Ipswich Town 0-0 Doncaster Rovers - Match Report
Saturday, 14th Sep 2019 17:23
Town and Doncaster Rovers both remain unbeaten after a 0-0 draw at Portman Road. The visitors went closest to breaking the deadlock when Ben Sheaf hit the post in the second half.
Gwion Edwards replaced Danny Rowe in an otherwise unchanged team from the Blues’ last League One fixture, the 3-0 home victory over Shrewsbury. Edwards lined-up on the right of midfield in Town’s increasingly familiar 4-4-2 formation.
On the bench for the first time since returning to the club on a permanent basis last month was Will Keane, the striker having played two U23s games having undergone hamstring surgery earlier in the summer, while Armando Dobra, the star of the Leasing. com Trophy over Tottenham’s U21s, was also among the subs.
Doncaster’s starting XI included one-time Town target James Coppinger, while Alex Kiwomya, the nephew of Blues legend Chris, was among their subs.
Prior to kick-off, Blue Action unveiled a banner bearing the legend ‘The Beat goes on’ in tribute to Kevin Beattie, who died a year ago on Monday.
Doncaster had the better of the early stages, winning a couple of corners but without being able to carve out a clear-cut chance. However, on 10, Blues keeper Tomas Holy was forced to rush off his line quickly to claim a ball played through for Jon Taylor to chase.
Town threatened for the first time in the 12th minute when James Norwood crossed from the right, Kayden Jackson tapped back towards Alan Judge but the ball was taken away from the Irishman before he could shoot.
The Blues began to look more dangerous and on 18 Myles Kenlock exchanged passes with Judge on the left and the former Brentford man cut a cross back from the byline which was cut out.
At the other end, Rovers skipper Ben Whiteman shot over following a Coppinger freekick, but in the 21st minute there was an even bigger scare for Town.
Kenlock gave the ball away with midway inside the Town half and eventually Niall Ennis struck a shot from the edge of the box which Holy did well to save down to his right. The loose ball fell to Whiteman, who played to Taylor who slipped and Cole Skuse eventually brought it away from danger.
Just before the half hour Skuse required treatment for what looked like a blow to the jaw after winning a brave header, starting a Town break, however, the midfielder was able to continue.
Judge, who had by now swapped flanks with Edwards, shot wide from distance on 31, then three minutes later a Norwood header from a deep corner from the right was blocked.
But Doncaster failed to fully clear the danger and eventually Kane Vincent-Young was fouled to the right of the by Reece James, who was booked. Judge played the freekick to the edge of the box from where Flynn Downes tried an acrobatic attempt which flew well over.
Three minutes before the break, Doncaster should have gone in front. Ennis made a lung-busting run down the right, exchanging passes with Matthew Blair before sending over a cross which reached Taylor at the far post. Fortunately for the Blues, the former Rotherman man miscontrolled and Holy was able to close him down and block his shot. The loose ball ran to the Doncaster man but he slipped and the danger was cleared.
Town won a late corner which came to nothing before referee Ollie Yates brought the half to an end.
Doncaster will have gone in the happier side at the break having been the better side and having created the only real chances of the period.
Blues keeper Holy had been forced into making two significant saves while Ian Lawlor at the other end hadn’t had a shot to save with Town not registering an effort on target.
Town had had spells where they’d been in control but without ever seriously threatening and overall manager Paul Lambert will have been disappointed with the opening 45 minutes.
Two minutes after the restart Downes, playing his 50th game for the Blues, was booked for a foul on Sheaf having lost possession on halfway.
Town weren’t too far away from opening the scoring in the 47th minute when Edwards - back on the right wing - did well to make himself space to cross and Jackson got above Lawlor at the near post but was unable to direct his header goalwards.
Almost immediately Rovers threatened at the other end after Town had given the ball away again but Coppinger’s pass from the right was too far in front of Ennis and Holy came out to claim.
But Town were looking better than they had before the break with the volume on the Sir Bobby Robson Stand having been turned up. On 52 Jackson blazed an effort well over from distance.
Taylor flicked a header not too far wide in the 59th minute but the Blues were looking the greater threat.
On 61 a poor Holy kick somehow found Jackson towards the left and the striker hit a weak shot into the side-netting.
Two minutes later, Lambert swapped Downes and Edwards for Jon Nolan and Anthony Georgiou. Judge returned to the right with the on-loan Tottenham man on the left.
In the 65th Norwood was sent away by Skuse, taking the ball to the left of the final defender but seeing his shot blocked by keeper Lawlor. The loose ball fell to the Town striker but got caught under his feet. Whiteman was subsequently booked for a foul in the build-up.
Doncaster came close to grabbing the game’s first goal in the 70th minute, the ball was cut across to Ennis from the left and the on-loan Wolves man’s shot was blocked. It ran back to him but he was crowded out by the Blues’ backline.
On 71 Doncaster switched veteran Coppinger and Blair for Alfie May and Kieran Sadlier.
A minute later, Vincent-Young, who had had fewer opportunities to break forward than in his first two games for the Blues, made a strong run before hitting a powerful strike not too far over.
The game was becoming an increasingly end-to-end affair. On 75 Whiteman shot straight at Holy after a well-worked move, then the Blues broke quickly via a keeper’s throw to Georgiou, Norwood hitting a shot from an angle which was blocked when he might have cut back to team-mates better placed.
Striker Keane was handed his second Blues’ debut from the bench in the 79th minute for Jackson.
Within seconds of the substitution, Doncaster went within a couple of inches of going in front. Sheaf picked up the ball a long way out before smashing a shot which flew past Holy to his right and struck the post.
On 82 Brad Halliday was booked for a foul on Judge, then two minutes later Doncaster replaced the lively Ennis with Kiwomya.
Town continued to push as the game moved into its final five minutes but without much success, while the visitors looked to counter-attack with Chambers forced to make a vital challenge on Kiwomya on the edge of the Blues’ box.
Three minutes of additional time had just been announced when Norwood was sent away of the left of box by Judge but his strike was was too close to Lawlor who batted it away above his head.
From the resultant corner, Doncaster sub May broke from the edge of his team’s box - having appeared to handle the ball - but was thwarted by Kenlock as he reached the Town area.
Neither side was able to create another opportunity before referee Yates ended proceedings.
Rovers, the pick of the sides to visit Portman Road this season, will have been disappointed not to claim all three points having been the better side in the first half and with Sheaf having hit the post in the second.
Town were better after the break, albeit without creating too many clear-cut chances and when opportunities did come Doncaster keeper Lawlor was equal to them.
At the other the end Holy made two vital first-half saves and the visitors continued to present a threat in the second period with Sheaf coming closer than anyone to scoring with his strike off the post.
The game was the Blues’ first 0-0 draw since the stalemate with Bolton Wanderers this month a year ago sees the two teams remain unbeaten with Town moving up to second following today’s games a point behind new leaders Coventry and ahead of Wycombe on goal difference.
The Blues are next in action away against the MK Dons on Tuesday before a visit to Gillingham in a week’s time.
Town: Holy, Vincent-Young, Woolfenden, Chambers (c), Kenlock, Skuse, Downes (Nolan 63), Edwards (Georgiou 63), Judge, Norwood, Jackson (Keane 79). Unused: Norris, Wilson, Dozzell, Dobra, Keane.
Doncaster: Lawlor, Halliday, James, Anderson, Sheaf, Whiteman (c), Taylor, Blair (May 71), Coppinger (Sadlier 71), Ennis (Kiwomya 84), John. Unused: Diang, Gomes, Longbottom, Daniels. Referee: Ollie Yates (Staffordshire). Att: 18,928 (Doncaster: 621).
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|TimmyH added 17:29 - Sep 14|
Wish we hadn't had that international break which was debatable for us, feels like with the performance today it has stopped out momentum. Thought Doncaster would be tough nut to crack and proved to be the point, we still have our unbeaten record in tact but will have to improve on this if we are to beat MK Dons mid-week.
|ShropshireBluenago09 added 17:30 - Sep 14|
Good point against one of the better sides in this league, but a bit disappointing that we only had one shot on target.
|Bluewelshman added 17:33 - Sep 14|
I agree with TimmyH, the International break has halted the teams momentum.
|delias_cheesy_flaps added 17:40 - Sep 14|
For the most part Doncaster were the team with a more fluid performance, we did look of the pace today. Pity Dobra didn’t get a runout.
|ArnieM added 17:47 - Sep 14|
Town never, ever play well after an International break. But all credit to Fonny . They were organised , souls, quicker and had an urgency about them, which we didn’t have , all afternoon.
Chambo was solid and Skuse everywhere. Our Rt back won’t be with us long if he continues to play the way he doesn’t. He was magnificent. Judge ? Give me strength. If he can’t play we’re hed supposed to play- our wide , then get out of the team. We have better coming back from injury frankly. .
A draw, just about a fair result ? tbh I thought we got out of jail today. Doncaster will be in that top six with ease I think.
|herfie added 17:51 - Sep 14|
Disappointing at dropping 2 home points; but an honourable draw was probably fair. Doncaster are a sound outfit, and stuck to their game plan to maximum effect. This is likely to be repeated throughout the season, where opposition managers set out to make life difficult; and we therefore need to get better and stronger in learning how to break them down. Key to this will be
PL settling on his strongest, most balanced, starting 11 - still work in progress, methinks.
Not wishing to be unfair or negative in singling out individual players for criticism, but Kenlock is not yet up to first team standard.
|Nobbysnuts added 18:00 - Sep 14|
Huws? Not even on the bench?? WTF??????
|DifferentGravy added 18:02 - Sep 14|
Wrong team selection for me. Donny are a tough nut to crack and played well. Edwards is a luxury player and he and Judge are there for creating charges/providing a service (which they didnt do) not tracking back and doing the hard yards. Take my hat off to Chambers today as thought he, Young and Woolfie played well. Looking forward to Garbutt coming back.
Still, hoodoo of manager of month and we came away with a fortunate point, will take it and move on. Hope for a different team selection and considerably improved performance against the Dons
|Taricco_Fan added 18:13 - Sep 14|
A fair result against a side that should be around the top 6 come May. Doncaster are organised, kept it tight and pressed hard. They had chances to nick it, but then, so did we.
I'm just not sure we have enough quality to break down sides like this. Also, we've played three sides that are genuine promotion contenders and have failed to beat any of them.
A lot of work to do. Nobody should be getting carried away just yet.
|DebsyAngel added 18:18 - Sep 14|
A very hard team to break down and were difficult to play against. Thought we wasted a few chances at the end of the second half with over-punted balls. A fair result though. So glad one of their chances hit the post.
|Marinersnose added 18:25 - Sep 14|
I prefer to put a positive spin on today’s match. For me Doncaster we the better team and therefore a point and a clean sheet has to be applauded. Holy pulled off a couple of decent saves and last ditch challenges by Chambers and Kenlock prevented us conceding. Donny keeper also pulled off two excellent saves. Norwood and Jackson were starved of any service and both wide players Judge and Edwards were well off the pace albeit Judge isn’t a wide player he must adapt his game. Rowe should be recalled imo. Kenlock was disappointing and is having a torrid time at present with his confidence appearing to be very low.Time for a rest imo as the crowd are getting restless and this is not helping him. KVY is such an accomplished full back probably the best right back to wear the shirt since Fabian Wilnis. Another tough game Tuesday. COYB
|Dissboyitfc added 18:26 - Sep 14|
Too many players were poor today! Chambers was my man of the match, thought Skuse had a reasonable game. Too many weren’t at it today, had donny had anything about them up front they would have grapped all 3 points! The good thing is we move up to second and didn’t lose! This season we appear to be getting some luck, picking up points when not playing well is always a bonus.
Probably not a good day to criticise but Kenlock was awful again!
|jas0999 added 18:31 - Sep 14|
Not a disaster, but we never really looked like scoring today. Agree with previous comments, we’ve lost momentum since the International break. Interesting to see what PL does next time. Doncaster were decent, but it’s certainly a game we ought to win. Performance today wasn’t great, but we move on.
|warksonwater added 18:37 - Sep 14|
Disappointing, but suspected we'd get held today. Good team, in the play-offs last season and unbeaten this. Never mind, still unbeaten and second in the league. Would definitely have settled for this at the beginning of the season.
|Alexwaddell added 18:37 - Sep 14|
Disappointed with the performance. Hats off to Doncaster who bossed the first half. Jury is out with regards to Judge (excuse the pun). He is a good player, but needs to be on the ball. Kenlock,hmmmm, some good, some bad. Norwood and Jackson had very poor service up front. I am not sure that 4 4 2 should be the favoured formation. With 5 in the midfield Doncaster dominated. Good performances from Holy, Skuse, Woolfenden and Chambers...but I am struggling to find any others that stood out today. My thoughts are that we should have played the midweek game...God knows we have a big enough and talented enough squad and what is the point of squad rotation if you opt out of a game and we know we have adequate cover in all areas, such that everyone in the team today could play every second game.....maybe fitness is an issue, or we just do not know who should play in a settled team...or indeed what formation we should play. All I know is that the overall performance today was poor, which may be down to the manager of the month curse or our statistically awful record followin International breaks
|dirtydingusmagee added 18:41 - Sep 14|
cant expect to win every game and i fealt this was always going to be a tough one, however i dont think we got it together today.As has been said ealier the break is never good for us.Hope we get back on track now.At least we gained a place not lost one .
|ITFCsince73 added 18:41 - Sep 14|
Agree Timmy, ironic Rochdale losing 6-0 today, who we should have played as well.
|Blueballs83 added 18:46 - Sep 14|
I’d like to see Huws, Judge and Georgiou in the starting line up as an attacking 3 behind Norwood. With Scuse protecting the back 4 and Downes as the box to box, we may finally have the players for the 4231 system to flourish! We still lack a creative midfielder with the current lineup. Huws may be the answer! I see Jackson as more of an impact striker from the bench than starter against better teams. He wasn’t great today.
|budgieplucker added 18:51 - Sep 14|
I will take a point against a very good Donny side. Lucky for us they haven’t got a striker and sold Marquis. Darren Moore a very good manager and decent bloke.
The disappointment is not so much the result but they did look the much more fluent and tidy footballing side, in the first half we couldn’t wrestle possession from them and some of our play when we had the ball looked a throw back to big Micks days. The 4-4-2 formation is a very basic and unsophisticated way to play the game, if tour wingers our playing well with then you could be rocking but unfortunately Edwards struggled and Judge was Judge, no lack of effort but runs around at 100 miles an hour often failing to bring the ball under control and often over hitting the ball. I don’t seem to recall to many assists from him since he has been here. Think Nolan is much more of a complete player but again not a winger. No Huws, if we are going to try and play a formula that caters for Huws and Nolan then we need to look more like a diamond formation in midfield.
Well done to the skipper for a really solid game, and Woolfie looks like he had been playing in the first team for many years. Skuse yet again had another good game despite being outnumbered in midfield, although as mentioned we did have to chase shadows a bit.
There are eight or nine teams who are seriously going to be challenging the top six and even if we feel we can contest the top two positions we have to ensure we don’t do a Sunderland of last year and keep on stacking up draws!!!!
What I saw in Donny to day was what I had hoped to see us play like, slick tidy possession based football with pressing at the right times, we’ll done Donny. Unfortunately 4-4-2 will not create this sort of game.
|Wishing4arightback added 18:55 - Sep 14|
As stated by other perhaps the international break was not the best plan but at least it was not a loss.
Interesting team selection in my opinion today. We have been impressive wide with quick attacks. Judge is not a wide man and personally I feel he causes more issues than the positives that he can bring to the team and Edward's doesn't seem to have the confidence at the mo to actually take people on and always seem to slow things down. I feel this had a big effect on the number of chances we created.
Kenlock did not really cover himself in glory, but he always looks nervous when Judge lines up in front of him. Clearly he worries that he is going to be left exposed and it effects him.
Lastly I think I may have to change my name...... as we Def have a right back!!!!! The boy is class.................
|Suffolkboy added 19:37 - Sep 14|
Left back is an open space at the moment ,but 100% teamwork is the absolute minimum requirement and we’ve had some outstanding ‘team ‘ contributors over the years .It seems some are lacking this trait right now and leaving gaps and opportunities for our opposition to exploit .
Don’t believe PL is unaware or will tolerate with more players returning to fitness ; everybody should be constantly on the move ,aware ,supportive and combative in the interests of everybody else in their team — and the observation of Kenlock feeling exposed might well explain his hesitancy / uncertainty .
We are still building ,can’t expect perfection or dominance each match ,so let’s understand Lambert’s realism !
|Tellitasitis added 19:48 - Sep 14|
Holy, chambers, wolf were the only ones who can say they played as well as they could of the rest were below par BUT we got a point against a very good side when if it was a boxing match it would of been stopped for me it's a great sign that we did not lose well done lads
|Cakeman added 20:17 - Sep 14|
Fully agree with Marinersnose.
We were second best for most of the game and had this been last season we would have lost it.
The fact we didn’t lose was because the lads gritted their teeth even if some didn’t have their best games.
It was important not to lose to Donny and so that was a massive plus.
I thought Holy had a great game as did Chambers, Woolfenden and Vincent-Young. The rest were a mix of poor and ordinary but that will happen.
It was an enjoyable game though backed by a good support for both teams.
I would say with Paul Lambert and Darren Moore, the best two managers in the division were there too.
Much to look forward to in the months ahead.
|runaround added 20:41 - Sep 14|
Very frustrating match but I think a point was all we deserved as we never really had any periods of real domination or pressure. Holy, Skuse, Chambers, Woolfenden & KVY played well but the rest weren’t really at the races. You cannot have that many players not at their best & expect to win matches so in some ways it actually feels like a point gained rather than 2 lost but we need to play better in next 2 games to pick up the points we want
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