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Ipswich Town 0-0 Sheffield Wednesday - Half-Time
Saturday, 2nd Feb 2019 15:56

Town’s home game with Sheffield Wednesday remains 0-0 at half-time, although with the Owls having come closest to breaking the deadlock.

Blues skipper Luke Chambers and fellow centre-half James Collins both missed out due to injury, neither of which are understood to significant knocks.

In their absence Matthew Pennington and Toto Nsiala started at the heart of the defence with new loanee James Bree making his Blues debut at right-back and Myles Kenlock at left-back.

In midfield, stand-in captain Cole Skuse was behind Flynn Downes and Teddy Bishop, who scored a hat-trick for the U23s on Monday.

Collin Quaner started as the central striker with Alan Judge on the left and Freddie Sears on the right.

Trevoh Chalobah and Will Keane were on the bench alongside Josh Emmanuel, who was involved in the Town team for the first time since the final day of the 2016/17 season having returned from his loan spell at Shrewsbury.

Callum Elder was the loanee who missed out on a place in the matchday squad with only five of the six permitted in the 18.

For the Owls, who had new manager Steve Bruce in charge for the first time, striker Fernando Forestieri made his first start since November, while central defender Michael Hector was back in the team having been ineligible for last week’s FA Cup defeat to his parent club Chelsea.

The game started scruffily but with the Blues on top, taking the game to the visitors and trying to get their passing football going.

On 10, following a corner, Judge sent the ball back in to the far post and Pennington headed wide.

A minute later at the other end, Forestieri smashed a snapshot well over from distance after the ball had broken to him.

One or two feisty Wednesday challenges flew in, particularly on Bishop and Judge, and Town won several early freekicks, while the Irishman slid in to make a number of tackles himself showing no signs of concern regarding the injury which kept him out for so long.

The Owls had shown little in the early stages but in the 18th minute they went close to going in front.

Steven Fletcher was found at the far post on the left in space by Michael Hector but Bartosz Bialkowski saved his shot with his leg. Kenlock cleared but only reached Barry Bannan, but the Scotland international’s low strike was blocked by Nsiala.

Moments later, Bishop skipped past his man at the other end but misread Quaner’s run and the danger was cleared.

The academy product was beginning to get more involved with his running with the ball causing Wednesday problems.

Town appeared to be growing in confidence and just after the half hour, following another Bishop run, Sears struck a low shot from distance on the right wide.

Despite the Blues having been on top, the Owls should have gone ahead in the 38th minute.

After a shot had deflected out to Morgan Fox, the former Town schoolboy’s low ball across the six-yard box was somehow diverted over the bar from a matter of feet by Adam Reach. The ex-Boro man will wonder quite how he failed to score.

Moments later, Forestieri nodded over from Liam Palmer’s cross from the right, then at the other end Bishop got his head to Judge’s under-hit freekick from the right but scuffed his attempt well wide.

On 42 Forestieri was found in space on the right of the box and Bialkowski batted away his strike. The Blues repeatedly made heavy weather of clearing but eventually the danger subsided.

Just before the end of the scheduled 45 minutes, Town won yet another freekick in the Wednesday half, Forestieri having fouled Quaner. The Owls failed to deal with Judge’s ball into the box from the left, an improvement on his earlier efforts, but eventually referee Oliver Langford gave the visitors a freekick.

That was the last action of a not overly-enthralling half in which Town had played most of the football but Wednesday had had much the better of the few chances.

New Owls boss Bruce will have gone off wondering how Reach had failed to give his team the lead, while Bialkowski had been the busier of the two keepers.

Town’s best moments going forward came from Bishop bringing the ball forward but so far without creating a clear-cut opportunity. The Blues had also failed to make enough of the numerous freekicks the Owls had conceded in potentially dangerous positions.

Town: Bialkowski, Bree, Pennington, Nsiala, Kenlock, Skuse, Downes, Bishop, Sears, Judge, Quaner. Subs: Gerken, Chalobah, Harrison, Nolan, Keane, Dozzell, Emmanuel.

Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood, Palmer, Lees, Hector, Fox, Hutchinson, Bannan, Reach, Boyd, Forestieri, Fletcher. Subs: Dawson, Onomah, Pelupessy, Nuhiu, Joao, Aarons. Referee: Oliver Langford (West Midlands).

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blueboy1981 added 16:01 - Feb 2
Another half at Portman Road completely on the back foot - not looking good for the second half at this rate.

To WIN we have to get on that front foot, and attack - where is the 'creative' midfield..... ??

100% improvement required - or else another defeat beckons.

blueboy1981 added 16:48 - Feb 2
....... lots of talk, lots of change Mr Lambert - no improvement.

Is it still a surprise that the previous two management positions didn't last ....... ?? - just a thought ... !!

Kirbmeister added 16:52 - Feb 2
We were never going to score so a 0-0 was the best we could hope for.

19781981twtd added 17:00 - Feb 2
This is like watching your puppy die a slow painful death. Where's the vet ???
Totally clueless would not have scored in 3 hours .
Dreading next week more misery in scrum land ,yes I am all doom and gloom so Mark me down I don't give a flying one !!!

portmanteau added 17:00 - Feb 2
The stats show we did well to limit it to 1.

bluearmy81 added 17:01 - Feb 2
Lambert record so far P16 W2 D3 L11 . However we are playing well and the table doesn't tell the whole truth so he says. Wonder how much he gets paid to talk such rubbish

blueboy1981 added 17:05 - Feb 2
...... let's blame Chambers - shall we ?? - oh wait a mo' he didn't play. Some will be disappointed, but will blame him anyway ..... !! - it's proved a point with some anyway, no names need mentioning of course........ you know who you are.

19781981twtd added 17:11 - Feb 2
Not entirely lamberts fault you can polish a turd but it is still a turd, that retarded arrogant t**t and complete idiot Hurst left us with a load of turds lambert had to pick up waifs and strays to dilute the turd pool and he has not suceeded ,league one has been a pretty safe bet sice before xmas now it is bolt on dead cert.

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