Ipswich Town 2-0 Gillingham - Half-Time
Tuesday, 8th Oct 2019 20:39
Goals from Emyr Huws and Jordan Roberts have given the Blues a 2-0 half-time lead over Gillingham in the Leasing.com Trophy at Portman Road.
Boss Paul Lambert named the expected much-changed side with Will Norris in goal behind a back three of Toto Nsiala, making his first appearance since suffering a hamstring injury in pre-season and wearing the skipper’s armband, James Wilson and Luke Woolfenden - the only two players in the XI to have started at Fleetwood at the weekend - with Myles Kenlock and Janoi Donacien the wing-backs.
Emyr Huws and Idris El Mizouni started in the deeper midfield roles with Danny Rowe ahead of them behind front pair Will Keane and Jordan Roberts.
On the bench, Harry Wright was the sub keeper, alongside Armando Dobra and young midfielder or forward Tommy Hughes and midfielder Brett McGavin, who were included in the first-team matchday squad for the first time.
Gillingham made 10 changes from the team which won 3-1 at home to Southend at the weekend with former Blues loanee Ben Pringle starting and ex-Town academy youngster Stuart O’Keefe on the bench.
Prior to kick-off there was no handshake between the managers following the fallout at the League One game between the sides last month and once the match got underway they kept their distance in their respective technical areas.
Having struggled to get the ball away form their own area in the opening couple of minutes, the Blues, with Ed Sheeran watching from his box and Ed Lay of The Editors sitting in the press area, soon began to get on top and pass the ball around.
And in only the ninth minute they went in front. El Mizouni brought the ball in from the right having twisted and turned away from his man and Huws hit a low 25-yard shot which beat Gills keeper Joe Walsh at his left post.
It was the Welshman’s first goal since volleying home the third goal in the Blues’ 3-1 victory over Newcastle in April 2017.
Three minutes later, Roberts sent in a cross from the left just in front of Keane and keeper Walsh claimed.
On 16 Huws had another go from distance but scuffed his shot as a defender slid in to challenge, then a minute later Kenlock drove over a cross but again it was too close to the keeper.
Soon after, Mikael Mandron was shown the game’s first yellow card for a late lunge at the back of Nsiala’s ankles on the edge of the Blues box.
And the resultant freekick eventually led to Town’s second goal. El Mizouni brought the ball forward 25 yards out and struck a shot which deflected off a defender to Roberts, who powerfully smashed his third Leasing.com Trophy goal of the season into the net from the edge of the box.
Huws, running the game from deep in midfield looking a level above everyone else, was unceremoniously sent flying by Henry Woods in the 26th minute and the Gills midfielder saw his name added to referee Tom Nield’s book.
Town continued to completely dominate with neat interchanges between the strikers and midfielders but without carving out another serious chance until the 41st minute when Roberts just failed to take down a sweeping cross-field pass from the left from Rowe on the edge of the area.
The half-time whistle was met by warm applause by the small but enthusiastic crowd, the Blues having been very much on top and in control throughout the half.
Gills keeper Walsh will probably feel he ought to have got across to Huws’s strike, but the power of Roberts’s effort gave him no chance.
At the other end keeper Norris had had a very quiet half with Gillingham not having registered a shot on or off target.
Town: Norris, Woolfenden, Nsiala (c), Wilson, Donacien, El Mizouni, Huws, Kenlock, Rowe, Keane, Roberts. Subs: Wright, Edwards, Dobra, Hughes, McGavin, Clements, Simpson.
Gillingham: Walsh, Hodson (c), Garmston, Ogilvie, Mandron, Charles-Cook, Cisse, Pringle, Marshall, Woods, Tucker. Subs: Bonham, O’Keefe, Ehmer, Ndjoli, Lee, Jakubiak, O’Connor. Referee: Tom Nield (West Yorkshire).
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