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Ipswich Town 0-1 Sheffield Wednesday - Match Report
Saturday, 2nd Feb 2019 17:18

Lucas Joao’s 90th minute goal saw Sheffield Wednesday to a 1-0 victory over the Blues at Portman Road. Wednesday spurned a number of chances but Town were on top and starting to create opportunities when Owls sub Joao turned home Adam Reach’s cross from the right.

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.

Five minutes after the restart Forestieri’s chip from the right of the box looped harmlessly to Bialkowski’s right with Wednesday having had marginally the better of the early exchanges.

Sam Hutchinson was shown the game’s first yellow card in the 54th minute for shoving Quaner into a hoarding as the striker burst past him round the outside as the Blues broke.

The German frontman, on loan for the rest of the season from Huddersfield, was swapped for Keane a minute later with the game increasingly being played in the Wednesday half.

Just after hour mark Bannan was yellow-carded for a foul on Bishop, before the Owls missed another golden chance to go in front.

Nsiala left a ball through to Bialkowski not realising Forestieri was behind him and onside according to the officials. The Argentinian looked certain to score but blazed wildly over. It was another fortunate escape for the Blues.

After Downes had been somewhat surprisingly booked for what referee Langford deemed a foul, Wednesday switched one-time Blues target George Boyd for on-loan Spurs man Josh Onomah.

Nsiala did well to force Forestieri wide after a Skuse slip on 68, then three minutes later Wednesday had another opportunity to go in front.

Forestieri was sent away on the left behind the Town offside trap by Hector but scraped wide when he either should have scored himself or cut across the area to Fletcher, who was immediately replaced by Joao.

Chalobah replaced Bishop, who had tired after an excellent first half, in the 74th minute as Judge prepared to take a freekick on the right. The Irishman sent in a dangerous ball which eventually fell to Downes, who shot not too far wide.

The Blues threatened again two minutes later when, after a patient move, Skuse cleverly flicked to Keane, who fed Judge on the edge of the box but the former Brentford man shot over.

Wednesday subsequently put the Blues under pressure with Nsiala making an important blocking challenge inside the box, then Bialkowski claimed a high ball into the area at the second attempt.

On 79 Judge played a superb pass from the left into the path of Bree breaking on the right. The new signing sent over a low cross towards Keane, who had made a significant impression having come off the bench, but a defender just got across to turn behind. Following the corner, the ball broke to Bree but the on-loan Villa man shot well over.

Town forced Keiren Westwood into his first save of the afternoon in the 84th minute, Chalobah heading Judge’s corner into the ground and goalwards but without enough power to cause a problem for the Irish international, who lost his grip on the ball initially but reclaimed as Pennington went after the rebound and caught him in the head.

Rolando Aarons, who joined the Owls on loan from Newcastle on Thursday, took over from Forestieri four minutes from the scheduled end.

On 88 Keane headed a Judge cross from the right goalwards but without the power to beat Westwood, then in the final scheduled minute the South Yorkshiremen took the lead.

Town felt Hector’s challenge on Keane on halfway had been a foul, and the on-loan Chelsea man had appeared to go in with both feet, but referee Langford waved play on.

Hector played the ball wide to Reach, who burst round the outside of Kenlock and cut back to unmarked sub Joao, who turned home. It was the Portuguese striker's third goal against the Blues this season having netted both goals in the Owls' 2-1 victory over Town at Hillsborough in August.

Blues keeper-coach Jimmy Walker was yellow-carded for dissent in injury time after a foul on Hector had been awarded against Keane, although probably more through frustration.

Ellis Harrison took over from Downes for the final few seconds in which the Blues got one or two crosses into the box without being able to cause the Wednesday defence any problems. But there was to be no equaliser before referee Langford blew his whistle to boos, aimed towards the official rather than the Blues.

The Wednesday winner came at a time when Town had looked to be in the ascendency and for the first time were starting to create chances, although a 0-0 draw appeared to be the most likely outcome at that stage.

However, over the 90 minutes they couldn’t really complain about the result with the Owls having failed to take a succession of chances with Forestieri missing gilt-edged opportunities in addition to Reach’s first half howler.

Town continued to pass the ball far more than was previously the case but all too often without getting into dangerous areas with their only serious chances coming in the later stages and mainly from Judge’s set pieces, which improved as the game wore on with Wednesday giving away plenty of freekicks in dangerous positions throughout.

But overall, they don’t present enough of a threat going forwards and give far too many opportunities - particularly today with their makeshift and at times very shaky backline - to their opposition.

With Millwall and Rotherham drawing 0-0, the gap to safety stretches to eight points plus goal difference with 16 left to play and League One football next season looks an ever more certain outcome.

The Blues are next in action next Sunday in the East Anglian derby against Norwich City at Carrow Road.

Town: Bialkowski, Bree, Pennington, Nsiala, Kenlock, Skuse, Downes (Harrison 90), Bishop (Chalobah 74), Sears, Judge, Quaner (Keane 55). Unused: Gerken, Nolan, Dozzell, Emmanuel.

Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood, Palmer, Lees, Hector, Fox, Hutchinson, Bannan, Reach, Boyd (Onomah 65), Forestieri (Aarons 86), Fletcher. Unused: Dawson, Pelupessy, Thornley, Nuhiu. Referee: Oliver Langford (West Midlands). Att: 16,888 (Wednesday: 1,713).

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Bluearmy_81 added 17:20 - Feb 2
Minus 16m spend on players in the last 6 years. That's why we're going down.
Well done ME and all his unfathomable fans...

tomitfc added 17:21 - Feb 2
At what point do questions need asking of lambert?

Has much, if anything, actually changed?

positivity added 17:22 - Feb 2
16 left to play phil

oldtimer added 17:23 - Feb 2
Even if the fat lady hasn’t sung yet we now need to spend the rest of the season putting together our teams intentions and tactics for the third teir

Bluearmy_81 added 17:24 - Feb 2
At what point do questions need asking of Evans? No manager will succeed at Town with Evans in charge. Have the last 11 years taught us nothing?

dukey44 added 17:25 - Feb 2
The manager talks great in front of camera!!! Please explain why you won't try 2 up front? There's no way he can be pleased with that performance???

martin587 added 17:26 - Feb 2
Once again we huffed and puffed and had very little to show apart from Bishop who showed real class at times with all around not on the same wave length.
Keane made a difference when he came on but that’s about it.I was hoping for more but that’s just wishful thinking now.
Cold drive home with not much to talk about.😨

Gcon added 17:27 - Feb 2
With an owner that got rid of our top four goalscorers from last season, generally because he can't resist a quick profit, failed to reinvest and left us reliant on the fifth highest scorer we can expect nothing.

Evans, you have killed this club.

thechangingman added 17:28 - Feb 2
This really is a never-ending nightmare.

Will someone please wake me up, when it's all over...


Edmundo added 17:29 - Feb 2
Football is dead. Ref was bilge. Kenlock exposed: Jonas, proud of yourself sitting there watching the Town get beat? Shame on you

midastouch added 17:29 - Feb 2
Only caught the 2nd half on the radio and sounded pretty woeful in all truth. No real goal threat posed and the ubiquitous late goal conceded, same ol' same ol! And the futile game of loans doesn't look like saving us. The high wages on the loanees looks like being squandered in vain and while hindsight is a wonderful thing, might of actually been wiser to have faced the music earlier and started preparing for league by bedding in some more of the younger players for the challenges to come next season in League One. I wouldn't of minded for example us to have given Rowe some starts in the remaining games and any other players that might be a threat in League One. Players like Edwards and Harrison might be able to do a good job down there, but right now they have been relegated to play second fiddle the Loan Legion!

dirtydingusmagee added 17:30 - Feb 2
thats it !. We are not good enough for Champioship. Lge 1 next season . l, no threat , no ideas, no change, no hope . We have eleven players on the pitch each week but we dont have a team.Anyone thinking we will bounce straight back up ? dream on . Anyone really looking forward to next week ? . Ive been supporting ITFC since mid 60s , its painful to see the club in this state.

delias_cheesy_flaps added 17:32 - Feb 2
We have to thank Wednesdays profligacy in front of goal as this was a woeful showing by Town

blueboy1981 added 17:32 - Feb 2
When will the penny drop - that we have to attack to win...... ???

Toothless yet again - one up front at home again. Is it compulsory ? - it has to be something that stupid.

Let the sadly misinformed that the Owner is to blame - let's overlook the fact that money is NOT a guarantee of success - and let's overlook the fact that we had, and have highly paid Managers who seem completely blameless for everything. That's how crazy the game has become.

Mick Mills has it right - £millions won't buy success - but correct recruitment will, which is something we have suffered from for so long, in it's absence.

What do the Managers and Scouts actually do to earn their pay ? - Scouting results at this Club are non existent. Why not look at Europe ? - a wealth of potential gems - or is it to much trouble to travel, and look ... ???

Don't blame Evans for everything (unless you have a valid alternative) , anymore than Chambers .... !!!
It doesn't ALL rest with them.

ShropshireBluenago09 added 17:33 - Feb 2
Need to try something different. We aren’t creating enough. 4-4-2 with 2 wingers or 3-5-2 with wing backs. Most important to get goals is 2 up front and ditch the holding midfielder Skuse. Offers nothing.

Elizabeth added 17:36 - Feb 2
Why oh why are we playing with only one striker at home .. this is totally beyond me ! We need to win matches and you just know the longer the game goes on , the opposition will snatch the points ! I begin to question whether the manager is up to this !! I dread next Sunday when I fear it will be “ Lambert’s “ to the slaughter!!

blueboy1981 added 17:36 - Feb 2
BlueArmy81 ......... Evans Out ?? - You miss something out - ALTERNATIVES please - or STOP playing the same old record.

blueboy1981 added 17:36 - Feb 2
BlueArmy81 ......... Evans Out ?? - You miss something out - ALTERNATIVES please - or STOP playing the same old record.

blueherts added 17:37 - Feb 2
It dont matter who of our first team squad we put out - we are not good enough
But PL in a game we MUST WIN do you have 3 defensive midfielders - take Bishop off - why not bring Dozzell - better still , just go for it and have em both on - who cares we HAVE to win it . One up top , Judge out wide - questions have to be put to PL but I am sure he will say we were class all game - He is deluded
This day has been coming for years and may be for best !!
Use our talent in the Academy , around afew old heads and start planning for Div One
This race for 'safety' is futile as it is just delaying the inevitable
We are the worst in the league and we need to accept it

Jollyblue added 17:39 - Feb 2
Blue army 81 never answers that question about who else. Same old same old. Boring

cat added 17:40 - Feb 2
It’s one thing to lose at home when every point is vital and your fighting for survival, it’s another thing when you put in a pish poor performance like that, NOT GOOD.
Lamberts good will to all things ITFC has been a breath of fresh air, but let’s not forget here that he’s come in to turn things around and improve us on the pitch more importantly. Appreciate it was a huge task, but we simply ain’t improving, if anything, comparing now to the start of the season we are actually appear to be getting worse. Although it was great to hear Lamberts committed to us for next season, if things continue in this vein then we might be asking ourselves, is he’s the right man to take us forward.

runningout added 17:42 - Feb 2
our age old habit of making ropey teams look half decent is embarrassing.. all of our lot should give their heads a shake

blueboy1981 added 17:42 - Feb 2
Fifty plus years of following and supporting ITFC - but I wouldn't OWN this Club if anyone gave it to me.

The Owner / Owners of this Club have always been criticised - that's probably why there are no alternatives to Ownership coming forward.

Only really good Managers ever took the focus / criticism away from the Owners - including the Cobbold Family. This is fact.

That is something that needs to change, in order for the Club to move forward, otherwise there will eventually be no Club.

warktheline added 17:43 - Feb 2
Absolute dire !

How the club has continually fallen under Evans! We have ‘clueless’ supporters in raptures over signing an old veteran at the tail end of a good career ( certainly no disrespect towards Collins ) . That sums up the current ‘gratitute’ towards the owner! 😂

The club ( as predicted ) is now on its belly crawling agonisingly towards May! Certainly feels like the club has been forsaken!

warktheline added 17:45 - Feb 2
@blueboy, STOP telling all and sundry what they can and can’t post! Kettle and all that!

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