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Ipswich Town 1-1 Birmingham City - Match Report
Saturday, 13th Apr 2019 17:15

Town’s relegation to the third tier for first time in 62 years was confirmed after a 1-1 draw with Birmingham City at Portman Road. The visitors took the lead in the seventh minute via Lukas Jutkiewicz before Gwion Edwards netted the equaliser a minute after the restart. The Blues had the better of a second half in which Alan Judge hit the post but were unable to find the winner which would have put off a relegation which has seemed inevitable for some months for a further week.

Boss Paul Lambert made four changes to his team with Josh Emmanuel returning for James Bree, who was among the subs, at right-back with James Collins at the centre of the defence alongside skipper Luke Chambers and Toto Nsiala among the subs.

In midfield, Flynn Downes and Trevoh Chalobah dropped to the bench with Cole Skuse back in his usual deeper role, while Gwion Edwards returned from a groin injury to take up his position on the right of the front three with Andre Dozzell returning to the central trio.

Birmingham made two changes from the team which drew 1-1 with Sheffield United in midweek with Kerim Mrabti and Jota taking over from Jacques Maghoma and Connor Mahoney.

The game couldn’t have got off to a worse start for the Blues with the visitors taking the lead in the seventh minute via the first serious attack of the game.

Maxime Colin brought the ball in from the right and cut across to Lukas Jutkiewicz, who slammed his third goal against the Blues this season into the roof of the net from a matter of feet. The former Burnley man, who scored both his side’s goals in the 2-2 draw between the teams at St Andrew’s earlier in the season, won’t score an easier goal this season.

The Midlanders threatened again three minutes later, Che Adams hitting a low shot through to Bartosz Bialkowski in the Town goal.

The visitors kept up the pressure and on 11 Adams hit a cross-shot from the right of the box which the sliding Jutkiewicz was just unable to reach.

Town had still to get going and on 15 Mrabti smashed a shot against Chambers following another dangerous Birmingham move down the right.

A minute later, the Blues struck their first shot of the afternoon, Myles Kenlock bringing the ball in from the left before hitting a right-footed shot over the bar.

But it was still mainly Birmingham and in the 22nd minute a loose ball ran to Jota on the edge of the box from where he struck a powerful shot which Bialkowski did well to save across to his right.

The visitors continued to dominate and went close again just before the half hour when Adams cut back to Jota from the left but the former Brentford man shot against Jutkiewicz. In the 31st minute Edwards was shown the game’s first yellow card for a foul.

On 37 Jutkiewicz hit a freekick well into the Sir Bobby Robson Stand, which was more than making itself heard despite the lack of anything to cheer on the pitch.

A minute later, Judge forced Lee Camp into his first save of the afternoon, the veteran keeper tipping over the Blues midfielder’s freekick from 30 yards out.

Collins was cautioned for a foul on Adams on 42, then Skuse picked up Town’s third yellow card of the half for a late challenge on Adams three minutes later, Gary Gardner curling the resultant freekick high and wide.

In injury time Chambers joined Skuse in the book for a foul on Adams as he broke towards the area. The Birmingham number nine took the freekick himself and shot low through to Bialkowski.

That was the last action of a half in which the Blues never got going following the early visitors’ goal. It was certainly Town’s poorest home 45 minutes for a while.

Birmingham had been well in control through and had had more than enough opportunities to increase their lead with Town’s only efforts Kenlock’s shot over the bar and Judge’s late freekick.

The Blues will have to be very much better in the second half if their 17-year stay in the Championship isn’t to end with a whimper.

Town swapped Dozzell, who had had a quiet first period, for striker Kayden Jackson ahead of the second half, and a minute after the restart they levelled.

Following a throw on the left, sub Jackson sent over a sublime cross to the far post where Edwards evaded his dithering full-back to smash into the net.

The Blues suddenly looked a completely different team and within a minute almost went in front.

Emmanuel crossed from the right and the stretching Judge hit a volley back across Camp but off the post. Harlee Dean somehow scrambled it away from Bishop and behind before the midfielder could stab the rebound over the line.

Town kept up the pressure and Jackson wasn’t too far away with a shot which flew just past Camp’s left post.

The visitors, somewhat shell-shocked by the Blues’ second half transformation, eventually regained something of a foothold and conjured Adams a chance with a well-worked move which the striker hit straight at Bialkowski from the edge of the box.

Birmingham threatened again on 57 via Mrabti, who shot wide on the turn, with the game increasingly end to end and open. Four minutes later, Collins was replaced by Nsiala, presumably due to a knock or niggle.

Town had what looked a decent shout for a penalty in the 66th minute when Collin Quaner appeared to be haul back as he sought to get on to Edwards’s cross from the right but referee Jeremy Simpson - an official not usually shy when it comes to awarding penalties - waved away the protests.

Jutkiewicz headed over for Birmingham in the 78th minute, then two minutes later Kristian Pedersen was booked for a foul on Edwards on the right touchline. A minute later Nsiala joined him in the book for a challenge on Jutkiewicz.

As the game entered its final five minutes the Blues again began to put the visitors under pressure.

On 86 Judge again wasn’t far away from his first Town goal after Jackson had laid back Edwards’s cross from the right. However, Camp made an impressive save to his right.

Seconds later, Kenlock cut in from the left and struck a shot which deflected wide off a Birmingham defender.

The Blues kept up the push to keep their Championship status alive for another week during injury times, Edwards hitting a powerful shot having been found in space which struck a defender.

The Sir Bobby Robson Stand was still singing loudly and defiantly as the final whistle and confirmation of the Blues’ drop into League One came, ending 17 years in the Championship.

And they continued to sing, if anything more loudly, as manager Lambert brought his players over to the penalty area to pay tribute to the club’s support after the most disappointing of seasons.

Having been poor in the first half, the Blues were much better after the break and would have deserved the three points had they been able to take a chance with Judge unlucky not to claim his first Town goal when he hit the post.

In the end the Blues had to be content with their 12th 1-1 league draw of the season, not enough to extend what was effectively a battle lost long ago into an additional week.

Town next travel to Preston on Good Friday for the first of four now-meaningless games from their perspective, ahead of their first season at third tier level since their 1956/57 Third Division South championship campaign under Sir Alf Ramsey.

Town: Bialkowski, Emmanuel, Chambers (c), Collins (Nsiala 61), Kenlock, Skuse, Dozzell (Jackson 46), Bishop, Judge, Edwards, Quaner. Unused: Gerken, Chalobah, Downes, Bree, El Mizouni.

Birmingham: Camp, Colin, Dean, Morrison, Pedersen, Jota (Mahoney 70), G Gardner, Davis, Mrabti (Maghoma 90), Adams, Jutkiewicz. Unused: Trueman, Harding, Roberts, C Gardner, Vassell Referee: Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire). Att: 17,248 (Birmingham: 1,582).

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OwainG1992 added 17:17 - Apr 13
Coming back to draw showed the spirit we know there is in this group of lads.
We have known we would be going down for months and months let's be honest.
Should have a good core of experience/youth for next season just need a proper goal scorer for me.

blueboy1981 added 17:22 - Apr 13
We're down - too little, too late today - but no more than most of us expected long before today.



StringerBell added 17:22 - Apr 13
Scared witless that League 1 won’t be the cakewalk some seem to think it’ll be......

ONENIL78 added 17:23 - Apr 13
sad day,awfull season...

TimmyH added 17:27 - Apr 13
Well there we go it's confirmed in the third tier of league football for the first time in 62 years, the club really is in a sad state of affairs. Today played better second half with a bit more passion but this is the minimum requirement you'd expect from a club with such a great and historic name.

This season we've been not nearly good enough though not rolled over that much considering we're rock bottom by hardly any teams but consistently not finding the back of the net enough and making mistakes at the back has cost us.

A lot of questions to be answered between now and August, will Evans continue to sell? will Lambert start getting some results? and are many of younger players up for the fight and got the quality?...well it will be sad to see us at such grounds as Gillingham, Wycombe and Oxford but on the whole we've deserved it, if nothing else next season won't be the norm that we've experienced for umpteen years.

martin587 added 17:28 - Apr 13
A very very sad day for Ipswich Town and all the supporters.Good fight back in the second half,a vast improvement on the first.
The pressure is off now so we will possibly win a few games now.Some good games to come.Its going to be hard at the beginning of next season as everybody will want to beat us.Lets just get a settled squad before training begins in the summer and hopefully we can get off to a flier.
Long walk on the Pier tomorrow and gather my thoughts on a very poor season alround.

Girthyguy added 17:28 - Apr 13
I love Ipswich Town regardless. Let's keep giving 100% support to this amazing football club even though we have been relagated.

blueboy1981 added 17:30 - Apr 13
We owe it to ourselves to get back up again - seriously we don't belong amongst the Accrington Stanley, Fleetwood Town, and AFC Wimbledon's of this world.

No disrespect to any of the above intended - but our history warrants the above comment.

We move FORWARD - COME ON YOU BLUES. Now, and always.

therein61 added 17:38 - Apr 13
Sorry blueboy81 but our gradual decline in the last 5 years was an accident waiting to happen, and we deserve to be amongst the sides you mention but I am town through and through(for 60 years next month) and am looking forward to a positive push next season and beyond.

DurhamTownFan added 17:38 - Apr 13
When I met my wife ten years ago, the idea that her team Wycombe and ours would be in the same league was pure madness. Now, if they stay up, it will be reality.

What has been the common theme over those ten years? Repeated disastrous club management by Marcus Evans. From overspending, to underspending, so awful managerial appointments.

WHEN will we as supporters begin to show some public and loud criticism for this man? I don’t care that he loses money every year-welcome to running a football club.

RobsonWark added 17:40 - Apr 13
So the captain (who can't be dropped - must have something in his contract) was actually marking and running back with a Birmingham player and then just left him and done his own thing (marking space - yet again!! ) to let the Birmingham player have a simple tap in.
I can not believe Marcus Evans has given Chambers a new 2 year contract! I'm sorry but I think Simon Jordan is right...we are getting relegated to Division 2 next season and then I think we will be in non-league the next season if Chambers continues to play.
There is an article on page 58 of the sun today about Ipswich's decline and the reporter says "If you didn't know otherwise, you would think it would be deliberate sabotage".
I just can not understand why Chambers plays every I the only one who can see how useless he is??? We would be a better team and won more matches if we dropped him and only played with 10 mean each game.

Bluearmy_81 added 17:40 - Apr 13
New Facebook group 'Evans out of ITFC'.' Please join.

therein61 added 17:41 - Apr 13
Blueboy81 my comment re being town through and through is not a go at you as I know you are as well sorry if it read that way.

RobsonWark added 17:43 - Apr 13
blueboy1981 you are having a laugh "NOW IS THE TIME TO GET BEHIND THE CLUB - NO MORE CRITICISM - RENEW YOUR SEASON TICKET, AND LET'S MAKE PORTMAN ROAD ROCK AGAIN". How can you support the team when you know CHAMBERS is going to play every game and give away goals? The opposition know he is the WEAK LINK in the team and play on that.

RobsonWark added 17:44 - Apr 13
StringerBell added 17:22 - Apr 13
"Scared witless that League 1 won’t be the cakewalk some seem to think it’ll be......"
It won't be if our Calamity Captain continues to play!!!

jas0999 added 17:44 - Apr 13
Dreadful day in our history. Full credit to those who are remaining positive and putting a positive spin on things. Respect that view.

But I personally don’t see it. We shouldn’t be in this position and wouldn’t have been if the club hadn’t stagnated for years and then made more poor decisions in the summer. We have for too long relied too heavily on loans after selling our better players. It’s ended with relegation.

Perhaps it’s just the disappointment of our fate being sealed, but I don’t see how we will bounce back up with this squad. Sales of high earners are inevitable. Lots of players will leave as we have six loans for a start. League One I fear will be tougher than many think. Just like when we were relegated from the PL - folk expected is to walk the championship - seventeen years on and we suffer relegation - again.

Very sad times. A sorry state of affairs.

blueboy1981 added 17:45 - Apr 13
therein61 - credit to you for your long service support of the Club.

Just need to point out that i didn't say we don't deserve to be amongstthe Clubs I mentioned - I said be don't belong amongst those Clubs - there is a difference.

We have now what we deserve, but it doesn't have to last for long - it's in the hands of the Owner, Manager, and SUPPORTERS to make sure we rise again.

Let's not keep looking for the easy option, and blaming the Owner for not spending £millions - by far NOT always necessary, and never a guarantee for success anyway - as has been proved many times.

CraigEdwards added 17:47 - Apr 13
The time has finally arrived . The hopes and prays that maybe it could be turned around but unfortunately not.
This hasn't happened overnight this has been a spiral for many years . The club never had the massive payments of parashoot money that other clubs have got. Tbh money had ruined not just our club but football in general apart from the top clubs. We now head to the 3rd tier of football since before I was born
17 seasons of hopefully it maybe our year only to live in the financial restraints. We can go to league one clubs knowing bigger clubs than us have been in this league and have got there mojo back and are now in the top flight again. I for one am a firm believer that every dog has its day and with the support this club has got we will be back where we belong. Throwing money at this may also not work but PL knows very well that the crop of youngsters at this club will finally come good.
Roll on next season with a packed out PR and see us left a trophy.


RobsonWark added 17:47 - Apr 13
TimmyH added 17:27 - Apr 13
"will Lambert start getting some results?"

LWNR2013 added 17:49 - Apr 13
Glad I was there today. Glad it’s behind us. Blue boy, renewal for me is a given.

RobsonWark added 17:49 - Apr 13
martin587 added 17:28 - Apr 13
"The pressure is off now so we will possibly win a few games now".
Really? You think so? With Chambers in the team...

TimmyH added 17:50 - Apr 13
I read the article in The Sun (for what it's worth) and it was yesterday's paper and yes it brings up relative points and does pick on Evans largely but the huge elephant in the room isn't addressed...and that is the club is £90M in the red!

Yes without Evans we could be fully in the mire but that doesn't mean you can't point a finger of blame towards him for the frequent bad decisions he has made in his 10 year tenure, but also not forgetting previous mis-management from the likes of Sheepshanks and Burley financially that started us down this path.

EssexTractor added 17:50 - Apr 13
From August if the players..whoever they are..can show as much enthusiasm as the truly faithful fans displayed , then maybe there will be smiles, success and a feeling of wanting to go each week.
After a hapless opening 45 minutes the introduction of Kayden Jackson suddenly brought excitement...yes didn't last for the whole of the next 45 minutes , but there was enjoyment
And that Mr Lambert is what you must aspire to bringing to Portman Road..ENJOYMENT...
You have succeeded in bring a " family" feeling to the terraces, but the real task for you is now build a real family feeling on to the pitch.
Yes some younger players making some good impressions..but look at this years dire statistics in the Goals Scored column... Goal scorers needed ....with your knowledge of the football world now is the test for you, make this your Ipswich blame henceforth on what has happened in the past..
Your talking has been first with firm backing of the supporters we look for you to deliver on the pitch.
Before next August

Lightningboy added 17:51 - Apr 13
We didn’t get relegated today or over the last few months,this has been coming for years thanks to the continual incompetence of the guy who runs the club.

Let’s hope this is the start of better times ahead because Marcus,the last 10 years under your ownership have been a right pile of 💩

Onwards and (hopefully) upwards.


Carberry added 17:52 - Apr 13
Sadly we have turned into a shambles of a club. I do not subscribe to this idea that if we all get behind the team everything will be fine and what fun League 1 will be. The owner is ultimately responsible, he has taken us toward oblivion, not knowing how to run a club and caring more about his financial benefits than what the club means to everyone of us. And that's the difference, the Fulham owner Khan sent an email to all their supporters apologising for relegation and making a commitment to get them back. I suggest we don't hold our breath while our owner ponder what PR he should deploy. This is a disaster because 60+ years ago we were on the way up, now we are truly on the way down.

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