|Ipswich Town 4 v 1 Tranmere Rovers|
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 28th September 2019 Kick-off 15:00
Ipswich Town 4-1 Tranmere Rovers - Match Report
Saturday, 28th Sep 2019 17:15
Goals from Luke Garbutt, Kayden Jackson, Jon Nolan and Kane Vincent-Young saw top-of-the-table Town to a 4-1 home victory over Tranmere Rovers. Garbutt’s superb freekick gave the Blues the lead on 35 but Stefan Payne deservedly levelled for Rovers four minutes later, however, after Jackson had rebounded another Garbutt freekick three minutes into the second half, Nolan nodded in the third and Vincent-Young sealed the victory for the still unbeaten Blues with a brilliant solo goal.
The Blues made three changes to the team which won 1-0 at Gillingham last week with Luke Woolfenden dropping out of the back three and on the bench and Cole Skuse moving back from midfield between skipper Luke Chambers, who was celebrating his 34th birthday, and James Wilson. Garbutt returned at left wing-back with Gwion Edwards among the subs.
Jon Nolan came back into the central midfield three alongside Flynn Downes with Alan Judge ahead of them - with Andre Dozzell moving to the bench - behind front two James Norwood, facing his old club, and Kayden Jackson.
After a scruffy start, Tranmere came close to carving out the game’s first opportunity in the 13th minute when Paul Mullin almost played in Payne, however, his pass was too far in front of the ex-Shrewsbury striker and Blues keeper Tomas Holy claimed.
Within a minute Alan Judge - as at Gillingham last week given free rein to roam - found himself space on the left of the box and his cross was eventually half-cleared to Downes, who scuffed a half-volley well wide.
The visitors had the ball in the net in the 18th minute but referee Ben Toner having adjudged that Payne had handled the ball into the path of Neil Danns before the former Colchester man’s shot beat Holy.
On 21 Judge was sent flying by a very clumsy Emmanuel Monthe challenge on halfway with the defender lucky not to be booked.
From the freekick, Downes played the ball to the Irishman, who turned a looping ball into the box towards Chambers, who claimed he was fouled by Monthe but referee Toner waved away the skipper’s protests.
Oliver Banks shot high and wide for Rovers in the 26th minute with Town still to really get going after an untidy and often ponderous first third of the match.
Chambers headed wide at the far post from a Skuse freekick on the right in the 29th minute, then at the other end Payne laid the ball back to Mullin on the edge of the box but the ex-Morecambe man scuffed weakly towards goal under pressure from Downes, illegally he claimed but to no response from the referee.
Danns curled a shot wide from distance as Tranmere continued to look the more dangerous of the two sides with the Blues a long way from their best.
Darren Potter was shown the first yellow card of the game in the 34th minute for a foul on Judge as the Blues sought to break on halfway.
And from that freekick the Blues won another a few yards outside the area from which Garbutt gave them the lead.
The on-loan Everton man struck as sweet a left-foot strike as you’ll see into the top left-hand corner of Tranmere keeper Scott Davies’s net giving the Rovers skipper no chance.
Garbutt ran away towards the East of England Co-op Stand to celebrate the best of his three goals in four starts for the Blues.
But Town’s lead - and their record of clean sheets - wouldn’t last too long. After Chambers had given the ball away to Mullin, Payne played the ball inside from the left before Danns moved it wide to Jake Caprice on the right.
The wing-back sent a low ball across the edge of the six-yard box, Holy failed to claim and Payne touched it over the line for his fourth goal of the season.
It was a poor goal to end Town’s run of clean sheets, which would have stretched to a club record six if they had failed to concede today, and curtail their total minutes without conceding at 539.
Neither side was able to threaten again before referee Toner ended the half with the scoreline a fair reflection of a disappointing period for the Blues.
Town, with Skuse having moved into midfield before the end of the half, had rarely been in control of the game and had created nothing prior to Garbutt’s brilliant Beckham-esque freekick.
The Blues’ lead was harsh on Tranmere who had been better on the ball than Town and had created the game’s few openings. Their equaliser summed up the Blues’ scruffy half, probably their poorest 45 minutes of the season so far.
Two minutes after the restart Payne was booked for preventing Town from taking a freekick he had conceded 35 yards out.
And once the striker had allowed the Blues to take it, it led to the Blues’ second of the afternoon.
Again Garbutt took the kick, hitting a powerful low strike - this time more Gerrard than Beckham - which Davies stopped but was unable to hang on to and with the Tranmere defenders unable to clear, Jackson slammed the rebound into the net for his fifth goal of the season.
Having regained their lead, the Blues began to play more composed football, particularly down the right.
However, there was a scare on 58 when Payne was found unmarked in the middle but shot straight at Holy and fortunately the linesman’s flag has been raised in any case.
Less than a minute later, Town had the ball in the net for a third time but again with the linesman indicating offside. Judge cut in from the right of the box and hit a shot which Davies again didn’t hold. Downes was first to the loose ball and tapped home only for the goal to be ruled out.
The Blues had been better since the break, although still without really dominating, but in the 63rd minute they made it 3-1.
Jackson was threaded through on goal, Tranmere defender Sid Nelson deflected his shot into the air and, with the keeper having advanced out of his goal, Nolan nodded his second of the season - and his second ever headed goal - over the line.
On 68 ex-Rover Norwood, who had had a quiet afternoon against his old club, was booked for a foul on Danns on the edge of the Tranmere area. Visitors boss Micky Mellon made a double change moments later, swapping Paul Mullin and Kieron Morris for Connor Jennings and Corey Taylor.
A minute later, Vincent-Young made it 4-1 with a goal to rival Garbutt’s for quality. The ex-Colchester man was found in space out on the right not far inside the Tranmere half by keeper Holy, brought it forward at pace into the area, feinted past two defenders too concerned about conceding a penalty to make a challenge before smashing a shot across Davies and into the corner of the net.
The right wing-back celebrated his second goal in two games - and his first at Portman Road - with his delighted team-mates.
Judge, who had been more effective after the break than he had in the first half but overall less influential than against the Gills, was switched for Danny Rowe in the 75th minute.
Norwood had his chance to mark his reunion with his old club with a goal in the 79th minute when played in on goal by Rowe but his chip wasn’t high enough to beat the advancing Davies. A minute later, Tranmere switched Potter for Rushian Hepburn-Murphy.
The Town number 10 went close again in the 84th minute when he met a deep corner from the right and his looping header was tipped over by Davies.
Norwood, who will have been frustrated by his afternoon, was replaced by Emyr Huws with three minutes remaining.
Holy saved a late effort from Banks before referee Toner ended the afternoon. Skipper Chambers’s post-match victory fist-pump is becoming ever more familiar and the squad paid tribute to the support with the hand-in-hand celebration they debuted at Gillingham last week.
While the Blues ultimately deserved the victory the emphatic scoreline - they last scored four at home when beating Nottingham Forest 4-2 in December 2017 - flattered them and was harsh on the visitors, who shaded the first half.
Jackson’s second goal came at a crucial time just after the restart, settling nerved both on and off the pitch and giving Town some momentum.
The third goal gave the Blues some breathing space and from there it was comfortable before Vincent-Young, looking an absolute steal at £500,000, scored his brilliant second for Town.
Despite not stretching their run of league clean sheets to a club record-breaking six, the Blues are now unbeaten in 11 league games stretching back to the final day of last season.
The result sees Town stay top by two points with Wycombe - who won 3-0 at Rochdale - now second with Coventry having drawn 1-1 with Doncaster.
Town: Holy, Chambers (c), Skuse, Wilson, Vincent-Young, Downes, Nolan, Judge (Rowe 74), Garbutt, Jackson, Norwood (Huws 87). Unused: Norris, Edwards, Dozzell, Woolfenden, Georgiou.
Tranmere: Davies, Caprice, Nelson, Monthe, Ridehalgh, Banks, Morris (Jennings 69), Potter (Hepburn-Murphy 80), Danns, Mullin (Taylor 69), Payne. Unused: Pilling, Ponticelli, Gilmour, Blackett-Taylor, Walker-Rice. Referee: Ben Toner (Lancashire). Att: 19,785 (Tranmere: 621).
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