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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