Southend United 0-1 Ipswich Town - Half-Time
Saturday, 26th Oct 2019 16:02
James Norwood’s seventh-minute goal has given Town a 1-0 half-time lead over Southend at Roots Hall.
Boss Paul Lambert made five changes for the second game running with Will Norris handed his Blues league debut in goal.
Tomas Holy dropped to the bench, while Luke Woolfenden was back at the centre of the defence alongside skipper Luke Chambers in a 4-4-2 system. Kane Vincent-Young and Luke Garbutt were the full-backs.
Flynn Downes returned to the midfield after his hip injury alongside Cole Skuse with Gwion Edwards on the left and Danny Rowe on the right.
Norwood was back up front alongside Kayden Jackson. In addition to Holy, James Wilson, Jon Nolan, Emyr Huws and Will Keane all moved to the bench having started the 2-0 defeat to Rotherham in the week.
Southend, with new manager Sol Campbell and assistant coach Blues legend Hermann Hreidarsson in charge of the first time, made three changes from the team which lost 7-1 at home to Doncaster in midweek.
Rob Kiernan and Stephen Humphrys come in for the suspended Ethan Hamilton and Stephen McLaughlin, while keeper Mark Oxley returned in place of Nathan Bishop. They started in a 3-4-1-2 system.
Ex-Blues midfielder Luke Hyam was on the bench, while one-time Town academy schoolboy Nathan Ralph starts.
Home fans thought they’d witnessed the first goal of the Campbell era in only the fourth minute when Kiernan headed Hutchinson’s freekick from the right past Norris, however, the linesman’s flag had been raised.
But four minutes later, the Blues, wearing their Barcelona-esque away kit, took the lead with their first serious attack. Jackson deftly turned a long ball forward into the path of Norwood in between the defenders and keeper, and the Blues’ number 10 was first to it and slipped it past Oxley to his right.
The former Tranmere man celebrated his sixth goal of the campaign, and his first since the Shrewsbury match in August seven games ago. Online, another of the striker’s wrestling celebrations was unleashed.
Downes was booked for a foul on Tom Hopper on halfway in the 10th minute. The midfielder will now miss the Rochdale game in 10 days’ time as he has amassed five yellow cards already this season.
There was a scare for the Blues in the 15th minute when Elvis Bwomono sent over a low ball which Hopper and Humphrys were unable to reach.
A minute later, there was a mix-up between Oxley and two of his defenders just outside the area and the ball was mis-cleared to Rowe 35 yards out. However, the winger scuffed his effort at goal well wide.
Rowe went closer in the 21st minute, cutting on to his left foot on the edge of the box and hitting a low shot which Oxley claimed at the second attempt.
Town were forced into a change in the 28th minute when Skuse, who had received treatment a few minutes earlier, was replaced by Nolan.
Nolan immediately made an impact, the sub hitting a low shot from distance just after the half hour which Oxley saved but couldn’t hold. Jackson was first to the loose ball but was only able to smash it against the keeper and the danger was cleared.
Norwood stuck an effort on the turn from a Norris long kick in the 34th minute but he was too far out to seriously test the keeper.
On 38 Humphrys joined Downes in the referee’s book for a late challenge on Edwards.
Two minutes before the scheduled end of the half, Jackson saw a shot deflected wide. From the corner, Woolfenden’s header was nodded out by Hopper.
Town went even closer from the subsequent flag-kick, again sent in by Garbutt. Norwood headed powerfully into the six-yard box from beyond the far post and Chambers nodded wide.
The Blues had dominated the final minutes of the half and might have added to their lead.
After the early scare of the disallowed goal, Town got their noses in front and were largely comfortable from there without playing particularly fluidly in a game which was a typical League One battle for the most part.
Southend had rarely looked like getting on terms and another Town goal in the second half ought to seal the three points for the Blues.
Southend: Oxley, Kiernan, Dieng, Shaughnessy, Bwomono, Milligan, Hutchinson, Ralph, Cox, Hopper, Humphrys. Subs: Bishop, Hyam, Goodship, Demetriou, Taylor, Acquah, Rush.
Town: Norris, Vincent-Young, Woolfenden, Chambers (c), Garbutt, Skuse (Nolan 28), Downes, Rowe, Edwards, Norwood, Jackson. Subs: Holy, Wilson, Judge, Georgiou, Huws, Keane. Referee: Andy Davies (Hampshire).
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