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Ipswich Town 1-2 West Bromwich Albion - Match Report
Friday, 23rd Nov 2018 22:01

Kayden Jackson netted his third goal of the season five minutes from time but the bottom-of-the-table Blues fell to a 2-1 home defeat to West Bromwich Albion, who climb to second. Jay Rodriguez gave the visitors the lead on 26, Harvey Barnes doubled the margin in the 77th minute before sub Jackson made the most of a Tosin Adarabioyo error to pull a goal back for Town, who almost claimed what earlier had seemed an unlikely point when another sub Jack Lankester hit the post with a freekick deep in injury time.

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 have gone in feeling another goal in the second half ought seal their first win at Portman Road since 2006 with Town needing to improve after the break if they were to take anything from the match.

The Blues started the second half positively and in the 49th minute Flynn Downes sent Roberts away towards goal but Hegazi, who had been a strong presence at the back for the visitors throughout, blocked his way.

From the corner the Blues threatened again, Gibbs stopping Roberts’s shot in front of the line.

Moments later, Downes’s corner from the left bounced across the six-yard box but with no one of either team able to get a touch on it. The ball ran out to Chalobah, who struck a shot straight at Johnstone.

The Blues, appearing to have much more self-belief than before the break when they had perhaps shown the visitors too much respect, continued to press and probe and in the 52nd minute Pennington shot wide from 25 yards after a freekick had been taken quickly on the left.

Despite Town’s strong start to the second half, West Brom went very close to doubling their lead in the 56th minute.

Phillips sent over a superb ball from the right to Barnes breaking into the area on the left from where the on-loan Leicester man smashed a shot against the outside of Bialkowski’s right post.

But the Blues were continuing to take the game to the West Midlanders and a minute later Chalobah brought the ball to the edge of the box before hitting a shot wide.

In the 64th minute boss Lambert withdrew Downes for Bishop, who received a warm ovation from the Portman Road crowd as he made his way on to the field. The 22-year-old’s last league appearance came in the home game against QPR on Boxing Day last year.

The visitors started to look the more threatening side, Rodriguez shooting over on 66, then two minutes later Phillips won a corner on the right from which the ball almost ended up crossing the line, however, with Bialkowski having been fouled as he punched.

A minute later, Robson-Kanu hit a shot from the edge of the box which Bialkowski claimed confidently before the threat moved to the other end.

First Sears was just prevented from getting in a header from Knudsen’s cross from the left, then Edwards nodded Roberts’s cross over the bar.

Rodriguez looked certain to grab his second of the game in the 72nd minute having been put through one on one inside the area but Spence slid in superbly to take the ball away from him.

However, a second Baggies goal came only four minutes later. Bishop and Edwards got in a tangle on the edge of the West Brom box and the visitors broke at pace and Phillips found Barnes in space on the right of the box from where he slammed home.

Town immediately swapped Edwards and Roberts for Jackson and Lankester, however, any realistic hope of getting anything from the game appeared to have gone, despite their spirited second-half display.

Lankester ambitiously claimed a penalty as the match moved into its final 10 minutes, falling along with a West Brom defender as they battled to get to a ball into the box.

Jackson shot wide having cut in from the left in the 82nd minute, then soon after Phillips was booked for time-wasting.

With five minutes left on the clock the Blues were handed a lifeline. Lankester’s cross from the right deflected into the area where Tosin Adarabioyo inadvertently diverted it behind him and into the path of Jackson, who gratefully slipped home his third goal of the season.

The home crowd, which had stayed behind their team throughout, suddenly sensed an unlikely point might be on the cards and upped the noise.

Town kept pushing for an equaliser in injury time, winning a number of corners, but with the Baggies always looking a bigger danger on the counter-attack, as they had all evening.

Deep, deep in injury time, Bishop won a freekick not far outside the area on the right and Lankester curled a brilliant shot which grazed the outside of Johnstone’s right post. The keeper was booked for wasting time ahead of the goalkick, seconds before the final whistle blew.

Despite the defeat, the home crowd applauded their side after a much better second half display which might even have yielded a point had Lankester’s strike been six inches or so to the left or the ball fallen more kindly in the area from one of a number of earlier set pieces.

Town will certainly face far weaker opposition than the Baggies this season and although having suffered Lambert’s first defeat as Town boss, there were plenty of positives to be taken from the second-half performance, not least Bishop’s return to senior action.

The Blues will hope that results elsewhere go in their favour tomorrow before they again go looking for their first home win of the season and inaugural victory under Lambert when Bristol City visit Portman Road on Wednesday.

Town: Bialkowski, Sears, Chambers (c), Pennington, Knudsen, Skuse, Chalobah, Downes (Bishop 64), Edwards (Lankester 77), Sears, Roberts (Jackson 78). Unused: Gerken, Donacien, Ward, Dozzell.

West Brom: Johnstone, Adarabioyo, Dawson, Hegazi, Gibbs, Livermore (c), Morrison (Barry 89), Phillips, Barnes, Robson-Kanu (Gayle 75), Rodriguez. Unused: Myhill, Mears, Townsend, Hoolahan, Harper. Referee: Keith Stroud (Hampshire). Att 22,995 (West Brom: 1,073).

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Ippy0207 added 22:02 - Nov 23
Definitely some positives in that game against a premier league quality side. No doubt still looking unaccomplished in many areas. But hopefully playing like that against lesser teams in the league may keep us in reach of safety towards January where these “unbalances” can be seen to. “They won’t be where they are for much longer if they play like they did” - Darren Moore in his post match interview. We go into the next game fighting again.

TonyHumesIpswich added 22:03 - Nov 23
Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope none of the bottom teams pick up any points tomorrow. We can still do this.

Bluearmy_81 added 22:08 - Nov 23
It's too late this season but it still needs to happen if we aren't going to completely disappear into the abyss... #Evansout

HALLSJ added 22:11 - Nov 23
WBA are not prem quality team.
If they were in the prem they would get battered most weeks.
The gulf in class however was demonstrated when WBA can leave Dwight Gayle on the bench.
We have youth players on ours!!
Also, a centre forward in Graham making just his 3rd start with pretty much no support.
So much work to do PL

ShropshireBluenago09 added 22:13 - Nov 23
On the Plus side - 22,000 at PR, Teddy back, Lankester good when he came on, decent 2nd half performance,unlucky not to snatch a draw at the end
Negatives - lacking cutting edge, guile, and a quality striker, and although the back 4 looks more settled, we still look vulnerable at times.
Keep The Faith looking better under Lambo

dukey44 added 22:13 - Nov 23
Why do we concede from set plays and corners yet take short corners ourselves? Surely we practice corners?? Second half looked better and Bart needs to practice kicking the ball and keeping it in play?

martin587 added 22:13 - Nov 23
Good fight back in the second half,still a long way to go.Things can only get better.Very pleased with the subs,showed great character and the free kick at the end deserved better.

pragmatic added 22:14 - Nov 23
Halls. Centre forward Graham?

blueboy1981 added 22:15 - Nov 23
Much better second half, but still some very naive play from certain players - rest assured PL will have identified these weakness's and will know the answer.

No one will want me to say this, but, prepare yourselves for League 1 - with the knowledge that we are now heading in the right direction. This knowledge has to offfset any pessimism of worst case scenario.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, had PL been installed at the beginning of the season (preferably end of last season) we would not be in this situation now.

Quietly confident - medium to longer term - in fact very confident. Much in evidence to lift the chin.

Spence ? - no comment.

BecclesBlue500 added 22:16 - Nov 23
Positive but a bit huff-and-puff; I didn’t actually think that West Brom were that great but they didn’t have to be.

P.L. needs to change the outfield spine of the team ASAP; Chambers, Pennington, Chalobah (particularly poor) and Roberts looked lost, broken, and bluntly very Div 1.

I thought playing with 3 up front was a bit ambitious against a team like West Brom; would rather have seen 5 in a more strict midfield formation in the early stages/first half to block teams out; I get Lamberts attacking principles/ethos but we haven’t got the players.

It was already a long season; 2 points from 9 under Lambert suggests that things aren’t really changing - I suppose we need to remain optimistic that he’ll get some quality in in the January window but I’m not sure that we can attract the necessary players let alone pay their wages.

BecclesBlue500 added 22:18 - Nov 23
Oh - and how polite/courteous was Darren Moore in his interview? Bizarrely found myself thinking that he was being too positive about us; and why was Walters a little bit narky/bitchy in his review about us? Strange...

runaround added 22:18 - Nov 23
The players, coaches and fans gave absolutely everything tonight and we can ask no more of that. Entertaining match and a brilliant atmosphere. Unfortunately West Brom have a much better side than us& the quality showed in the end. We all have to stick together now & even if the worst was to happen back the players all the way to get back up straight away

Sixto6 added 22:18 - Nov 23
Jordan Spence is stealing a living as a professional footballer!

pragmatic added 22:21 - Nov 23
Lambert is a fighter who will instil everything he can into team. Those 2 clowns from
Shrews left a real mess which Lambert is slowly sortingt. 84 points to play for so get behind the team as much as pos,

ShropshireBluenago09 added 22:24 - Nov 23
Not a fan of Spence but great tackle to prevent Rodriguez

BraveDave added 22:26 - Nov 23
Lambert has taken on a rock bottom team with zero confidence and no game plan. We have to remember that when we measure performances against expectations.

So, in our position, it's inevitable we are going to lose several games, and WBA would certainly be a game we would struggle to get anything out of. However, we are playing with more confidence, more energy and a crowd that is playing their part.

That means we are very likely to start winning games (something that seemed remote before Lambert arrived). If we scrape a few points and avoid relegation by one point, that will be a success (it's painful to say it, but that has to be the level of our expectation).

So the next game is much more critical than tonight's - we need to keep relatively close to the teams above us, and if we do we will gradually start picking them off, and we can then welcome a proven goalscorer in January!

hucks216 added 22:27 - Nov 23
We need to win around half the games left to stand a fighting chance of surviving. And tomorrow Millwall play Bolton at home and Reading play away to a Wigan side on a run of 4 losses so a home & away win respectively will see them pull further away from the bottom three and leave us at least 7 points adrift if Rotherham get nothing.

TimmyH added 22:31 - Nov 23
Nearly rescued an unlikely point tonight in a game which seemed liked a few already witnessed at Portman Road this season in that of being a low key/poorish 1st half only to play the 2nd with far more endeavour.
Still feel general quality is lacking although a number of players didn't want for trying...can Lambert rescue this current squad from relegation? well I'm not really sure but certainly sure we need recruitment's in January and the minimum requirement being Striker, box to box midfielder and centre back (and not from league 1) to possibly replace the error strewn Chambers (who seems to make a faux pas in most matches).

Roll on January folks and all eyes on Evans wallet...

unknown100 added 22:37 - Nov 23
He's getting the best out of what he's got!

Great atmosphere!

Lightningboy added 22:37 - Nov 23
Not sure what was going on in the first half but a decent effort in the 2nd - which is all we ask.

Lambert needs some cash very quickly in January to sort out Hurst’s demolition job last summer.

Centre back,centre midfielder,winger & 2 strikers needed Bart needs to sort his head out.

Bluearmy_81 added 22:39 - Nov 23
Oh ok, #Evansin!! More terrible decisions, more chronic underfunding more slipping down the league, yep love it. The fact he's been given such a ridiculously easy ride by fans over the last few years since that farce of an interview is part of why we are where we are. Evans excusers and apologists you are to blame as much as him

algarvefan added 22:43 - Nov 23
I think from PL's meeting with Evans and the guarded replies he gave we all now there is little in Evans wallet going to be spent at PR.
I am by nature an optimist which is why I think we can still avoid the drop, the signs are improving all the time and we nearly got a very unlikely point tonight against a team in second place with some very good players. At least we are again now competing in every game but it is again 'up top' that it is not happening. We need a change of fortune or spend a fortune, we need a goalscorer, seems obvious but then again all good ideas do.
Come on Mr Evans at least keep us in with a shout.

thundercat600 added 22:44 - Nov 23
I don't know the name of the Town player who has a blond patch in his hair. But I do know that he is out of his depth, he did not read the game well gave the ball away to many times and generally was more of a hindrance than a help to the team. He is not up to the level of his team mates and should be replaced asap

stevieiriswattii added 22:44 - Nov 23
By a long way the best atmosphere at PR for sometime. Signs of improvement in the overall play, and better organisation. Chalobah man of the match, with brief but exciting cameos from Bishop & Lankester. Roll on the next game.

finzha added 22:51 - Nov 23
Sam Johnstone at the end. Looks like an EDL reject so not surprised to see him lose his temper.

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