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Ipswich Town 2-2 Blackpool - Match Report
Saturday, 23rd Nov 2019 17:16

Town’s post-international break blues continued after they were held to a 2-2 home draw by Blackpool. The Blues, who have now not won a league game after an international break for 22 matches stretching back to September 2014, went in front on eight via Gwion Edwards but the Tangerines levelled through Joe Nuttall on 22. Blackpool took the lead from a disputed penalty converted by Jay Spearing eight minutes after the restart but Luke Garbutt equalised for Town, also from the spot, on 58.

The Blues were without right-back Kane Vincent-Young, who was touch and go for the game following his recent groin operation, and striker James Norwood, who has also picked up a knock.

Will Norris returned in goal with Janoi Donacien making his first League One appearance since August at right-back. Luke Garbutt was at left-back with skipper Luke Chambers and Luke Woolfenden the centre-halves.

In midfield, Cole Skuse was joined by Flynn Downes and Jon Nolan, while Gwion Edwards and Danny Rowe were either side of lone central striker Kayden Jackson.

For Blackpool, who went into the game fifth in the table, Joe Nuttall replaced 12-goal top scorer Armand Gnanduillet, who was injured. Ex-Blues loanee Liam Feeney started and Town’s summer-of-2018 target Curtis Tilt was on the bench.

The Blues started brightly and went close in the third minute when Rowe, playing on the left of the front three, picked up a loose ball midway inside the Tangerines’ half and brought it into the box, cut on to his right foot but scuffed his shot wide.

Within a minute, Blackpool won a freekick five yards outside the Town area to the left. Sullay Kaikai hit a well-struck shot which Norris did well to save down to his right and push away from danger.

On six, Jackson played in on the right of the area and cut a cross towards Nolan but a defender’s toe took it away from the midfielder.

But Blues fans only had two more minutes to wait for a goal. Donacien sent over a deep, looping cross from the right and Garbutt headed it down to Jackson with his back to goal. The ball was stabbed away from the striker but straight to Edwards, who gleefully smashed his second goal of the season from a matter of feet.

However, Town’s lead lasted only 14 minutes with Blackpool having seen an increasing share of the ball.

Following a Blues corner and after Skuse, Downes and a Blackpool player had collided midway inside the visitors’ half - and with the Bristolian down having clearly been caught on the head by a boot - Blackpool broke quickly.

Calum MacDonald got round the outside of Chambers and sent over a cross, Nuttall’s header was blocked but the loose ball fell kindly for him and he smashed into the net to level.

On the touchline, Blues boss Paul Lambert and the Tangerines’ staff clashed, presumably due to Town annoyance that the referee hadn’t stopped the game due to the head injury. Skuse subsequently received treatment on the pitch before being able to continue.

The Blues began to see more of the ball and on 33, Edwards was teed-up inside the area but his shot was blocked. Skuse sprayed the ball back out to Jackson on the right but his effort from a tight angle flew high and wide.

Blackpool went closer a minute later when Feeney broke down the right. The former Town loanee’s first cross was superbly blocked by Chambers but he played the loose ball back in to Kaikai, who hit a powerfully-struck effort which Norris did well to bat away from goal and out for a corner.

Neither side seriously threatened again before the half-time whistle. After making a positive start and scoring the early goal, the Blues had never really controlled game and been unable to maintain that impetus.

Blackpool had started to get on top prior to their goal - even if Town might have had a legitimate claim that the referee should have stopped play - and had been a threat when breaking on either flank and had looked more likely to grab the game’s third goal.

As has often been the case this season, and as they have successfully managed to do on a number of occasions, the Blues needed to up their game in the second half.

Two minutes after the restart, Donacien tricked his way past his man on the right and sent over a deep cross which Edwards, by now on the right flank, headed against the back of a defender at the far post. The Welshman claimed it had struck a hand but referee Stephen Martin wasn’t interested.

On 49, a clever freekick from the Blues midway inside the Blackpool half saw Garbutt turn a cross to the far post but Woolfenden was just unable to direct his header back across goal and the ball went out.

Town had made a strong start to the second half but in the 52nd minute the visitors were awarded a penalty as they made their first attack since the break.

Kaikai took the ball beyond Chambers on the right of the area and, with the ball appearing on its way out of play, took a tumble. Much to the anger of the Blues players and support, referee Martin pointed to the spot on the advice of his assistant.

Keeper Norris ran over to the assistant to remonstrate but to no avail and subsequently Jay Spearing beat the on-loan Wolves man to his right from the spot, although only just, as boos rang around Portman Road.

Five minutes after the Blackpool penalty, the Blues were awarded one of their own. Following a Garbutt corner corner, a Tangerines player handled as Chambers challenged for the ball and referee Martin this time made his own decision.

Garbutt was handed the ball in regular taker Norwood’s absence, and with Jackson having missed at Fleetwood, and hit a low strike to visitors’ keeper Jak Alnwick’s right and into the corner of the net.

Both sides made changes as the game reached the 65-minute mark. The Lancastrians switched Matty Virtue for Oliver Turton and MacDonald for Callum Guy, both substitutions made in a very leisurely manner, and Town swapped Rowe for Anthony Georgiou.

Having got back on terms, Town and the home crowd were very much on the up. On 67 Woolfenden saw an effort blocked at the far post in the aftermath of a corner, by a hand according to the Sir Bobby Robson Stand, then moments later, the centre-half’s header was turned on towards goal by Jackson from the edge of the six-yard box but Spearing cleared off the line, although with the fans behind the goal feeling it had gone over.

Ryan Edwards was booked for a foul on Nolan as Town counter-attacked on 69 with the Blues in control of the game and passing the ball with far greater fluidity than in the first half.

On 73, Woolfenden, impressive at both ends of the field, cut in from the right and sent over a low ball which Jackson flicked to Alnwick at the near post.

Blackpool twice threatened from corners as the match moved towards its final 15 minutes, Norris claiming headers Ryan Edwards. But the Blues soon began to press again at the other end.

In the 84th minute, the visitors withdrew Kaikai for Jordan Thompson, then a minute later Town made a double change, Edwards and Downes making way for Alan Judge and Will Keane.

In the final minute of scheduled time, Spearing was book for a foul on Jackson as the striker burst towards the box. Blackpool repelled Garbutt’s ball into the area, then Judge’s subsequent cross.

But with the fourth official’s board indicating four additional minutes, the Blues kept up the pressure.

Sub Judge almost netted his second goal in four days when he flicked Nolan’s cross towards the corner of the net, but Alnwick did brilliantly to get across to his left to turn it past the post.

But despite the late pressure, the Blues were unable to find a winner and once again they had been unable to win their first league game after an international break.

Town were much better in the second half, although suffered the setback of the penalty which looked very much a spotkick won rather than conceded.

The Blues showed character to respond and win the penalty of their own and thereafter pressed for a third goal and were unlucky to have had Jackson’s effort cleared off the line.

The draw and Wycombe’s 1-0 last-gasp home win over Doncaster sees the Blues stay second but now five points behind the Chairboys, who are at Portman Road on Tuesday for a top-versus-second clash, the Buckinghamshire side’s first ever visit to Town.

Town: Norris, Donacien, Chambers (c), Woolfenden, Garbutt, Edwards (Judge 84), Skuse, Downes (Keane 84), Rowe (Georgiou 65), Nolan, Jackson. Unused: Holy, Dozzell, Huws, Wilson.

Blackpool: Alnwick, Edwards, Heneghan, Delfouneso, Spearing (c), Kaikai (thompson 84), Feeney, Virtue (Guy 65), Nuttall, Husband, MacDonald (Turton 65). Unused: Sims, Hardie, Scannell, Tilt. Referee: Stephen Martin (Staffordshire). Att: 19,503 (Blackpool: 498).

Photo: TWTD

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martin587 added 17:26 - Nov 23
We must win our home games and MUST play two up front especially at home.Nothing more to add apart from being very disappointed with the result.

ShropshireBluenago09 added 17:29 - Nov 23
Considering we lost Nors and still without KVY, this was a good result against a good Blackpool side.
Like most, I'm annoyed that we didn't have 2 up top and Keane should have started the game IMO. Take him off at 1/2 time or 60 mins if he's struggling.
Football is fine lines.Had we scored the goal cleared off the line and Wycombe remained at 0-0, we would be 1 pt behind Wycombe with 2 games in hand. Posh and Rotherham also won very late in their games.
Some crucial games to come in dec and hopefully a fully fit Norwood and KVY.

oldbri added 17:35 - Nov 23
We played One up front in case Jackson got injured acCording to Mick Mills. Really, we are at home . Not a lot of ambition then.

Bluearmy_81 added 17:36 - Nov 23
Must win our home games to finish top 2. Missing 2 players showed how thin in depth our squad is. Evans needs to invest properly in January but probably won't. Town fans will be fine with that and give him another 9 years, pressure free... 🙄🤦‍♂️

DurhamTownFan added 17:40 - Nov 23
Wasn’t at the game but my heart always drops when I see we’re playing only one striker. Can’t do anything about injuries but is Keane actually worth having? Or why not play judge in behind after his confidence boost mid-week? This constant tinkering is halting any chance to build momentum.

A long season, I’m sure, but things will start to look dodgy if we lose to Wycombe!!

dirtydingusmagee added 17:41 - Nov 23
i honestly dont think we are going to finish top two, we just arent convincing ,One up front is a waste of time. Jackson is hardly lethal , I dont want to be negative but i feel we are very fortunate to be in 2nd place,and i dont take comfort from games in hand,rather have points on the board.On paper we have a decent squad but we are not blazing a trail.

ringwoodblue added 17:57 - Nov 23
Probably lucky to get a point in the end. Jackson was very isolated.

The chasing pack are getting closer and Wycombe have opened up a good lead on us. I’d rather have points on the board rather than games in hand.

Hope Norwood’s injury lay-off is a short one and KVY is back on Tue. What a crucial game Tue is going to be.

EssexTractor added 17:58 - Nov 23
Paul Lambert has advised one target, promotion..not truthfully interested in Cup matches other than to give others a run out.
But this season we are not performing at home as a Promtotion seeking team..and although our away points are impressive so far, are we really going to get away with more 1.0 victories.?
Do we have the best squad in League, some say yes , ..? Is that really so?
We do have very many who have worn a first team shirt but we do now need to field the most experienced and in form players in ALL matches to maintain continuity AND I would say that if Mr Evans and Mr Lambert truly want promotion then new players have to be found in January.
For despite this " strength" in numbers ( and quality?) I am unconvinced.
Certainly a striker..and a proper driving forward strong " captain" like midfielder.
We cannot cannot play one up front...sympathy to Jackson ....
We had waited almost three weeks for today to arrive and only in spells we were on top...how many saves did their keeper make?
On the plus side Donacien played his best match for Town, Downes showed grit ( but tired) and Woolfenden was today's Man of The Match.

heathen66 added 17:59 - Nov 23
Many on here talk about Nsiala as a disaster waiting to happen but Chambers is a player where disasters keep happening..but always plays.
The game itself was quite entertaining, with Nolan, Downes and Donacien the stars. Yes it is not a spelling mistake...Donacien played really well...again, but I don't suppose many people want to hear that.
The officials tried theie best again to spoil that and I believe a draw was a fair result.
We cannot however play with one up top as the 5 across the middle need to be more supportive, and it really is no use hoofing the ball up hopeful something will break our way.
Skuse was as ineffective as I can remember and what Huws needs to do to get a game I do not know. Some will say he does the things you don't notice, but that boils down to be very little, strolling around pointing, trying not to get too involved.
Would like to see Wilson and Woolfenden plus Huws and Downes given a chance (and not just a single game here and there in the un-interested trophy) These are the future and the present!!!

Bluearmy_81 added 18:01 - Nov 23
Just 'Evans' please. After what he's done to my club he doesn't deserve a 'Mr.'

jas0999 added 18:07 - Nov 23
Very average. After resting so many players for weeks, we really should have performed better in this game. With Will Keane still struggling for fitness (despite being late November!), Sears out for a while and Norwood missing games we really do look light up front. We need a new striker in January.

Overall, no denying this was a very fair result, but with just three home wins this season, we will need to improve if promotion is to be realised.

Entertaining game though.

grinch added 18:11 - Nov 23
Entertaining game and don't think a draw was a fair result think we bossesd for large periods and deserved a win. Skuse was doing what he does in getting all the second balls he should get more plaudits Jackson ran his heart out. Donacien was ok but does not overlap enough Downes was quiet as was Rowe we have played worse than today and won lets see how mid week game goes least the players are fresh

WhoisJimmyJuan added 18:16 - Nov 23
Simply MUST not lose on Tuesday. We have lost a lot of early season momentum and just aren't performing for a full 90 minutes. The large squad we have may yet be the telling factor later in the season, in which case Lambo's rotation policy will be vindicated. But only automatic promotion will do and I'm getting a little anxious too!

Walk_the_Wark added 18:17 - Nov 23
Knew we wouldn't win when I saw Jackson alone up front.... I am confident we will win (even with Calamity) when all three of KVY, Norwood and Downes start. Not when even one of them doesn't

Skip73 added 18:22 - Nov 23
Did anybody expect any better after resting the first team squad for so long?

DebsyAngel added 18:28 - Nov 23
Not a bad game but we should have won - that ball was over the line. As much as I hate VAR I wished we had it at that point!

cat added 18:31 - Nov 23
Decent game with a very disappointing result. From my point of view Lambert has undone a lot of his good work with his fan disrespecting cup selections, somewhat questionable rotation policy and his love of one of front, when clearly results have suggested two works better. Okay, so no one on here knows more than Lambert, but it’s all about opinions, something the bunch of “see no evil....” do gooding brigade cant seem to get their ‘anti negative’ heads around. Arrrrrrrrrrrr!

Nobbysnuts added 18:34 - Nov 23
Poor result. When I realized we had one up front my head just dropped. I knew we wouldn't win. Disappointed is an understatement. Get ready for the playoffs. Games in hand mean nothing. I'd rather be in wycombe's position. That game is now massive. Either 2 points behind or 8 if someone wins.

TimmyH added 18:37 - Nov 23
Generally unconvincing from us in my opinion, we seemed to play in fits and starts but some of that you have to credit Blackpool for who looked a threat on the break at times particularly first half.
Still too many 'squad' players who are getting regular starts not doing enough for me in games i.e. Edwards although scored did little else, Nolan fairly quiet creatively and Rowe whom puts the effort in to beat players but final balls and crosses of little quality, also Garbutt playing at left back makes him far less influential as he was earlier in the season.

Not a bad result but not a good one just expecting a bit more after the break... by the way I was in the Cobbold looking down on the goal and the ball crossed the line by 6 inches or so but saying that a draw probably about right.

jeddy added 18:43 - Nov 23
I agree with some posts above and from where I sat in the Cobbold the ball looked well over the line. I would like to see that again.

Bildestoned added 18:57 - Nov 23
‘.... Wilson and Woolfenden plus Huws and Downes given a chance...’???? Heathen66 was I at a different game? Woolfenden started the game as did Downes who is surely pretty much a fixture in the 1st team squad. Or was I at a different game? Donacien was great as callers to Suffolk BBC confirmed. No issue hearing that.

ITFCsince73 added 19:04 - Nov 23
I thought Woolf and Downes were fantastic, considering age.

heathen66 added 19:27 - Nov 23
Sorry Bildestoned
I am taking about getting away from 'who will partner Chambers at the back' and 'who will partner Skuse in midfield'.
We need to give the different partnerships a chance...for now and for the future.
Both of these should be dominating in this division !!!

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 19:46 - Nov 23
Thought the game was a pretty good pointer as to where we are in this league. We played quite well (for this level) and had a couple of dodgy decisions go against us, but we couldn’t dominate an above average but by no means exceptional opponent. Today, we probably deserved to win; we’ve certainly won playing worse, but now we’re in a patch of meeting better teams. Nervous about Tuesday doesn’t begin to describe it, but Wycombe have to lose at some point, so let’s hope we can oblige. PL has told us this is a difficult league. I’m certainly not going to argue! COYB!

ITFCsince73 added 19:46 - Nov 23
HH66. Chambo and Skuse will be 1st names on the team sheet for this season and next.
Regardless of division or manager.
Hopefully then the future can start.

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