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Gillingham 0-1 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 21st Sep 2019 17:07

Kane Vincent-Young’s first goal for the Blues saw Town to a 1-0 win at Gillingham and back to the top of the table. Vincent-Young headed home Kayden Jackson’s cross in the 32nd minute to see Town, who picked up their fifth successive league clean sheet to equal a club record, to their fourth away win of the season.

Town boss Paul Lambert made four changes from the team which beat the MK Dons 1-0 on Tuesday but with the side again starting in a 3-5-2 system.

Ahead of keeper Tomas Holy, who was facing his old club, Luke Woolfenden returned on the right of the back three with skipper Luke Chambers and James Wilson.

Gwion Edwards was at left wing-back, a role he previously played at Peterborough and in the Leasing.com Trophy tie with Tottenham’s U21s, with Vincent-Young on the opposite flank.

Andre Dozzell came into the centre of midfield ahead of Cole Skuse and Flynn Downes, while Alan Judge was also back in the side playing in a free role off main striker Kayden Jackson.

James Norwood, who aggravated a long-standing groin injury on Tuesday dropped to the bench along with Jon Nolan, Emyr Huws and Luke Garbutt, who all started at Stadium MK after injury absences.

Gillingham’s starting XI included Stuart O’Keefe, who began his career as an academy scholar with the Blues, while ex-loanee Ben Pringle was on the bench.

After Town had seen most of the ball in the opening moments, the Gills struck the game’s first shot in the fourth minute, however, Olly Lee’s strike flew well over.

On the touchline, the two management teams had already exchanged words with Gillingham manager Steve Evans having begun a lively dialogue with the fourth official only seconds after kick-off following the award of a Blues freekick.

Town, with more than 2,500 fans watching them from the Brian Moore Stand, twice broke forward early on, despite starting scruffily. First Jackson was sent away down the right but was unable to find anyone with a low cross, then Downes fed Judge, whose cross found Jackson, but the striker was unable to find a team-mate with his knockdown.

On 14 the Blues carved out an opening with their best football up to that point. Dozzell, who had seen little of the ball in the first few minutes, played a pass to Judge, who turned it into the path of Jackson breaking towards the area but Gills keeper Jack Bonham was quickly off his line to block his flick goalwards on the edge of the box.

At the other end, Lee scuffed a shot well wide after latching on to Chambers’s mishit clearance.

Centre-half Wilson wasn’t far away from his first ever Town goal in the 26th minute when he glanced Dozzell’s right-sided corner just past the far post.

In the 23rd minute Jackson teed-up Judge inside the area but the Irishman appeared to have his feet taken away from him as he sought to shoot but referee Christopher Sarginson wasn’t interested. Judge looked in some pain following the challenge but was able to carry on.

The Blues were starting to get up a head of steam and in the 25th minute Edwards was found by a deep cross from the right and hit a low shot through to Bonham, who was untroubled.

Wilson again wasn't too far away from a first Town goal in the 27th minute when he met another Dozzell corner from the right at the near post and sent it across goal and once more beyond the post.

A minute later, Mark Byrne hooked a volley towards goal which was deflected wide after the Blues had struggled to get the ball out of their box.

Following the resulting corner some sections of the home support thought they had gone in front when Tom O’Connor’s powerful strike from distance looped over Holy and rippled the top of the net, however, having gone over.

Town suddenly found themselves under pressure and in the 31st minute the Gills went even closer to going in front. Lee’s corner was nodded back into the area and Brandon Hanlan’s overhead kick was somehow stabbed wide by Gills skipper Max Ehmer from a few feet.

It was a lucky escape for the Blues but a minute later they took the lead. Following a long spell of possession totalling 25 passes, Jackson and Dozzell exchanged passes on the left and the former Accrington man sent over a deep cross which Vincent-Young met at the far post from where he nodded his first ever goal for Town across Bonham and into the net.

On 38, after Judge had superbly pulled down a ball on the touchline, Jackson did equally well to work himself space for a cross but Dozzell’s first touch let him down and the danger was cleared.

Byrne was shown the game’s first yellow card in the 43rd minute for a late challenge on Skuse, hardly the first overzealous challenge from the combative Gills.

The scoreline remained the same at the break with the Blues good for their lead having had the better of the half against a battling Gillingham side.

Town had dominated the ball, although while rarely looking as fluid as at the MK Dons on Tuesday, and had created one or two openings - but perhaps not as many clear-cut chances as manager Lambert would have liked - with Vincent-Young getting forward and taking his opportunity brilliantly.

At the other end there had been a couple of scares, most notably when Ehmer missed seconds before the goal.

Ahead of the second half, Jon Nolan replaced Downes, then four minutes after the break the Gills switched O’Connor for Lee Hodson.

With neither side having threatened, the home side made another change in the 53rd minute, ex-Blues loanee Pringle taking over from Jack Tucker.

On 56 Alex Jakubiak pulled the ball back from the left and Wilson cleared with Town having had a lapse of concentration to allow the on-loan Watford man to reach it on the byline.

Just before the hour mark Hanlan flicked Pringle’s corner from the right past the far post with the Gills looking the more dangerous side.

And in the 63rd minute they would have levelled but for Blues skipper Chambers. Nolan’s interception inadvertently found Hodson, who played Jakubiak in on goal but the Town captain superbly slid in to deflect his shot over.

Within a minute Town nearly doubled their lead. Vincent-Young made one of his increasingly familiar runs forward, beat a man and played the ball to the left to Judge unmarked just outside the area. The Irishman swept a well-struck shot across Bonham but off the bottom of the post.

The Blues swapped Dozzell, who gradually got himself more into the game after a slow start on his return to the side, for Huws.

Town threatened again in the 67th minute when Judge teed-up Nolan but the sub’s shot was too close to Bonham, who batted it away.

Gillingham claimed a penalty when Hanlan went down under pressure from Woolfenden a minute later but referee Sarginson waved away the protests. On 70 the Kent side switched Jakubiak for Mikael Mandron.

Skuse blazed well over on 73 before the Blues found themselves under pressure and unable to get out of their own half, albeit without the Gills being able to create a serious opportunity.

In the 77th minute, with Town starting to see more of the ball in the Gills half, Norwood replaced Jackson.

As the game moved towards its scheduled last five minutes, Hanlan’s shot was deflected wide.

On 87 Wilson was booked for a late challenge on Byrne and from the resultant 25-yard freekick Lee’s strike deflected wide off the wall.

Two minutes later, Judge was booked for what appeared to be an earlier pull on the keeper's shirt after referee Sarginson had allowed play to continue at length.

The Gills looked to put the Blues under pressure in four minutes of injury time, Chambers heading away a Pringle cross from the left.

But Town largely passed the final minutes out with O’Keefe picking up a booking for a frustrated foul on Nolan.

At the whistle Gills manager Evans refused to shake hands with Town boss Lambert and the two exchanged words before being kept apart by their respective staffs.

Lambert subsequently joined his team in front of their fans, the players and some of the staff joining hands in a continental-style tribute to the support.

It was an at times hard-fought win in the second half, although with the Blues never under quite the pressure they were against MK Dons on Tuesday.

The home side had one or two chances, however, Town came closest to scoring their second of the game when Judge hit the post.

The fifth successive league clean sheet matches a club record last achieved in March and April 2013 and also at the same stage of 1996/97.

Town are also now unbeaten in their last 10 league games stretching back to the final day of last season. The Blues last went on a longer unbeaten run when they went on an 11-match streak during November and December 2014.

The win means the Blues are two points clear at the top of League One having played the same number of games as second-placed Coventry - who weren’t in action today - with Tranmere, who are 18th, visiting Portman Road next Saturday.

Gillingham: Bonham, O’Keefe, Ehmer (c), Ogilvie, Hanlan, Fuller, Byrne, Lee, Jakubiak (Mandron 70), O’Connor (Hodson 49), Tucker (Pringle 53). Unused: Walsh, Ndjoli, Charles-Cook, Cissé.

Town: Holy, Woolfenden, Chambers (c), Wilson, Vincent-Young, Skuse, Downes (Nolan 46), Edwards, Dozzell (Huws 65), Judge, Jackson (Norwood 77). Unused: Norris, Garbutt, Georgiou, Keane. Referee: Christopher Sarginson (Staffordshire). Att: 7,214 (Town: 2,171).

Photo: Pagepix

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cat added 17:08 - Sep 21
SWEET! Credit to Lambo for his courage in mixing up the formations and trying something different. Another win on the road, top of league and a clean one to make it a perfect Saturday.
“Sexy football in league 1”???? HAVE IT (lol)

LWNR2013 added 17:08 - Sep 21

midastouch added 17:10 - Sep 21
6 points on the road in 5 days, great effort! 5 clean sheets on the bounce for the Holy 1!
While we're not brushing teams aside we're doing enough. Mick Mills said we've not been scintillating but crucially we're picking results off. A 2 goal cushion is always nice, hopefully we can afford that luxury next Saturday against Tranmere. COYB!!!

LWNR2013 added 17:10 - Sep 21
Sext football in league 1? There is now

midastouch added 17:11 - Sep 21
Top of the league, be careful what you wish for! ;-)

TimmyH added 17:12 - Sep 21
Another 3 points to add to the 3 in mid-week so a happy Saturday evening, if I have a slight quibble since the International break I wouldn't say the performances have been top notch but just enough to get the job done and most importantly no goals conceded. Well done to KVY on his first Town goal and looks to be a good signing.

Well done lads keep it up!...top of the league.

martin587 added 17:13 - Sep 21
Well done lads.3 points and two points ahead with a game in hand.What more can you ask.Once again a very happy drive home.

jas0999 added 17:14 - Sep 21
Very good. The wins keep coming and that’s all that matters, particularly away from home in League One. Credit to Lambert and the lads who continue to go from strength to strength. Would be good to win the next home game, but away wins certainly take the pressure off.

StokeHigh97 added 17:14 - Sep 21
Another away win: Clean Sheet: Club Record 5th consecutive clean Sheet: Won in 2nd gear, much of the squad still finding their fitness, FIrst goal for KVG who has been very impressive, J:Wilson again solid as Granite, arguably the strongest bench I can remember in years & still about 6+ first team players not being selected or injured: be nice to be killing teams off but averaging 2 points a game is promotion form: Roll on Saturday COYB! Once again fantastic away support, we have our Club feeling good again on & off the Field:

BettyBlue added 17:16 - Sep 21
Yet another below par performance from a below par team. What is Lambert actually being paid for? Almost a year after his arrival the only thing that has changed is the level of opposition which is making the position look rosy. We still have no discernible
pattern of play and no set team. Lambert needs to start earning his money.

Nobbysnuts added 17:17 - Sep 21
Well done boys. Surprised at the line up but the job got done.👍👍👍👍👍👍👍 a couple of difficult away games and 6 points. Cant argue with that.

Sindre94 added 17:19 - Sep 21
Comfortable yet not at our best, and we still manage to get a win. Lots of positives and more to come, I think.

Time to give Chambo the credit he deserves. Safe and sound on the ball, commanding and dominant without it. Man of the match along with KVY.

Squad is looking really solid - plenty of quality players yet to play a part (Keane, Bish, Lankester, Sears, etc)

Welshblue72 added 17:22 - Sep 21
Loving the winning ways again, wish we could kill game off thou as my poor old heart can’t take the pounding the last 10 mins of last few matches 😂 great win thou proud to be a blue. ⚽️❤️

Radlett_blue added 17:32 - Sep 21
We can keep clean sheets in this League - it seems that our regular defensive errors often go unpunished at this level.
Steve Evans sounds as charmless as ever.

aloanagain added 17:36 - Sep 21
Fresh start. Most teams, even Premier league teams, sometimes have to go backwards to get their status back. Town are on the right course. If we get promoted and struggle again have your means. Enjoy the present. Support the team.

DifferentGravy added 17:39 - Sep 21
Chambers was liable for the criticism he received for his poor performances. But equally, he now deserves the praise for pulling his finger out and putting in a real shift the last three/four games....and when your team mates can rely, respect and look up to the captain....it has a hugely positive effect all round. We now have a solid defensive unit to build from.....and look what theyve done......top of the league!!! Keep it going.

Fantastic effort by the lads. Phenomenal support. Come on you blues!

kuyski added 17:48 - Sep 21
6 points and clean sheet from 2 away games that was never easy in whatever league,now top of the league and maintain till the end I wish,no complain for me,happy work.COYB

hyperbrit added 18:00 - Sep 21
worth remembering that City started their rebuild in League 1.

HUTCHITFC added 18:06 - Sep 21
What makes this win even better is that Evans is their manager. This man is vile, his attitude towards the opposition and the officials never changes. The man is a disgrace. GET IN TOWN !

BlueInBerks added 18:11 - Sep 21
Happy about tha win and some very good individual performances, but atm we are less than the sum of the parts. We seem to be winning only because we have better players, but they're playing individual games. We were dragged down to The Gils level today and that shouldn't be happening, but until we put a stamp on our own formation/style, we will continue to be pulled all over the place

Linkboy13 added 18:31 - Sep 21
Is Paul Lambert a tactical genius or is he constantly changing the team to keep everyone happy only time will tell. Another great performance from Kane Young again he looks our most dangerous attacker. Lambert seems to be a big fan of Gwion Edwards rather than Rowe or Georgio mainly because he does more defensive work and tracks back although he hasn't exactly set the world alight the other two must work harder to get in the team . There's probably five or six decent teams in this league which we should win easily with our squad if we pick the strongest team.

cartman1972 added 18:41 - Sep 21
Betty blue FO and support Norwich...... If you're a supporter you are not welcome with ridiculous comments like that

Michael101 added 19:18 - Sep 21
Betty blue,bet you would like to have that useless idiot McCarthy back incharge. What Lambert has done in 10 months is reignited the club. A club that was dying on its feet.

dirtydingusmagee added 19:22 - Sep 21
well done lads, still need to be finding the net more than once, it was really nervy again 2nd half. . Back on top again ,long may it last

runaround added 20:18 - Sep 21
Good result & great season so far. Top of the league so can’t really ask for more

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