gerken made a shock return in goal for the dropped Bartosz Bialkowski in a Town team featuring six changes.
Loanees Jon Walters and Jordan Graham made their second Blues debuts, Matthew Pennington his first, while Jordan Spence returned at right-back.
Trevoh Chalobah, Ellis Harrison and Tayo Edun all dropped to the bench alongside Bialkowski, while Toto Nsiala was suspended after his red card at Sheffield Wednesday.
Janoi Donacien was the loan player to miss out on a place in the 18 with only five permitted in a matchday squad.
The Blues switched to a 4-4-2 system with Walters off Kayden Jackson up front and Graham and Gwion Edwards in the wide roles. For Norwich, ex-Blues striker Jordan Rhodes started.
Within seconds of the kick-off Town won a freekick not far outside the area when Cole Skuse was fouled by Emiliano Buendia but Graham curled his shot over.
The game got off to a frenetic start but with neither team threatening until the 13th minute when Skuse was harshly adjudged to have fouled Teemu Pukki on the right, the Bristolian having won the ball.
From Moritz Leitner’s freekick Alex Tettey headed over when he will feel he ought to have done better.
On 20, Spence and Walters worked space on the right for Edwards to cross.The ball reached Nolan on the edge of the box but his shot was blocked.
A minute later, Graham whipped over a freekick from the left which Norwich did well to defend, the on-loan Wolves man sent over a corner from the right which reached Skuse on the edge of the area but his header looped over.
Blues skipper Luke Chambers got his name in referee Robert Jones’s book in the 26th minute after tripping Rhodes, although it looked more of a tangle of legs than a malicious foul. From Leitner’s freekick, Timm Klose headed wide at the far post.
Tettey shot wide from distance for the Canaries on 32 with the game having been a largely scruffy affair with neither team able to fully impose themselves upon the opposition.
As the half moved towards its final 10 minutes the game began to open up with both teams surrendering possession too easily in midfield.
Match Gallery: 13 photos
On 36 Onel Hernandez played in Pukki, who cut in from the left and hit a low shot which grazed the outside of the post, although the Gerken looking to have it covered.
Walters, who had had a relatively quiet half, burst into life in the 40th minute, smashing a powerful strike from distance which slammed off Norwich keeper Tim Krul’s left post and cannoned away for a throw.
Town were starting to look more of a threat and in the 43rd minute they felt they should have been awarded a penalty. Following a short corner, Nolan fed Graham, who took the ball past Rhodes and appeared to be fouled. As Town appealed, referee Jones awarded a freekick to Norwich and yellow-carded Graham for what he felt was a dive.
Town were forced into a change just before the break after Skuse suffered a nasty blow to the head in a clash with Klose at a Norwich corner.
The midfielder was treated at great length on the pitch before being stretchered off with his head in a brace. Trevoh Chalobah took over.
In lengthy injury time, Roberts hit the wall with a freekick after Walters had been fouled by Canaries skipper Grant Hanley, then from the corner Chambers headed wide. Neither side was able to threaten again before referee Jones blew his whistle.
While the scoreline was probably a fair reflection of the half, the Blues had perhaps looked marginally the more dangerous side with Walters’s effort off the post the nearest either team had come to a goal, while the Canaries had had most of the ball albeit with Gerken largely a spectator.
Of the debutants, Graham had sent in one or two dangerous set pieces but hadn’t been involved as much as Edwards on the other flank, who had found himself crowded out on too many occasions. At the back Pennington had had a strong first 45 minutes for the Blues.
Town: Gerken, Spence, Pennington, Chambers (c), Knudsen, Edwards, Skuse (Chalobah 45), Nolan, Graham, Walters, Jackson. Subs: Bialkowski, Harrison, Ward, Downes, Edun, Kenlock.
Norwich: Krul, Aarons, Hanley, Klose, Lewis, Tettey, Buendia, Pukki, Leitner, Hernandez, Rhodes. Subs: McGovern, Godfrey, Zimmermann, Stiepermann, Trybull, Srbeny, Thompson. Referee: Robert Jones (Merseyside). Att:25,690 (Norwich: 2,022).
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