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Ipswich Town 0-1 West Bromwich Albion - Half-Time
Friday, 23rd Nov 2018 20:45

Jay Rodriguez’s 26th minute goal has given West Brom a 1-0 half-time lead over the Blues at Portman Road.

Paul Lambert named an unchanged for the third game running, while Teddy Bishop was on the bench for the first time since August having been out of action with a hamstring injury, his only appearance this season having been 24 minutes from the bench at Exeter in the Carabao Cup.

West Brom, who were also unchanged having beaten Leeds 4-1 before the international break, were skippered by former Town loanee Jake Livermore.

The visitors created the first opportunity of the game in the fourth minute, James Morrison heading a corner from the right back into the area and Rodriguez nodding over.

West Brom had most of the ball in the early stages with Town, backed by a noisy 22,000-strong crowd, harrying and hassling them.

On 11 Matthew Pennington was booked for pulling back Hal Robson-Kanu and Cole Skuse diverted Livermore’s dangerous freekick up into the air and Trevoh Chalobah cleared.

Town struck their first shot of the game in the 13th minute, Jonas Knudsen hitting a powerful effort which flew only just over Sam Johnstone’s bar.

The Baggies broke quickly in the 16th minute after a Town attack had broken down and Harvey Barnes shot across the face of goal, not too far wide of Bartosz Bialkowski’s right post.

West Brom will feel they should have opened the scoring in the 23rd minute. A freekick was nodded back towards the six-yard box from the back post and Jordan Roberts did superbly to hook it away. However, the loose ball dropped to Ahmed Hegazi but fortunately for Town the Egyptian screwed horribly wide when he should have hit the target at the very least.

But the Baggies didn’t have to wait too much longer for a goal. On 26 Matt Phillips’s cross from the right beat Jordan Spence at the back post and Kieran Gibbs headed to the edge of the six-yard box where Rodriguez nipped in front of Pennington to slot home.

The visitors continued to control the game with the Blues unable to make much headway going forward, all too often running into trouble, making a loose pass or failing to get the ball into the box when the opportunity was there. On 40 Robson-Kanu worked himself space inside the box but shot over.

Just before the break, Spence slid in to block from Rodriguez who otherwise looked certain to score having been found by Barnes after another swift Baggies break. In the aftermath, the ball was played into the feet of Robson-Kanu, who tried to roll Pennington but the on-loan Everton man diverted his shot over.

After one minute of additional time referee Keith Stroud brought the half to an end with the Baggies deservedly in front.

The visitors, with a squad still packed with players from their Premier League days, had bossed the period from the the off with the Blues largely huffing and puffing as they tried to get a foothold in the game.

Knudsen’s shot not too far over was the closest Town had come to a goal, while the Blues’ backline had done well to limit the number of clear-cut chances at the other end.

West Brom will feel another goal in the second half should seal their first win at Portman Road since 2006 with Town needing to improve after the break if they’re to take anything from the match.

Town: Bialkowski, Sears, Chambers (c), Pennington, Knudsen, Skuse, Chalobah, Downes, Edwards, Sears, Roberts. Subs: Gerken, Donacien, Jackson, Bishop, Ward, Dozzell, Lankester.

West Brom: Johnstone, Adarabioyo, Dawson, Hegazi, Gibbs, Livermore (c), Morrison, Phillips, Barnes, Robson-Kanu, Rodriguez. Subs: Myhill, Mears, Townsend, Barry, Hoolahan, Harper, Gayle. Referee: Keith Stroud (Hampshire).

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