Ipswich Town 3-0 Shrewsbury Town - Match Report
Saturday, 31st Aug 2019 17:06
Town top League One by two points following a 3-0 victory over 10-man Shrewsbury at Portman Road. Kayden Jackson netted in the second minute, James Norwood added a penalty on 10 before Shaun Whalley saw red for the Shrews for a second bookable offence. In the second half, Flynn Downes sealed the three points for the Blues.
Danny Rowe and Luke Woolfenden returned to an otherwise unchanged side. Rowe replaced Gwion Edwards on the right of midfield while Woolfenden was back at the heart of the defence for James Wilson with the two Welshmen dropping to the bench.
Kane-Vincent-Young made his home debut at right-back, while Jon Nolan was back on the bench after his calf injury for the first time in League One against his old club.
Shrewsbury, who employed a 3-5-2 system with ex-Norwich frontman Steve Morison up front, made one change with midfielder Sean Goss starting and Ben Walker on the bench.
Town took the lead in only the second minute. Cole Skuse won the ball on halfway to the right, Rowe fed Norwood, who played into the path of Jackson, who hit a shot across Shrews keeper Max O’Leary - who will feel he ought to have done better - and into the net, the striker’s fourth goal of the season, all in the last three games.
The visitors threatened to hit back immediately with Whalley crossing for Morison, who headed not too far over Tomas Holy’s crossbar. A minute later, Whalley was booked for preventing Town from taking a quick freekick midway inside the Shrews half.
On nine, the Blues were awarded their third penalty of the season after home debutant Vincent-Young had twisted and turned his way inches into the area on the right before having his legs taken away from him by Josh Laurent.
Referee Kettle checked with his linesman before pointing to the spot as a number of Shrewsbury players protested with photographic evidence suggesting the challenge may have been outside the box.
Norwood stepped up and slammed a low kick straight down the middle, his second converted penalty of the campaign and his fifth goal for the Blues.
Despite Town’s lead, the Shrews were seeing a lot of the ball and much of the game was being played in the Blues’ half, although without Holy having been threatened other than Morison’s early header.
On 18 Judge struck a low effort from 25 yards which O’Leary saved down to his left, then two minutes later Town appealed for a penalty as Judge’s ball in from the left appeared to be diverted behind by a Shrewsbury hand. Norwood in particular seemed convinced but referee Kettle felt otherwise.
Rowe saw a shot blocked two minutes later, then on 26 at the other end Whalley hit a low effort from distance which gave Holy little trouble.
The Shrews gifted Norwood a chance to make it 3-0 in the 27th minute when the ball was surrendered needlessly not far outside their area but the striker scuffed his strike wide.
Shrewsbury, who could count themselves unlucky to be two goals down on the balance of the half, almost pulled a goal back in the 29th minute. Goss whipped a freekick in from the right and Ethan Ebanks-Landell turned against the outside of the post. Aaron Pierre blazed the rebound high and wide.
There was another scare for the Blues on 32 when Whalley got in behind the Town backline but skipper Luke Chambers expertly shepherded him away from goal and the danger was eventually snuffed out.
In the 38th minute the Shrews were reduced to 10 men when Whalley was shown his second yellow card of the game.
Chambers took the ball away from the Shrewsbury attacker as he broke into the right of the area before being left in a heap by the one-time Norwich youth player’s very late, and entirely needless, challenge. Referee Kettle spoke to his linesman before showing issuing a yellow then a red card.
Whalley, who took an age to walk from the Sir Bobby Robson Stand-Cobbold Stand corner to the tunnel, ought to have had no complaints, it was certainly a yellow card. While the former Luton man made his way off, Donald Love was booked for his protests.
Judge appealed for another Town penalty in injury time after his powerfully volleyed cross from the right caught a Shrews player on the arm. Kettle on this occasion waved away Town’s protests.
Just before the whistle, Holy was twice called into action, first getting across to his right to save Laurent’s strike from inside the box, then from the resultant corner catching from Morison.
Almost immediately, Kettle’s whistle ended a half which couldn’t have gone any better for the Blues.
Jackson’s goal settled any early nerves before Norwood converted the penalty after good work from Vincent-Young, who will have enjoyed his first 45 minutes at Portman Road.
Shrewsbury will have felt the scoreline - the first time Town had been two goals in front at the break since the Reading game in December 2017 - was harsh on them at 11 v 11 having seen plenty of the ball and they were unlucky not to have pulled a goal back when Ebanks-Landell hit the post.
Whalley's challenge for his second caution was as pointless as they come and referee Kettle had little option by to issue a card for the challenge.
Five minutes after the restart Rowe seized on a poor clearance on the right and cut in before striking a shot which flew just over.
On 55 Shrews goalkeeper-coach Brian Jensen was shown a yellow card by referee Kettle, presumably for saying something to the fourth official.
A minute later, Norwood hooked the ball into the path of Jackson but with his pace the Town number nine couldn’t reach it before keeper O’Leary.
Despite their man advantage, the Blues hadn’t looked like adding to their lead in the opening minutes of the second period, while the 10 men weren’t too far away on 59 when Love crossed from the right for skipper David Edwards, who flicked a header past Holy’s right post.
The Shrews threatened again two minutes later when Laurent nipped in and got on the end of a loose ball as Chambers and Morison tussled and hit a shot which Holy saved to his right.
In the 64th minute, the visitors swapped Ryan Giles for sub Louis Thompson, who is on loan from Norwich.
A minute later, Skuse’s deflected strike was stopped from going out for a corner by O’Leary after good work from Rowe as Town started to look more threatening. Moments later, the winger was switched for Edwards, while Judge made way for Anthony Georgiou.
Town finally made it 3-0 in the 69th minute with the goal of the afternoon. Vincent-Young brought the ball forward from deep in the Blues’ half on the right, Edwards took it on before feeding Jackson, who picked out Downes breaking into the box and the midfielder stooped to head his first goal of the season - and the second of his career - past O’Leary.
In the 73rd minute Jackson was replaced by Nolan, making his first appearance of the season against his old club playing in behind Norwood. Shrewsbury swapped Morison for Daniel Udoh.
Three minutes later, Nolan was unceremoniously clattered by Pierre, who as a result had his name added to referee Kettle’s book.
Shrewsbury again came close to pulling a goal back in the 80th minute when Edwards’s header from Goss’s corner was blocked by Chambers with the visitors creditably keeping going despite their parlous position.
Four minutes later, Goss was booked for kicking the ball against a hoarding having fouled Downes, who himself was yellow-carded on 87 for a challenge on Thompson.
There was no further action at either end before referee Kettle blew up confirming the Blues’ win, their third in a row for the first time since the opening month of 2017/18.
Town’s victory was never in any real doubt once Norwood’s penalty hit the net, although the Shrews, who have never won at Portman Road in 12 attempts and last beat the Blues at home in January 1987, might have made it more uncomfortable had they taken a chance when the numbers were even at 2-0.
Manager Paul Lambert might be slightly frustrated that his side didn’t make the scoreline more emphatic in the second half but the game was all but won and in the end he was happy to give Jackson, Rowe and Judge a rest as the period progressed.
The goal the Blues did score after the break was the move of the match with Downes finishing it emphatically and bravely after excellent work from Vincent-Young, who looks a very impressive addition, Edwards and Jackson.
Referee Kettle remains a lucky charm for the Blues, who have lost just one of their 14 games when he has taken charge, a 1-0 loss to Wolves back in August 2006.
The win - Town's first by more than a single goal at home since that Reading win in December 2017 and their first by three goals since the 3-0 victory against Preston the previous month - and results elsewhere see the Blues move two points clear at the top of League One.
The Blues face Tottenham’s U21s in the Leasing.com Trophy on Tuesday but with next week’s trip to Rochdale postponed due to international calls, aren’t in league action again until Doncaster are at Portman Road on Saturday 14th September.
Town: Holy, Vincent-Young, Woolfenden, Chambers (c), Kenlock, Skuse, Downes, Rowe (Edwards 66), Judge (Georgiou 66), Norwood, Jackson (Nolan 73). Unused: Norris, Wilson, Dozzell, Huws.
Shrewsbury: O’Leary, Beckles, Ebanks-Landell, Pierre, Love, Edwards (c), Goss, Laurent, Giles (Thompson 64), Whalley, Morison (Udoh 74). Unused: Murphy, Golbourne, Walker, Vincelot, McCormick. Referee: Trevor Kettle (Rutland). Att: 19,161 (Shrewsbury: 616).
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