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Coventry City 1 v 1 Ipswich Town
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 7th December 2019 Kick-off 15:00
Coventry City 1-1 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 7th Dec 2019 17:17

Town and Coventry drew 1-1 at St Andrew’s for the second time in seven days in a game of two halves. Will Keane gave the Blues a deserved lead on 31 in a first half in which Town should have scored more but Max Biamou equalised for the Sky Blues on 56 in a period the Midlanders dominated.

Manager Paul Lambert made only one change from the team which drew 1-1 with the Sky Blues in the FA Cup last Sunday, although six from the Blues' last League One outing, the 0-0 home draw with Wycombe at the end of last month.

However, Town were without skipper Luke Chambers due to a neck problem, which is only expected to sideline him for a few days, while Cole Skuse, who suffered a hip problem at Peterborough on Wednesday, was on the bench.

Gwion Edwards came in for Danny Rowe on the right of the front three with the former Macclesfield man out with a knee injury, also not believed to be serious. Alan Judge was on the left with Keane the lone central striker with James Norwood suspended.

Flynn Downes again skippered from central midfield alongside Jon Nolan and Andre Dozzell, while Janoi Donacien and Luke Garbutt were the full-backs and James Wilson and Luke Woolfenden the centre-halves.

Forward Callum O’Hare, who scored Coventry’s late equaliser last week, and striker Amadou Bakayoko started for the home side, while striker Matty Godden was on the bench after injury.

The Sky Blues had the better of the opening minutes and on five Bakayoko was found in space breaking into the area but Nolan made a superb challenge to stop him in his tracks and Edwards cleared the danger.

Two minutes later, the former Shrewsbury man came close to opening the scoring. After good work from Dozzell, Judge whipped in a cross from the right and Nolan got his head to it at the near post eight yards out, but couldn’t get enough on it and it flew across the face of goal.

As last week, Town were passing it out from the back and, with Dozzell and Downes increasingly influential as the game reached the quarter-hour mark, were enjoying long spells of possession, however, without turning them into another chance until the 25th minute when Judge came close to his second goal of the season.

A slick move which started with keeper Norris and built from there, ended with Nolan sending Edwards away down the right with Judge breaking down the middle. The Welshman’s cross-shot was awkward for the Irish international at the far post and he was only able to scrape it wide as he collided with the woodwork.

Had Judge scored, it would have been a team goal up there with Kane Vincent-Young’s at Gillingham earlier in the season.

Town continued to see most of the ball with possession quickly won back after it had been lost. On 28 Downes hit a shot from just outside the area which appeared to hit a defender a deflect well wide but referee Darren Drysdale gave a goalkick.

And three minutes later, the Blues got the goal their performance deserved. A short corner on the left was returned to Judge by Dozzell, the Irishman looped in a cross and Keane climbed highest to power his first league goal of the season and his second against Coventry in successive weeks into the corner of the net.

In the 34th minute Keane almost scored again. Garbutt sent over a corner from the right and the former Manchester United man once more rose highest to head against the post. A Coventry defender cleared the loose ball.

Town continued to dominate with Coventry struggling to see anything of the ball. On 42, the excellent Keane swept the ball wide to the right and eventually Judge sent over a deep cross to the edge of the box which Garbutt volleyed back across goal and only just wide.

The Sky Blues, who had just swapped the injured Dom Hyam for Jordan Shipley, went close for the first time soon afterwards when Zain Westbrooke found O’Hare unmarked with a freekick in from the left but the on-loan Aston Villa man’s header was too high.

Just before the break, Judge was fouled on the left and rather wasted the freekick and left the field feeling his left wrist, which he broke early in the summer when away with the Republic of Ireland, although didn’t appear unduly concerned.

Town were applauded off at half-time after as good a 45 minutes as they’d put in for a while.

Following a slow start, the Blues had kept hold of the ball and passed it around with confidence and might well have gone in with more than their single goal lead with Nolan, Keane, Judge and Garbutt all going close.

Keane deserved his goal for his display, while midfield trio Downes, Nolan and Dozzell were well on top of their Coventry counterparts and the Blues backline had rarely been troubled with Norris largely a spectator.

The Sky Blues began the second period on the front foot and Norris was forced into his first serious save in the 53rd minute.

After good work from Bakayoko, sub Shipley unleashed a powerful strike which the Town keeper batted into the air. Biamou following up was only able to bundle it behind.

Coventry had played all the football since the break, with the Blues looking like a totally different team to the one in the first half, and in the 56th minute they deservedly levelled.

Sky Blues skipper Liam Kelly played a clever ball into the path of Biamou and the Frenchman struck a shot across Norris and into the corner of the net.

On the hour, a clash between Edwards and Sam McCallum led to a bout of handbags on the touchline involving everyone on both teams, including the keepers and some of the subs.

Eventually, once order was restored, the Welshman and Coventry sub Gervane Kastaneer - whose unnecessary involvement had escalated the clash - were shown yellow cards. Referee Drysdale and his assistants seemed to be unsure of the identity of the Sky Blues player involved initially and McCallum escaped censure.

The game was increasingly open with the Blues briefly showing signs of getting back on top in the 66th minute when Edwards made a strong run down the right and fed Judge, but the Irishman’s cross into Keane’s path was blocked.

Soon after, Judge and Edwards made way for Kayden Jackson, who became a father earlier in the week, and Skuse. The Blues went into a midfield diamond with Skuse at the deepest point and Dozzell the most advanced.

The Sky Blues were within an inch or so from taking the lead in the 69th minute when last week’s last-gasp goal hero O’Hare struck a first time effort which looped over Norris but hit the top of the bar. Wilson cleared the danger with a header.

But the Sky Blues maintained the pressure with Norris coming off his line quickly to clear a through ball, then from Kelly’s corner on the right Biamou headed past the far post.

Woolfenden was booked for a foul on Biamou after he had got away from him on halfway in the 76th minute with Town giving the ball away too easily and making too many mistakes.

A minute later, a Jackson cross from the left was cut out ahead of Keane, then Coventry broke up the other end but the ball was overhit through to Norris. On 79 Jamie Allen took over from Westbrooke for the Sky Blues.

Bakayoko shot through to Norris in the 80th minute after Woolfenden’s clearance had found him 30 yards out in space with Coventry looking the more likely scorers of the game’s third goal.

On 85 an unmarked Kyle McFadzean headed straight at Norris from a corner. The Blues broke immediately but Nolan’s cross looped behind.

Town had their best chance of the half in the 87th minute when Skuse looped a cross from deep on the right towards Keane at the far post but the striker lost his footing as he prepared to strike first time on the half-volley.

Jackson was booked for a foul on Fankaty Dabo in the second of six additional minutes, then Coventry swapped Biamou for Godden.

A minute or so before the whistle, sub Allen hit a shot just wide from the edge of the box but this week there was to be no late drama at St Andrew’s.

It had been the archetypal game of two halves with the Blues well on top in the first half and Coventry much the better side in the second.

Town should have had more than just Keane’s goal to show for their first-half display while the Sky Blues will feel they might have scored more than just the once after the break.

The Blues never looked like replicating the controlled and composed passing which had characterised their first-half display in the second period, showing little patience on the ball with Coventry the ones keeping possession and creating the opportunities.

Overall, a draw was a fair result with the Blues now four points behind Wycombe, who didn’t play today, with a game in hand. Third-placed Peterborough drew 2-2 at Portsmouth.

Following Tuesday’s third game in 10 days against the Sky Blues at Portman Road, the second round FA Cup replay, Town host Bristol Rovers in League One.

Coventry: Marosi, Dabo, McCallum, Hyam (Shipley 44), McFadzean, Rose, Kelly, Westbrooke (Allen 79), O’Hare, Bakayoko, Biamou (Godden 90). Unused: Wilson, Hiwula, Kasteneer, Drysdale.

Town: Norris, Donacien, Woolfenden, Wilson, Garbutt, Dozzell, Downes, Nolan, Edwards (Skuse 67), Judge (Jackson 67), Keane. Unused: Holy, El Mizouni, Kenlock, Dobra, Georgiou. Referee: Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire). Att: 8,085 (Town: 2,097).

Photo: TWTD

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midastouch added 17:18 - Dec 7
How is that we can look like Barcelona for 45 mins and then play like Bolton for the next 45? A+ for the first half, D- for the second! That's been the story of our season, i.e. very good in one half, not nearly so good in the other. If we don't start joining our first and second half performances together then it's Play Offs 'ere we come or possibly even worse. Plenty of positives to be taken from the first half but so frustrating to see it undone second half. I'm never confident with a slender one goal lead. If we're going to get promoted we need to be far more clinical.

DJpatrovers1 added 17:21 - Dec 7
Game of 2 halves really, disappointing 2nd half having played so well for the first 45. Am I right in saying it’s 5 draws in league on the bounce now? Need to turn some of these into wins in what is going to be a tough month..

warwickblue added 17:22 - Dec 7
A point away from home is fair enough as long as we win the vast majority of our remaining home games.

TimmyH added 17:22 - Dec 7
Well kel surprise! another draw which I'm starting to find a bit tedious currently but in the grand scheme of things we haven't hurt ourselves too much league wise. Even less surprising though is that you knew what was coming after a comfortable 1st half looking the better side...and for the not the first time this season and probably not the last I find myself saying when are we going to play a majority of a game well?...happy with where we find ourselves in the league so far but less so with performances. Lucky point today.

grow_our_own added 17:23 - Dec 7
Jackson should have passed to Keane for winner in 76th minute. Greedy git. Squad harmony?

dirtydingusmagee added 17:24 - Dec 7
good performance first 45 but as usual we cant do 90. Unless that changes and we get a real striker we will be going nowhere. As i predicted the games in hand are being whittled away and are counting for nothing . form table sows it all . NOT GOOD ENOUGH sorry .

runningout added 17:25 - Dec 7
We’re getting there Slowly!!

martin587 added 17:33 - Dec 7
We were excellent in the first half but just what happened in the second half. One worth while shot on target which resulted in a goal.Not one shot in the second.For me this problem needs addressing sooner rather than later as the squad we have is far better than most teams in this league but we are still not firing on all cylinders and it’s worrying.Ok we are still four points ahead with a game in hand but if we keep dropping points we will loose ground.Getting promotion is paramount forget the cups.🙁

TimmyH added 17:33 - Dec 7
6 of the last 8 have been drawn (including FA Cup ties) and even one of them which we didn't draw was an injury time winner...draws really prove that we're not playing poorly nor well just sporadically a bit of both, generally from one half to another as some of the posts above allude to. Surely Mr Lambert must have the answer to that...really strange and maybe not being able to change how the team plays unless he gets them into the dressing room.

heathen66 added 17:33 - Dec 7
2 shots on target in 3 games is not good enough
I think we need to go back to what we were doing earlier in the season
One up top and limited width does not work.
I think all the chopping and changing is helping no one.
Let us get back to 4-4-2 with genuine wide men.
However on going behind why put on the second striker, but then take off the wide men who will create chances. Bringing on Skuse shows very little intention to win the game.
Surely Dobra, Georgiou or El Mizouni would have been better ???

Hats off to the away fans yet again !!!

cat added 17:39 - Dec 7
It’s a game of 2 halves Town, something we clearly ain’t mastered this season. Whilst a draw away from home is generally considered a good result, going one up against an average league 1 side and letting them back in the game is disappointing. We need to improve at home and we’re drawing to many games, let’s hope the wheels ain’t coming loose.

Saxonblue74 added 17:43 - Dec 7
Played half the match yet again. No shots on goal in the second half, really not good.

Karlosfandangal added 17:45 - Dec 7
Still only lost 3games all season. But back to scoring only 1 a game.
Let’s hope the teams around us start to get injured players and we have the strength in depth to start winning

dukey44 added 17:55 - Dec 7
Very poor... Lambert stop changing the team for gods sake....

londontractorboy57 added 17:56 - Dec 7
Bring back MM at least the TWTD site was l.ively 🤣 then

Nobbysnuts added 18:07 - Dec 7
Same old story. Decent first half and diabolical 2nd. From my point of view when the opposition change their shape during a game paul lambert seems like a rabbit caught in headlights and has no answer.

TimmyH added 18:10 - Dec 7
Exactly @Nobbysnuts...he either gets it right before the game kicks off or doesn't but during the game is unable to change things (it appears).

Foreverdon_Blue added 18:18 - Dec 7
The most important thing is not to lose against the teams around you. We are 4 points clear of 3rd place with a game in hand - I personally don’t think that is too bad!!

dirtydingusmagee added 18:29 - Dec 7
Londontractorboy57 OUT .

SickParrot added 18:34 - Dec 7
45 mins without an attempt at goal is embarrasing. Too many draws at present, because we are not clinical enough in the half that we play well in. We must play 2 up front every game (Norwood and Jackson, if fit) and it is time for Norwood to step up. Given the number of attempts at goal he has, he should be scoring more goals. I also think we need to sign a creative midfielder in Jan. Unless we can start playing for 90 mins instead of 45, create more good goal scoring opportunities and be more clinical in front of goal, its playoffs at best.

therein61 added 18:42 - Dec 7
We need to start(we have the squad) beating those around us to send out a message, most importantly we seem to have stopped playing when 1 up and that is worrying the game lasts for 90+ minutes, bringing Skuse on was ridiculous.

planetblue_2011 added 18:45 - Dec 7
Not good enough second half after a great first half where we should of been out of sight.
Match of two halves which seems to be Ipswich’s season so far. 2 or 3 players needed in January I think or we won’t make top 2. Hand it to Coventry 2nd half they are a good side in league one & a point is probably ok but town are so frustrating after playing really well to So poor. Plus we can’t score more than one goal at the minute for some reason. Frustrating times we need to sort it out!!!

tractorboybig added 18:46 - Dec 7
So super mouth has sent the boy to explain. But in PL we trust.180 minutes of mickey mouse football and two shots on goal????????

Suffolkboy added 18:47 - Dec 7
Can’t go by stats alone ,but goals win matches AND we don’t match up !!
It seems generally chances are created but no one can , or is available/ well placed to take them : WHY ?
Team co- ordination in the box, or last third MUST be improved but I’m certain the coaches are just as aware as we supporters .
The earlier point about Norwood - and others - actually putting the ball in the net is well made : that’s essentially what they’re paid to do ; they should stop falling short and concentrate a little harder .How does PL tackle this shortcoming ?
Much appears satisfactory ,progress is evident but we are all anxious to see this consolidated by points on the board !
COYB , digitum extractum please !

BettyBlue added 19:17 - Dec 7
How on earth does Lambert think we are getting out of this league playing one up front who is a 4 goal a career free signing.
What's the point of the having the players fresh and playing one game a fortnight if they don't recognize their team mates.
Isn't playing for 1-0 every game from the Mick McCarthy/ George Graham playbook? Isn't that looking a bit out of date compared to Peterborough and Wycombe? Why are we wearing a Barcelona strip when we play such negative football.
We aren't getting out of this league with the current strategy. But then Paul is another Mick McCarthy. Stubborn as hell.

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