Accrington Stanley 2-0 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Sunday, 20th Oct 2019 13:59
Colby Bishop scored twice - the second a penalty - as Accrington Stanley ended Town’s unbeaten run by defeating the Blues 2-0 at the Wham Stadium. Bishop nodded the opener in the 17th minute before converting from the spot on 41 after a foul by Toto Nsiala. Both sides ended the match with 10 men after Armando Dobra and Ross Sykes were red-carded for an off-the-ball clash with 11 minutes remaining.
Town were without Flynn Downes, James Norwood, Kane Vincent-Young and James Wilson for their first ever league game against Stanley.
Downes suffered a hip injury while away with England’s U20s, Norwood underwent groin surgery early last week, Vincent-Young suffered a groin problem at Fleetwood a fortnight ago, while Wilson is suspended for one game after his red card at Highbury.
One-time Stanley centre-half Toto Nsiala came into the back three for the first time this season, Gwion Edwards was at right wing-back, Andre Dozzell in midfield and Alan Judge playing off lone striker Kayden Jackson, who was facing his old club.
The Blues’ third ex-Accrington man Janoi Donacien was among the subs, as were Will Keane, Emyr Huws and Dobra.
Ex-Accrington man Jackson hit the first shot of the game in the second minute, an effort on the turn following a neat moving involving Dozzell, Skuse and Judge which was blocked.
Rain began to fall persistently as skipper Luke Chambers required a few minutes’ treatment and a bandage after taking a blow to his right eye in a clash with Offrande Zanzala.
On eight Garbutt whipped over a freekick from the right, which Judge flicked into the side-netting at the near post.
Town defended a couple of corners and then a freekick as Accrington started to see most of the ball as the game passed the quarter-hour mark.
And in the 18th minute Stanley took the lead. Sam Finley sent over a high, looping cross from the right and Bishop was allowed to head back across Tomas Holy and into the corner of the net.
A minute after the goal Nsiala was booked for a foul on Zanzala just inside the Town half, although the Accrington man had appeared to have gone to ground very easily.
Accrington continued to look the more threatening side, particularly when crosses were put into the box with the Blues’ backline less assured than has usually been the case.
Accrington should have doubled their lead in the 27th minute when Callum Johnson sent the ball into the box and Zanzala headed well wide when he ought to at least have hit the target.
Town came within inches of getting on terms in the 32nd minute. Skuse played a clever ball to Edwards on the right, the Welshman in turn finding Jackson, who crossed into the area.
Keeper Dimitar Evtimov failed to gather low down and the ball ricocheted towards goal off Judge. However, as Garbutt looked to add the final touch, Jordan Clark was able to clear off the line.
On 37 Zanzala flicked an effort wide from a Clark cross from the right with Accrington still looking the more dangerous side. Two minutes later, Chambers blocked Sean McConville’s effort from a cross from the right, where most of the home side’s threat was coming from.
In the 41st minute Stanley went two in front from the penalty spot. Nsiala clumsily clattered into Bishop as the pair challenged aerially and referee Sebastian Stockbridge pointed straight to the spot. Bishop slammed the penalty to Holy’s right and into the net to claim his second goal of the afternoon.
Edwards was booked for a foul midway inside the Town half before referee Stockbridge brought to a close a very disappointing half for the Blues.
After making a tidy enough start, Accrington had began to frustrate the Blues in midfield, forcing them into too many long balls. The home side subsequently began to threaten more and more, particularly via crosses from the right.
Bishop appeared to be in acres of space as he headed the opener while the push from Nsiala, who had a tough return to first team football, for the penalty all but gifted the striker his second of the game.
Town needed to be significantly better in the second half if they were to maintain their undefeated record and it was no surprise that Paul Lambert made changes ahead of the restart.
Nsiala and Andre Dozzell were switched for Dobra, who was making his league debut, and Danny Rowe. The Blues moved to 4-4-1-1 with Dobra off Jackson up front and Judge on the left wing and Rowe on the right.
Dobra made an immediate impression, winning a couple of corners with his direct running and also drawing a foul from Jerome Opoku which led to a booking.
Rowe scuffed an effort wide from distance with the Blues seeing more of the ball in the Accrington half but still without looking particularly convincing.
Town just about kept an Accrington corner from the right out of their goal in the 57th minute after the ball ran loose in the box. Two minutes later, Nolan was yellow-carded for a foul.
Finley hit a powerful 25-yard effort which deflected through to Holy on 61 after Judge had given the ball away midway inside his own half, then a minute later Clark cut in from the left before shooting wide when he ought to have played a low ball into the box.
Town had the ball cleared off the line for the second time in the afternoon in the 64th minute.
Following a corner on the right, the ball was sent back in by Garbutt and with the keeper flapping reached Luke Woolfenden at the far post where the centre-half stabbed towards goal only for Clark to block it. The referee waved away Town protests that it had struck Clark’s hand or that it had crossed the line in any case.
The Blues made their final change of the afternoon in the 66th minute with Judge, who had had a quiet afternoon, replaced by Anthony Georgiou. A minute later, Stanley swapped Opoku for Aji Alese.
Dobra was booked for a foul Accrington skipper Seamus Conneely in the 72nd minute, before McConville joined him in the book for a two-footed lunge on Edwards which might have led to a red card on another day.
On 75 Accrington switched Zanzala for Dion Charles, then two minutes later Joe Pritchard took over from McConville.
In the 79th minute both teams were reduced to 10 men. Dobra and Ross Sykes clashed off the ball on halfway - Dobra appearing to swing and arm and Sykes knocked him to the ground - and referee Stockbridge sent both players off with the Town sub, who had been the Blues’ brightest player in the second half, protesting his innocence as he left the field.
With four minutes remaining of scheduled time, sub Charles cut on from the left and smashed a shot over Holy’s bar.
The home side saw out six minutes of additional time to end Town’s unbeaten run at 11 games from the start of this season plus the home victory over Leeds on the final day of the last campaign.
Aside from Woolfenden’s effort off the line - which looked a debatable decision - the Blues never really threatened and Accrington had more chances to add to their lead.
Other than a brief spell at the start of the first half, Town were never on top of the home side, who won the battle in midfield and deservedly grabbed their goals before seeing the game out in relative comfort in the second half.
Despite regular starters Downes, Norwood, Wilson and Vincent-Young having missed out, manager Lambert will have believed the team he fielded should to have been enough to beat Accrington, who are starting to emerge as a bogey side for the Blues.
The Blues' post-international break blues continue with 21 games now having passed since they beat Millwall 2-0 in September 2014, the last time they won following a gap for international fixtures.
Their record in front of the Sky cameras similarly stretches to 15 matches since a December 2015 win away against the MK Dons.
Town, whose lead at the top of the table is now one point with one game in hand, are next in action at Portman Road on Wednesday when Rotherham visit.
Accrington: Evtimov, Johnson, Hughes, Sykes, Clark, Finley, Zanzala (Charles 75), McConville (Pritchard 77), Bishop, Conneely (c), Opoku (Alese 67). Unused: Bursik, Edwards, Kaba Sharif, Carvahlo.
Town: Holy, Woolfenden, Chambers (c), Nsiala (Dobra 46), Edwards, Skuse, Dozzell (Rowe 46), Nolan, Garbutt, Judge (Georgiou 66), Jackson. Unused: Norris, Donacien, Huws, Keane. Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge (Tyne and Wear). Att: 3,567.
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