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Swansea City 2-3 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 6th Oct 2018 17:22

Trevoh Chalobah’s 84th minute header saw Town to their first victory of the Paul Hurst era as the Blues beat Swansea City 3-2 in a topsy-turvy game at the Liberty Stadium. A Janoi Donacien own goal put the Swans in front in the eighth minute as the home side dominated but Gwion Edwards and Freddie Sears gave Town an unlikely lead via goals in the 27th and 31st minutes. The Blues held on to their lead until the 79th minute when former loanee Bersant Celina lashed in an equaliser but Town weren’t to be denied the three points and Chalobah headed his second of the season five minutes later.

Edwards, Sears, Matthew Pennington and Andre Dozzell all started for the Blues with Jonas Knudsen, Jon Nolan, Kayden Jackson and Jordan Graham dropping to the bench having been in the XI which lost 2-0 to Middlesbrough on Tuesday.

Knudsen’s usual left-back role went to Donacien, who moved from right-back with Matthew Pennington returning after his one-match ban.

Skipper Luke Chambers and Toto Nsiala continued at the centre of the defence in front of keeper Dean Gerken.

Cole Skuse and Chalobah were in their usual deeper midfield roles with Dozzell, making his first start since the opening day of last season, coming in for Nolan ahead of them.

Edwards, facing the club where he came through the youth ranks, was on the right with Grant Ward on the left and Freddie Sears the lone striker.

Young striker Jack Lankester was on the bench for the senior side in a competitive fixture for the first time having been handed the number 36 shirt. Another academy product, left-back Bailey Clements, also made the trip to Wales but didn’t make the final 18.

Former Blues loanee Celina started for the Swans, while another of last season’s Town loan players, Cameron Carter-Vickers, was among their subs.

The home side threatened in the opening seconds, Town having lost the ball soon after kicking off. Dan James broke into the left of the box and hit a shot which Gerken blocked. Connor Roberts was unable to divert the rebound goalwards.

Town threatened for the first time in the third minute, Dozzell threading a pass through for Sears, who beat the offside trap and was in on goal. However, the ball seemed to get stuck under the former Colchester man’s feet and he was caught by Joe Rodon, who stabbed behind for a corner.

Aside from that chance - and it was a very decent opportunity - the early stages were dominated by Swansea and in the ninth minute they went in front via a Donacien own goal.

James sent a ball across the six-yard box from the left following a one-two with Celina which Oli McBurnie failed to reach. But Roberts crossed back in from the right and the ball beat Gerken off the St Lucian defender.

Ward shot from distance for Town on 10 but without significantly troubling Kristoffer Nordfeldt in the Swans goal.

Sears was subsequently sent away down the right channel and won a corner, Nsiala just failing to connect with a far-post header. Soon after, the former West Ham man broke away again but chipped his cross over the bar with his options in the box limited in any case.

On 20 the lively James again burst away behind the Blues’ backline on the left and as previously McBurnie was just unable to get a touch on his low cross.

James was giving Pennington a tough time and four minutes later he escaped again before cutting back to Celina, who fortunately for the Blues screwed his shot well wide.

It had been all Swansea but in the 27th minute Town equalised via former Swan and local boy Edwards's third goal of the season. Sears crossed superbly from the left and the winger nodded across Nordfeldt and into the net from a few yards out.

Four minutes later, the same pair combined in reverse to hand the Blues a lead which had looked hugely unlikely only moments earlier.

Sears fed Edwards on the right and broke forward into the area before flicking the Welshman’s ball into the box across Nordfeldt, although Swans skipper Van der Hoorn may have got the final touch. Nevertheless Sears celebrated and will presumably claim his first goal of the season.

Shocked Swansea went about trying to restore parity and went close in the 35th minute. Celina was sent away on the right of the box and played inside to McBurnie. The Scotland international cut past Pennington but was thwarted by Gerken who came out quickly to block his shot.

The Blues briefly found themselves under pressure but on 42 weren’t too far from a third. Edwards broke away down the right and sent the ball across the six-yard box but just too far in front of Sears.

Town ended the half with their lead still intact and with the Swans having continued to dominate possession but without creating a further chance.

The home side will have gone in scratching their heads wondering quite how they found themselves behind.

They had completely dominated the early stages and scored the early goal which ought to have seen them on the way to a comfortable half-time lead.

However, they were unable to profit from their advantage and Town twice caught them with a sucker punch with Sears and Edwards having created problems on the break all half and the Blues might even have added a third late on.

Both sides made a change at the break. Knudsen was restored to his regular left-back role for Donacien for the Blues, while the Swans swapped Kyle Naughton for Joel Asoro.

Celina blazed an early chance following a corner high and wide, then in the 50th minute Dozzell curled a freekick over after Ward had been fouled.

Sears continued to be a threat on the break for the Blues but the game quickly returned to a pattern similar to the first half with the Swans dominating possession for the most part but with Town now seeing more of the ball and probing deeper into the opposition half.

On 55 Swansea twice went close to levelling from a Celina corner on the right. Rodon headed against the bar, then Van der Hoorn nodded the rebound over. Three minutes later, the Swans switched George Byers for Leroy Fer.

Ward was inches away from adding a third for the Blues in the 59th minute. Dozzell wrong-footed a defender with a clever reverse pass, giving Ward space to break from midway inside the Swans half. Eventually the former Spurs man unleashed a 25-yard strike which flew not far past Nordfeldt’s left post.

The Welsh side went similarly close in the 63rd minute. Celina left Nsiala in his wake and played another low ball across the six-yard box from the left but once again just too far in front of McBurnie.

Swansea were beginning to up the pressure again and Van der Hoorn forced Gerken to save his flick following a corner on the right but having strayed offside. On 68 Dozzell was booked for time-wasting at a Swans freekick.

After a spell in which the Blues had begun to see more of the ball, the home side replaced Van der Hoorn with winger Barrie McKay as they moved to three at the back.

Seconds after the change Celina was played through on goal only to be thwarted by a superb sliding challenge from Chambers.

The game was becoming increasingly open and on 78 Sears broke away on the right and sent over a deep cross which the Swansea defence took several goes at clearing.

However, once they had managed to extricate it from their box and with Town having committed too many men forward, they scored the leveller via ex-Blues loanee Celina.

McKay fed Celina on halfway as the home side broke quickly and incisively and the Kosovan, who joined the Swans on a permanent basis in the summer from Manchester City, struck a powerful low effort from distance, which flew just inside Gerken’s left post.

While the Swans celebrated, Dozzell was subbed for Flynn Downes, a switch the Blues had been looking to do before the goal. Soon after the restart Chalobah was booked for a foul on Fer.

The momentum seemed to be with the Swans after the goal with their crowd now very much behind them.

However, the Blues didn’t crumble and Skuse struck a powerful effort from the edge of the box which deflected wide.

And in the 84th minute they restored their lead. Ward sent over a corner from the right and Chalobah rose highest to nod down, through a crowd of players and into the net. The on-loan Chelsea man and his team-mates celebrated his second Town goal wildly in front of the travelling Blues support.

Asoro turned a cross from the right wide, then Chambers just got ahead of McBurnie to head out for a corner as the Swans began their search for another equaliser.

Town brought Kayden Jackson on for Edwards deep in injury time before McKay shot wide with what was to prove the home side’s last attempt of the match.

The Blues might even have grabbed a late fourth, Jackson cutting back to the by-now exhausted Sears, who screwed well wide.

Not too long after, the whistle blew to a huge cheer from the Town support at the end of a long, long wait - since the Reading game in last season’s penultimate match, a winless run of 12 league games and the Carabao Cup tie at Exeter - for a victory.

The players celebrated with the fans and there was the welcome first sight of a Chambers fist pump during the Hurst era.

Having looked as if they were on their way to a defeat - and probably a heavy one at that - for most of the first half, the Blues, who always looked a threat on the break via Edwards and man of the match Sears, staged an unlikely turnaround.

They looked like they were going to hold on to their advantage in a more even second half until Celina’s goal looked to have broken their hearts once again.

However, they showed remarkable spirit as the game looked to have swung in Swansea’s direction to grab their third and finally end their wait for a win.

Whether the victory will be enough to save manager Hurst’s job remains to be seen as the season moves into the October international break, traditionally a time when club owners assess whether to change their bosses.

Town’s result and the scorelines elsewhere see the Blues stay 23rd but with a very significant millstone having been removed from their necks.

Swansea: Nordfeldt, Van der Hoorn (McKay 75), McBurnie, Celina, Carroll, James, Grimes, Rodon, Roberts, Naughton (Asoro 46), Byers (Fer 58). Unused: Mulder, Olsson, Carter-Vickers, Fulton.

Town: Gerken, Pennington, Nsiala, Chambers (c), Donacien (Knudsen 46), Skuse, Chalobah, Edwards (Jackson 90), Dozzell (Downes 80), Ward, Sears. Unused: Bialkowski, Nolan, Graham, Lankester. Referee: Oliver Langford (West Midlands). Att 18,810.

Photo: Pagepix

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legoman added 17:36 - Oct 6
Just realised I have a point on the Pred leaugue, I went for 0-1 :). Onwards and upwards.

RRanger added 17:38 - Oct 6
Great post Sir_George_Burley.....and blueboy1981.

Nobbysnuts added 17:39 - Oct 6
A great result but don't get carried away. Sounds like we rode our luck and were completely dominated by Swansea. It's what's called a smash and grab and get the f##k out of there. We are still bang in trouble. As the reporter said on sky ' I don't know how Ipswich are winning this game'

Erics_size_5s added 17:39 - Oct 6
Timmy H. Jeff Stelling would've been proud of that!!

BlueandTruesince82 added 17:40 - Oct 6

I don't think Evans will pull the trigger yet, maybe had we lost again but hes always given managers time and even with our dire start I think Hurst will get the same.

Good result but sounds... and I wasn't there, like we benefited from them being somewhat profligate.

None the less I am delighted BUT this means nothing if we don't kick on from here....more please...... still on an over all downer about where we are.... still worried but for tonight, hugely, hugely relived.

Bet no one had us on their acca today!

LWNR2013 added 17:41 - Oct 6
Absolutely chuffed with this. Same beer tastes better tonight.

Esseeja added 17:42 - Oct 6
If Chambers can play like he did at his best at times today why can't he do that every week? He would be our best captain in years if he did, forget Berra.

blrmy added 17:42 - Oct 6
So the stats say they were better, but it wasn't a robbery. 0-1 would have been a robbery. To score 3 goals, we won, simple as. We'll done lads. Onwards and upwards!

Esseeja added 17:44 - Oct 6
If Berra was ever captain for us I forget.

blueboy1981 added 17:44 - Oct 6
....... reality is that 'one swallow doesn't make a summer' - BUT it could, and needs to, make our Autumn and Winter.

No time to look back - only FORWARD.

Suffolkboy added 17:46 - Oct 6
Not sure one much delayed win counts for too much in an overall assessment. ; those closest to the action within the Club will make the best informed judgements and be best placed to formulate an opinion and action plan .
There are, and have been , many poor quality moments , judgements and selections and it does feel as if today's win almost came by accident ,with a tricky puzzling conundrum resulting in a much needed and hard working victory .
What Mr Evans makes of this will depend on the graph to date and his longer term standpoint ;has it altered his conclusions about the course for the future of ITFC ?
Well done, meantime The Blues : come on !!


TimmyH added 17:47 - Oct 6
yet again even when we get a win swn98 can't help himself...but no time for arguments let's all celebrate!

Yet another international break?...can't remember one in October last year, I want us to keep playing not have a fortnight off, damn bloody England games...

Welshblue72 added 17:48 - Oct 6
One happy town fan tonight and I’ve not said that before this season. Well done Town a must needed win 😀

brittaniaman added 17:49 - Oct 6
Well done you Blues !!! now let us march on to get this next win which Should take us out of this relegation zone ??

tractorboybig added 17:50 - Oct 6
sears and Edwards good partnership,,lets hope its not changed for the next game. gerks played well and should stay and chambers put in a shift today. couple of others still errr. so onwards and forward.

ipswichfann679 added 17:51 - Oct 6
VERY lucky PH you would have been sacked in the morning my opinion you still should be, get out of my club and take your useless signings with you COYB

airliner added 17:51 - Oct 6
Amazing, brilliant , well done, keep going after the break

Tractorboy1985 added 17:52 - Oct 6
Finally.. sod the manager.. sod the owner.. I love ITFC and I’m delighted we’ve won!!

BraveDave added 17:56 - Oct 6
Of course we know this doesn't suddenly change everything, but what a fantastic result. First and foremost, when they equalised I'm sure every Town fan expected the inevitable. So for us to then go on the attack and actually win the game is a massive positive.

Sears on his own up front was sensational. Not just the goal and assist, but the way he held the ball up to buy us time - maybe this is his watershed moment! And Chambers' last ditch tackle on Celina shows why he is our leader.

So this was so much more than just a win - players started to show real self belief, and they have proved to themselves that they can win against the odds. For those reasons, one of the best Town performances in recent seasons.

westernblue added 17:56 - Oct 6
I see the Swans from time to time, being based in Swansea, and they are a good footballing team in with a fair chance of promotion back this season. We rode our luck. And maybe deserved that - after all we have so often lacked a bit of luck at crucial times this season. We also played some good football - contributing our part to an exciting match (glory be, after the last few years of dross). The players' commitment was superb, and Chambers led them magnificently. The support (from out wide and the centre) for the sole striker seemed to be starting to come together - as it has to if we are to progress with that formation. So pleased for PH. Well done all.

Zondervanromeo added 17:59 - Oct 6
Up & running let the Paul Hurst Era being

blue75 added 18:00 - Oct 6
I normally moan about style & stats but today was about getting a win on the board the team know they can do it with hurst hopefully this will be the start of a run.

blue86 added 18:00 - Oct 6
well done town!!! that was a horrible run that felt like it would never end. pleased for hurst as he must have been feeling the heat, just need to keep it going. next home game i would still like to see both sears and jackon up top together in a 442. anyway saturday night always feels that bit better when town win! coyb

Henrietta_R_Hippo added 18:01 - Oct 6
Very happy with the win... not so happy with *some* fans here & elsewhere (not overly surprisingly though) subsequently losing their grip on reality etc.! wink wink

Aye we somehow put 3 in the back of the net (Van Hoorn is imo rightly credited widely with a own-goal for no. 2 ) today to every fans delight, but to use a Muck-esque term we clearly "NICKED IT" folks... in actually a fairly unmistakable "GRAND LARCENY kind op way. Especially when looking at these stats, for those who didn't watch it or streamed it on Ifollow:

Possession: 74% to 26%!

Passes: 726 to 255!

Accurate Passes 625 (86%) to 165 (65%)!

Corners: 13 to 6

Shots: 18 to 8

Big Chances Missed 6 to 1!!!

But whenever we had the ball over the halfway-line, which as pointed out wasn't that often, an otherwise fairly average over his 80 min Andre & his presence surely gave the attack some much needed extra bite at times, although imo Edwards was our obvious MOTM ... and like I said earlier Sears will surely at the VERY LEAST do no worse in a "Lone Attacker" role than neither Jackson or Harrison, and probable even noticeably better in the long run due to first and foremost his experience at this level, but also ability to better lay of the ball to others & of his renowned energy & movement levels.

(so ehhh remind me again why Mr. Hurst splashed out more than £ 2.5+ mill of Scrooge Evans very *petty* allowance , if he already in the preseason knew he would play & stick with just a "Lone Striker" setup NO MATTER WHAT including how terrible a start we might get off to??? Imho he could & should have spend part if not all of that £ 2.5+ mill on something better read: proven at at this level, and/or just used Sears from day 1 and let Morris stick around as the backup / bench option)

Alas great with not just a bunch of goals resulting from some more "clinical" finishing & neater passing up front but obviously mainly with the ONE in the win column... also of course for the beleaguered Mr. Hurst... who might finally make him think much much clearer going forward , as opposed to as up to now and in the eyes of many observers: appearing way too frequently utterly lost or just plain clueless.
And as such MY personal view on Mr. Hurst's shall we say 'overall competence' at this level (a view thus far clearly skeptical but also very well-founded skeptical since the grotesque final week of the transfer window I believe!) doesn't change simply because of these 3 points today I'm afraid, especially since 'Lady Luck' unequivocally played such a big factor in said win today.

But onward & upwards ITFC! ...cause as for as long as corporate- tax-fixated Scrooge Evans is here we simply can't benefit in any way from potentially getting relegated. Period!

Zondervanromeo added 18:02 - Oct 6
Play offs

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