Ipswich Town 2-3 Bristol City - Match Report
Wednesday, 28th Nov 2018 22:03
Freddie Sears scored two goals but Bristol City came from behind twice to beat the Blues 3-2 at Portman Road, extending bottom-of-the-table Town’s all-time record home winless run to 12 matches. Sears put the Blues in front in the 32nd minute but a Bartosz Bialkowski own goal levelled the scores 10 minutes after the break. Sears’s second of the evening restored the lead on 58 but a minute later Jamie Paterson equalised for a second time before sub Famara Diedhiou won it for the visitors, who ended a run of four successive defeats.
Boss Paul Lambert named the same starting XI for the fourth successive match, while Ellis Harrison was back on the bench after his ankle injury having been out since the end of September.
Bristol City, who included former Blues central defender Adam Webster in their starting line-up, made two changes from the team which lost 2-0 to Leeds at the weekend.
Josh Brownhill was suspended having been red-carded in that game, while Jack Hunt dropped to the bench with Liam Walsh and Eros Pisano replacing them in the XI.
The Robins were the first to threaten as Town started slowly. In the fourth minute keeper Bartosz Bialkowski superbly tipped a Walsh shot from the edge of the box over the bar.
A minute later, Jamie Paterson cut in from the left after the Blues had made heavy weather of clearing but shot wide.
But Town quickly began to get themselves into the game and in the eighth minute Freddie Sears hit a shot from just outside the box which struck the stanchion to the right of Niki Maenpaa’s goal.
The Blues were beginning to make some headway, particularly down the right flank but with Gwion Edwards and Jordan Spence unable to find team-mates with their crosses.
On 12 managers Lambert and Lee Johnson engaged in a heated exchange after Jamie Paterson appeared to flick out at Edwards as they fell between the technical areas, the Welshman having fouled him. After a stern word to both managers the game continued without a card being issued.
The game continued to be an even affair with neither side creating an opportunity until the 21st minute when Andres Weimann was found in an offside position following a quick Bristol City break.
Four minutes later, Jordan Roberts, clearly frustrated that referee David Webb had failed to spot him being man-handled by the Robins centre-halves on a number of occasions, was booked for a late challenge on Tomas Kalas.
Just before the half hour, with referee Webb having continued to make decisions which irked the Town players and support - not least one tackle on Edwards that looked both high and late - spoke to Roberts again following an innocuous foul, presumably to tell him one more and he would be shown another card.
The Blues had begun to get on top as the half moved into its final quarter of an hour but without having created a serious chance.
But in the 32nd minute they took the lead. Former Robin Cole Skuse played a brilliant cross-field pass to Sears on the left and the striker drove into the area at pace before hitting a low shot across Maenpaa and into the corner of the net before celebrating his third goal of the Lambert era - as well as his 29th birthday yesterday - with his team-mates in front of the tunnel.
The Blues began the put the visitors under pressure. Roberts hit a 38th-minute freekick from just outside the area into the wall, then a minute later Trevoh Chalobah hooked over after a Jonas Knudsen long throw had bounced to him in the box, skipper Luke Chambers having won the ball in the air.
As the half moved into its final few minutes Bristol City briefly started to look the more threatening side but Town were able to repel them and were back on the front foot again as the half moved one additional minute.
Seconds before the whistle, all-action goalscorer Sears intercepted a ball laid back for a shot on the edge of the box then continued his run to the Robins left to prevent Lloyd Kelly from being able to get it back in the danger zone.
The whistle went soon afterwards with Town deserving their lead after an entertaining - if rather mistake-ridden - half.
The Blues had started poorly and City might well have taken the lead but for Bialkowski’s early stop but found their feet and had looked the more composed team when the goal came, even if chances hadn’t been coming in great numbers.
Bristol City, who went into the game having lost four on the trot, swapped wideman Hakeeb Adelakun for striker Diedhiou at the break.
Robins skipper Marlon Pack’s 49th minute shot deflected through to Bialkowski with the game end to end in the early spell after the restart.
The visitors were forced into a change in the 54th minute, Walsh having picked up a knock. Joe Morrell took over.
Two minutes later the scores were level, somewhat fortuitously for the Robins. Kelly broke down the left and sent over a low cross which Bialkowski was only able to get a touch on as it came across. No Town player was able to clear, the ball struck sub Diedhiou but was going wide until Bialkowski inadvertently pawed it into his own net.
But the Blues quickly restored their lead. In the 58th minute, three minutes after the Robins’ equaliser, Skuse’s shot was blocked but landed at Sears’s feet, the striker hitting a low effort which beat Maenpaa to his right and nestled in the corner of the net.
However, Town’s second lead of the night lasted only a minute. A cross from the left found Paterson unmarked at the far post from where he shot past Bialkowski, who could only get a hand to the ball.
And, after Maenpaa had blocked a Chambers header at the near post, it was to get worse for the Blues in the 64th minute when the visitors took the lead for the first time.
Kelly’s shot deflected into the path of Diedhiou off Chambers as he ran in on goal and the Senegalese headed past Bialkowski, the game’s fourth goal in only nine minutes.
Town immediately swapped Roberts for Kayden Jackson as they sought a way back into a game which not too long earlier they had been favourites to win.
On 72 Jack Lankester took over from Edwards, then in the 78th minute Spence was yellow-carded for a foul on Niclas Eliasson. While Bristol City prepared to take the freekick, Harrison replaced Downes.
But the visitors were looking more likely to score a fourth than the Blues were to equalise. In the 80th minute Bialkowski quickly came off his line to claim at the feet of Weimann.
However, Town started to look more dangerous. On 82 Lankester, once again impressive from the bench, found Knudsen on the left and the Danish international’s cross eventually fell to Jackson, who looped an overhead kick into the arms of Maenpaa.
Lankester’s 86th minute freekick from the right was easily cleared by the Robins but the Blues kept the ball in the final third and Knudsen eventually nodded back into the danger zone where Sears was unable to get a touch as he looked to flick towards goal.
Paterson failed to hit the target from distance on 88 before the fourth official’s board signalled six additional minutes. Soon after, Robins boss Johnson was yellow-carded for remonstrating with the fourth official.
Town went looking for an equaliser in the closing stages but not overly convincingly. Seconds before the whistle, Jackson picked up a booking for a foul.
An evening which showed so much promise ultimately ended in probably the most disappointing home defeat of the season.
The Blues had gone into the game with yesterday’s results having gone in their favour and with Bristol City on a dreadful run.
Having got the lead in the first half Town were on top but gave a calamitous goal away but were still able to get their noses back in front through man of the match Sears’s fourth in four games.
The Robins were rocking at that stage but there was no knockout punch and they were all but gifted the points via two more defensively disastrous goals with the Blues never really looking like getting back into the match from there.
The prospect of relegation to the third tier for the first time in 62 years becomes ever more real with Town having failed to take points from another potentially winnable game, still without a victory at Portman Road, and with tough trips to Nottingham Forest and Stoke City up next.
Town: Bialkowski, Spence, Chambers (c), Pennington, Knudsen, Skuse, Chalobah, Downes (Harrison 78), Edwards (Lankester 72), Sears, Roberts (Jackson 65). Unused: Gerken, Donacien, Bishop, Ward.
Bristol City: Maenpaa, Kelly, Kalas, Webster, Adelakun (Diedhiou 46), Eliasson, Walsh (Morrell 54), Pack (c), Pisano (Hunt 76), Paterson, Weimann. Unused: O’Leary, Dasilva, Baker, Eisa. Referee: David Webb (Lancashire). Att: 13,726 (Bristol City: 290).
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