Ipswich Town 3-2 Leeds United - Match Report
Sunday, 5th May 2019 14:50
Collin Quaner’s 90th minute goal saw ten-man Town to a 3-2 home victory over Leeds United in their final game in the Championship. Flynn Downes gave the Blues the lead on the half-hour but Mateusz Klich equalised for Leeds just before the break, then Andre Dozzell added Town’s second two minutes after the restart. Stuart Dallas again levelled for the Whites, who were already guaranteed a place in the play-offs, in the 76th minute before Blues skipper Luke Chambers was red-carded for bringing down Kemar Roofe, who missed the resultant penalty. Town looked set for a point until Quaner profited from a mix-up between Leeds keeper Kiko Casilla and full-back Luke Ayling to seal the win.
Town made four changes with Bartosz Bialkowski, Trevoh Chalobah, Andre Dozzell and Collin Quaner returning to the XI.
Dean Gerken and Kayden Jackson dropped to the bench, while Teddy Bishop and Will Keane, who suffered a recurrence of his hamstring injury at Sheffield United last week, were missing from the 18.
Forward Kai Brown, whose only first-team experience was during his spell in non-league with Grays Athletic, was handed a place in the Town matchday squad for the first time and the number 48 shirt. Ellis Harrison returned to the subs bench having after his back injury.
Leeds, already confirmed in the play-offs and with almost 4,000 of their fans in the Cobbold Stand, made one change from the team which drew 1-1 Aston Villa last week with Roofe replacing the suspended Patrick Bamford.
After an evenly-balanced first few minutes the visitors struck the game’s first shot in the eighth minute but Klich blazed high and wide.
Three minutes later Roofe squeezed a shot from the left of the box across the face of Bialkowski’s left post, then on 14 Stuart Dallas, a Town target prior to joining the Whites from Brentford in 2015, scraped another effort wide.
Town went close to taking the lead with their first shot of the game in the 19th minute. After Leeds had gifted possession to Alan Judge eight yards outside the area, the Irishman and Quaner eventually forced the ball wide to Flynn Downes but his shot was diverted behind for a corner.
Leeds were next to threaten when, after a Chambers pass was cut out, Adam Forshaw was fed on the right. The former Middlesbrough man’s shot was parried by Bialkowski and Pablo Hernandez was unable to direct the rebound anywhere near goal.
On 28 Dozzell played a clever pass down the right for Quaner to chase. The on-loan Huddersfield man beat Leeds keeper Casilla to the ball 10 yards outside the visitors’ area and was upended by the Spaniard.
Referee Gavin Ward booked the keeper - the situation couldn’t be viewed as an obvious goalscoring opportunity as Quaner would have had a lot still to do - and from the freekick the Blues went in front.
Judge whipped over the ball, no one was able to get a clean contact on it and it fell to Downes, who turned in his first senior goal from eight yards.
The game, played in a lively atmosphere despite it being all but meaningless with the two sets of fans exchanging banter, continued to be an evenly-contested affair.
On 37 Leeds weren’t too far away from carving out an equaliser when Dallas crossed for Roofe but Nsiala read the situation well and blocked.
The former Shrewsbury man made another important block ahead of Leeds skipper Liam Cooper a minute later, then got his head to an Ayling ball in from the right.
Leeds had been looking the more likely scorers of the game’s second goal and in the final minute of the half they levelled.
The ball was played into the path of Ayling breaking untracked from halfway behind Kenlock on the Whites’ right. The ex-Yeovil man cut back to Klich, who slammed a powerful first-time strike past Bialkowski from the edge of the box.
The Leeds goal was the final action of an entertaining, if not overly intense, first half with the visitors having deserved to be on terms going in on the overall balance of the game.
The Whites had created most of the chances with the Blues again unable to create too many opportunities aside from Downes’s well-taken opener.
Two minutes after the restart Town restored their lead. After excellent work from Skuse and Downes in the centre circle, Chalobah fed Quaner, who turned a superb ball into the path of Dozzell breaking into the area on the right and the England U20 international confidently swept a shot across Casilla and into the corner of the net.
It was Dozzell’s second senior goal for the Blues, his first at home, just over three years after his first at Sheffield Wednesday on his debut in April 2016.
The Blues looked to gain in confidence having taken the lead for the second time with Dozzell pulling off a clever backheel-flick on the touchline.
But Leeds were still looking dangerous whenever they got forward and on the hour mark Hernandez hit a low shot which Bialkowski stopped and claimed at the second attempt.
Moments later, the visitors swapped Forshaw for Jack Clarke, then on 62 the Blues replaced Downes, who had just suffered a knock and was given a standing ovation as he left the field, for Kayden Jackson, who went to wide right with Dozzell moving into the middle.
Leeds began to up the pressure on Town, Bialkowski tipping over from Roofe having not adequately dealt with Kalvin Phillips’s cross from the right, then on 68 Cooper headed wide at the far post from Phillips’s deep corner which flew over Bialkowski.
The Whites went even closer a minute later when sub Clarke was found in space breaking towards the area. Bialkowski stood his ground to save the youngster’s initial effort then saved Hernandez’s follow-up before the ball was blazed into the Sir Alf Ramsey Stand.
Town had struggled to get out of their half but in the 72nd minute Jackson broke away and hit a shot from the edge of the box which deflected wide.
The Blues switched Dozzell for Callum Elder two minutes later, the goalscorer receiving a warm ovation as he left the field. The on-loan Leicester man took up a position on the left of a midfield four with Judge playing off Quaner.
Leeds had spent much of the half pinning Town back in their own half and in the 76th minute they levelled for the second time, and in not uncontroversial circumstances.
As with their first goal, Ayling was sent away unchecked down the right and crossed from the byline. Roofe flicked it on to the bar but Dallas bundled it over the line, with his hand according to the furious Town players but referee Gavin Ward was unmoved.
Three minutes later, things would get even worse for the Blues. Chambers upended Roofe in the penalty area and referee Ward deemed the incident an obvious goalscoring opportunity and showed the Town skipper his first ever Blues red card.
It certainly looked to be a foul, however, the Town players protested that Roofe had been offside when the ball had been played through. Chambers will now miss the first game in League One next season.
Roofe was given the responsibility of taking the spotkick but lost his footing and his shot looped well over the bar, much to the amusement of the home support.
With Chalobah having now joined Nsiala at the heart of the defence the Blues set about holding on to parity while looking for an opportunity to restore their lead.
On 85 Nsiala flicked a header wide from a Judge freekick, then following an angry spat with Pontus Jansson was booked by referee Ward. Three minutes later, Roofe headed Jack Harrison’s cross over.
Just as Town thought they’d have to settle for a point at best, Leeds gifted them their winner.
Chalobah played a hopeful long ball forward and Casilla and Ayling left the ball for one another on the edge of the box, allowing Quaner to stroke the fourth goal of his loan spell into the net.
Ten-man Town, having scored three goals at home for the first time this season, avoiding going a whole campaign without netting more than twice at Portman Road, something which has never happened before, set about hanging on to their advantage in injury time.
Nsiala made an important block from Harrison before referee Ward brought the afternoon to an end with the Blues able to end their 62-year stay in the top two divisions and 17 seasons in the Championship on a winning note.
Having gained the lead for a second time with Dozzell’s well-worked goal, the Blues were just about holding on to their lead until Dallas’s controversial equaliser and the penalty incident which saw their skipper dismissed.
But Town were handed the sort of gift-wrapped goal they could have done with earlier in the season, although Quaner took the opportunity confidently and clinically.
After the final whistle the Blues were warmly applauded off by their supporters who were in good voice after witnessing their bottom-of-the-table side’s fifth win of the season and only their third at home.
When they return in August it will be to watch third tier football for the first time since 1956/57 with the expectation that Town will make a swift return to the Championship.
Town: Bialkowski, Bree, Chambers (c), Nsiala, Kenlock, Skuse, Chalobah, Downes (Jackson 62), Dozzell (Elder 74), Judge, Quaner. Unused: Gerken, Harrison, Emmanuel, El Mizouni, K Brown.
Leeds: Casilla, Dallas, Cooper, Jansson, Ayling, Phillips, Klich, Forshaw (Clarke 61), Harrison, Hernandez, Roofe. Unused: Peacock-Farrell, Beradi, Edmondson, Shackleton, Gotts, Bogusz. Referee: Gavin Ward (Surrey). Att: 20,895. (Leeds: 3,963).
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