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Ipswich Town 0-2 Rotherham United - Match Report
Wednesday, 23rd Oct 2019 21:51

Town suffered their first home defeat of the season and dropped off the top of the table as Rotherham United won 2-0 at Portman Road via two Matt Crooks goals. The midfielder struck first on 11, then added the second three minutes after the restart as the Blues fell to their second 2-0 loss in four days and Peterborough took over at the top of League One following their 4-0 victory over Accrington, who beat the Blues on Sunday.

Town boss Paul Lambert made five changes from the team which lost 2-0 against Stanley. James Wilson returned to the centre of Blues’ defence, having been suspended at the weekend, with the Blues starting with a four-man backline. Luke Woolfenden moved to the bench and Toto Nsiala dropped out of the 18.

Kane Vincent-Young was at right-back having missed the Accrington game with his groin injury with Gwion Edwards was on the bench.

In midfield, Emyr Huws replaced Andre Dozzell, who also missed out on a place in the squad, alongside Cole Skuse, while Danny Rowe also came into the team behind the front two with Alan Judge among the subs.

Up front, Will Keane started alongside Kayden Jackson with James Norwood and Flynn Downes both back on the bench after groin surgery and a hip knock respectively.

Former Blues keeper Lewis Price was on the bench for the Millers alongside one-time Town trialist Chiedozie Ogbene.

Rain fell steadily and persistently as the game got under way. Within two minutes a pacy Jackson run down the left won a Blues corner from which they went close to taking an early lead.

Rowe claimed he was tugged as he sought to get on to the loose ball after Rotherham had failed to clear but referee John Busby was unimpressed.

The ball eventually reached Huws at the back of the box from where he struck a shot which Millers keeper Daniel Iversen pushed into the air. Keane was first to the ball but headed straight at the keeper.

The wet conditions were having an impact on both sides in the early stages with Rotherham struggling to clear their lines on a number of occasions but with the Blues unable to profit.

The Millers hadn’t seriously threatened but in the 11th minute they took the lead. Skuse felt he was fouled as he held off a Rotherham player on the edge of his own box but referee Busby felt otherwise and Ben Wiles sent the ball back in from the left and it fell for Crooks, who struck a powerful low effort which skimmed across the wet pitch and through keeper Tomas Holy’s legs.

Rotherham should have made it 2-0 two minutes later when Joe Mattock found Matthew Olosunde breaking into the area at the far post with a cross from the left but the US international shot over when he should have hit the target at the very least.

The visitors continued to look the more threatening side and on 25 Trevor Clarke whipped over a freekick from the right which Crooks only just failed to get his head on.

Three minutes later Clarke was booked for a very late challenge on Vincent-Young, hardly the first Rotherham challenge which had warranted a yellow card.

On 30 Mattock was spoken to by the referee for time-wasting with the Millers taking an age with every restart having gone in front. In the 42nd minute Wiles was booked for kicking the ball away as Town prepared to take their 11th freekick of a very stop-start half.

Just before the whistle, Mattock crossed from the left and Michael Smith headed over at the far post.

It had been a scruffy, disjointed half from the Blues who had struggled to pass the ball with any fluidity - the damp conditions playing a part - and aside from the early double chance had rarely looked like scoring. All too often players got on one another’s way in a congested midfield area.

Rotherham took their chance when it came and might well have doubled their lead soon afterwards. From there, they looked to disrupt the flow of the game and frustrate the Blues but when they had the ball also managed to create one or two further openings.

Despite the lacklustre first period, Town were unchanged as the second half got under way with the rain continuing to fall. In the opening minute Jackson crossed from the right but none of his team-mates had broken into the area.

Three minutes after the restart, the Millers doubled their lead. Midway inside the Town half, Skuse cleared the ball against Wiles, who broke towards goal before playing inside to Crooks and the midfielder slipped his second of the game past Holy.

Town briefly put the visitors under some pressure and in the 52nd minute Rowe, by now playing wide on the right with Huws on the left, sent in a cross beyond his team-mates.

Rotherham almost made it 3-0 in the 55th minute when Mattock whipped over a cross from the left and Smith flicked a header across goal, Holy doing superbly to tip it past the post. In the aftermath of the corner Billy Jones shot well wide.

Two minutes later, Jackson sent in a cross from the left which Iversen struggled to claim but referee Busby blew up for an infringement as Jon Nolan hooked Huws’s knockback towards goal.

Smith shot wide for the Millers, who were continuing to create most of the game’s openings, then just before the hour mark Huws was replaced by Anthony Georgiou.

The Cyprus international’s introduction started to have an impact and on 63 he twisted and turned on the left before hitting a shot which took multiple deflections before going behind.

In the 67th minute, with Town not making too much of an impression on the Millers’ backline, the Blues swapped Rowe and Keane for Edwards and Norwood. A minute later, Rotherham switched Clarke for one-time Blues trialist Ogbene.

Three minutes later Garbutt made a brilliant run from very deep, taking the ball into the area via a couple of fortunate ricochets. However, keeper Iversen’s toe took it away from the left-back as he sought to round him and apply the final touch.

At the other end Ogbene almost added a third for the South Yorkshiremen, who were looking a danger on the counter-attack as Town went looking for a goal which would put them back in the game, the former Limerick man sliding in at the far post to divert Smith’s low cross from the right over.

Mattock was booked for a foul on Edwards wide on the Blues right in the 76th minute. From the freekick, Garbutt’s cross-shot flew over at the far post.

Two minutes later, Rotherham were an inch or two from making it 3-0 when Michael Ihiekwe nodded a Wiles corner against a post.

Moments later, the Millers replaced two-goal Crooks with Dan Barlaser as they prepared to take a freekick, Edwards having been booked for a foul.

As the match moved into its final 10 minutes Rotherham were looking the more likely scorers of the game’s third goal than the Blues.

Georgiou smashed in a low cross from the left in the 83rd minute but it was cleared at the near post. Seconds later Olosunde was replaced by Carlton Morris.

Skuse headed a Georgiou corner from the left wide on 88 but the game had been all but over for some while, even with the referee adding four minutes.

Referee Busby’s whistle was greeted by muted boos after a second disappointing Blues performance and result in a few days and a first home loss since the 1-0 defeat to Swansea in April.

The Blues switched things around at the break, moving into a more orthodox 4-4-2 but conceded Rotherham’s poor second only three minutes after the restart.

From there the Blues huffed and puffed and never seriously threatened the goal which would have brought them back into the game, aside perhaps from Garbutt’s solo run.

The team struggled to adjust to the changed system in the first half, with player literally tripping over one another in midfield at times, while too many put in under par performances. Set pieces were poor and all too often crosses hit the first man.

Peterborough’s 3-0 home victory over Accrington takes them above the Blues and Wycombe on goal difference - all three have 27 points - but with Town having a game in hand on both.

The Blues will be hoping to arrest their sudden slide when they travel to take on second-bottom Southend at Roots Hall on Saturday.

Town: Holy, Chambers (c), Skuse, Wilson, Vincent-Young, Nolan, Huws (Georgiou 59), Rowe (Edwards 67), Garbutt, Jackson, Keane (Norwood 67). Unused: Norris, Judge, Downes, Woolfenden.

Rotherham: Iversen, Jones, Wood (c), Ihiekwe, Mattock, Olosunde (Morris 84), Wiles, Lindsay, Clarke (Ogbene 69), Crooks (Barlaser 79), Smith. Unused: Price, Lamy, Hastie, Ladapo. Referee: John Busby (Oxfordshire). Att: 20,550 (Rotherham: 229).

Photo: TWTD

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Lathers added 21:57 - Oct 23
Sorry Paul, what was it you said after the loss at Accrington? Well your team sure showed us how they would respond tonight...

Saxonblue74 added 21:57 - Oct 23
Too much tinkering by PL, need some consistency for players to get and read each other. Poor individually, collectively and questionable tactically. Still in good shape looking at the table but important to get back to winning ways quickly. Personally I still question postponement of the Wycombe game, should have kept going for momentum in my opinion. Still, keep calm.

Gilesy added 21:58 - Oct 23
Norwich lost 9 the season they went up! Just saying. Chin up!

Bluearmy_81 added 21:58 - Oct 23
Accrington, Rotherham.... thanks Evans. You have turned us into a toiling league 1 side losing to teams who get 5k for home games, tragic. Yet you all seem to have limitless patience with the cause. Baffling.

midastouch added 21:59 - Oct 23
Really poor effort tonight. If we lose away to Southend on Saturday then it really will have been a grim week indeed (as if it wasn't already)! Was hoping to see a big reaction tonight but sadly nowhere to be seen. We need to get things back on track Saturday if not we look in danger of dropping down the league like a stone. Still not down and out but definitely big concerns after the last two games.

ShropshireBluenago09 added 22:00 - Oct 23
Our bubble has burst. But we will recover and we are still joint top with a game in hand.
Now the short term injuries and suspensions are over, we must revert to our best team. Wolf must start in a back 3, Downes is our legs in midfield and Norwood must start every game if fit. 3-5-2.

ITFCsince73 added 22:00 - Oct 23
There seems issues with leadership and drive. There doesn’t appear to be either.
Why isn’t the Woolf starting games....he’s the best central defender we have by a country mile and some??.

oxfordblue added 22:01 - Oct 23
More worrying is we can’t seem to create against these teams 3 efforts tonight 2 in the first 4 minutes

Saxonblue74 added 22:02 - Oct 23
Ffs, 81 is back as soon as something goes wrong! Laughable.

TimmyH added 22:02 - Oct 23
Well that's back to back games we've played really poorly and certainly shades of last season (even the defence looks creaky) and lucky not to concede more. The worst game I've seen Garbutt and KVY play and as for the peripheral squad players in the midfield are just not cutting it for me - tonight the turn of Rowe and Huws. Other than the first few minutes we did not test there goalkeeper at all, worrying signs. Rotherham on the other hand were well organised and seemed fairly strong on the ball.

So as we did not bounce back does this mean we are not a good team Paul?

RobbieBobson added 22:04 - Oct 23
Ok, so now I’m getting concerned. Not so much with the side, but with Mr Lambert. I am really concerned about his choice of formations. On paper, we have by far the strongest squad, full of creative players and a striker that scored 32 goals last year, and we are back to being toothless. Lots of sides are banging 4, 5, 6 goals a game. I am also getting increasingly concerned with the rotation strategy. The players on the field tonight looked like strangers to each other. Lambert needs to find a system and a tam and stick with it. And finally we have the postponements for internationals. Lambert has a rotation strategy so there is NONEED to postpone our games, we have the squad to cope, all it’s achieved is to unsettle the squad. And there there is the problem of only playing for 45 mins. We have not had a ‘90 minute’ performance all season.

There are some serious parallels with last season. I’m really worried

ITFCsince73 added 22:06 - Oct 23
2 points a game gets auto promotion. Well on course with that, so no panic stations.
Hopefully Downes back ASAP.
And KYV and Norwood only just back fit.
Personally would have the Woolf as a starter whenever available. Alongside, dare I say Wilson.
The midfield needs serious attention...from last 2 games anyway.

chopra777 added 22:07 - Oct 23
It looks like Sol Campbell is going to get a winning start on Saturday!!!!!

dirtydingusmagee added 22:07 - Oct 23
Had a nasty feeling tonight was going to be another flop, we just did nothing to turn Sundays poor performance around. Bad performance,bad result. TWO games reminiscent of last season.

planetblue_2011 added 22:09 - Oct 23
Where’s it all gone wrong town. The bubble has burst welcome to league 1.
The 4 players needed from the Accrington game were missed we got two of them back tonight Vincent - Young & Wilson it hasn’t worked again. I blame formation, why hasn’t lambert kept with 3-5-2 with Vincent - Young being back he’s been brilliant at wing back.
Why wasn’t Woolfenden playing it’s ridiculous.
No left winger 2nd half till Georgiou come on & best player.
We had three shots at goal in the first three minutes & done sod all for the rest of the game. Yet again lost against a better team because we are playing so poor.
What has gone wrong in 3 days we loose 2 games???
Lambert needs to get best team out & formation. It is that straight forward.
Very frustrating tonight but hope we turn it around.

bluemay77 added 22:12 - Oct 23
No creativity no spark no ball control no shots on goal very very poor tonight lamberts tactics were wrong again and too many changes rant over roll on Sunday

Saxonblue74 added 22:16 - Oct 23
Just listening to Mick Mills on R.Suffolk. Made the point that we're rotating a squad that played 4 games in the month of September. Questionable.

BobbyPetta11 added 22:17 - Oct 23
We have some serious footballing experts on this page. Yes Two dreadful performances but every side will go through a dip. Let’s all stay calm. Lambert was a king 2 weeks ago while rotating & winning so let’s trust him. We will be right up there come the end of the season.

Bluearmy_81 added 22:22 - Oct 23
You're right, nothing amiss here!! Get your head out of the sand man ffs

Saxonblue74 added 22:22 - Oct 23
Bobbypetta, agree we should stay calm as I do think we'll be up there at the end of the season. I do however question PL's decisions at times, yes we've been winning but never convincing.

ITFCsince73 added 22:23 - Oct 23
The Bish, Sears, Lancs and Morris can’t return soon enough.....hopefully they all do ASAP.
Players such as Edwards, and Nolan will have to up their game massively.
Both had really poor 2 games in a top of the table side. Unfortunately not the only 2.

DebsyAngel added 22:27 - Oct 23
Terrible game, and the referee was horrendous. That tackle in the first half should have been a red card. Garbutt tried but just a terrible performance from the team, they look hungover from Sunday. The team on paper looked so promising as well. Hope we can get back to winning ways on Saturday.

RobsonWark added 22:27 - Oct 23
I said from the start of the season RobbieBobson that rotating your team is not good. PL should always pick his best first eleven (and I don't mean Chambers who once again was at fault for the first goal - but hey ho if he lost both his legs he would still be picked to captain the side!). We have a squad of players that can step in if we lose a player through injury or suspension without upsetting the style of the team. If you constantly changing, the players don't get used to each other and where they expect players to be looking for the ball - buy hey...as some of you said "the fitness coaches know best". Yeah keep them all fit and keep changing the team every week...so we don't have a team!

timkatieadamitfc added 22:28 - Oct 23
Not going to just slate us and lambert but that was a terrible performance,no one played well.Lambert needs to find his best team and stick to it wherever he can and ditch this rotation policy(we looked lost tonight)
Woolfenden to start
Keane not good enough(scoring record tells you that) and sears cant come back quick enough
Huws to start more
Still on the positive side we are joint top

ArnieM added 22:28 - Oct 23
Well that WASNT a surprise frankly.

Too many changes to the team week in week out. Therefore no continuity.

Town have been sussed tactically and personal wise I think . Our players ( no doubt skilful), but have a soft underbelly- and opponents now know that to get at us all they have to do is rough us up. Rotherham game plan was clear as day and for all to see in the game.

1) Hunt in packs , three of them to any Town player on the ball : it worked.
2) Cynically take out any creative Town player on the ball( KVY, Huws): it worked
3) Nick a goal ( they hit two), and then time waste : which frustrates Town players, the crowd , and most importantly breaks up any momentum we may have had : it worked.

Throw into that mix a complete tossa of a ref, totally bereft of any guys to book Rotherham’s players for their cynical tackles and the game plan is complete .

Problem is ALL League one sides now know how to stop us . That’s two games on the trot now . Prepare for more I suspect . And to those expecting an “ easy game” Saturday vs Sarfend. Think again. It’s backs to the wall performance by them , and I doubt we’ll get a shot on goal again.

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