Ipswich Town 4-1 Accrington Stanley - Match Report
Saturday, 11th Jan 2020 17:10
Goals from Kayden Jackson, James Norwood, Alan Judge and Will Keane saw Town to a 4-1 victory over Accrington Stanley at Portman Road, ending their eight-game League One winless run. Jackson finished a fine move from close range on 12, Norwood deftly chipped the second in the 29th minute and Judge scored his first Town league goal a minute before half-time to give the Blues' a 3-0 lead at the break. Sub Offrande Zanzala netted a late penalty consolation for the visitors before Keane celebrated his birthday by making it 4-1 in injury time.
Boss Paul Lambert named the same team which drew 1-1 at leaders Wycombe on New Year's Day with Will Norris in goal, skipper Luke Chambers, James Wilson and Luke Woolfenden the back three and Gwion Edwards and Luke Garbutt the wing-backs.
In central midfield, Flynn Downes was joined by Emyr Huws with Judge ahead of them behind strike pair Jackson and Norwood.
Accrington, who beat Town 2-0 at the Wham Stadium in October, made three changes from the team which beat Fleetwood on penalties in the Leasing.com Trophy on Tuesday with Mark Hughes, Colby Bishop and Wilson Carvalho starting, while Aji Alese, Ben Barclay and Zanzala dropped to the bench.
Town, looking to end their 12-game all-competitions winless run, started brightly with Jackson making a promising third minute run into the box. However, the former Accrington striker was forced wide and his cross was diverted behind. The resultant corner fell loose in the area but was cleared.
On nine Edwards whipped over a cross from the right which Callum Johnson nodded away ahead of Norwood at the far post.
A minute later Stanley, who have become something of a bogey side for the Blues over the last couple of seasons, made their first foray into the Town box but Joe Pritchard went to ground very easily in the box.
But it had mainly been the Blues, with 105 Fortuna Düsseldorf fans giving them their backing from the Cobbold Stand, and in the 12th minute they went in front. Garbutt played a clever pass in behind the Accrington left-back and overlapping centre-half Woolfenden cut across to Jackson, who stabbed home from a few feet out against his old club.
The striker was delighted to net his eighth of the season and end a 12-game goal drought, his last having come at Southend in October.
Two minutes later, it might have been 2-0, Norwood failing to make a connection when well placed after Edwards had knocked down a deep cross from Woolfenden.
Town continued to dominate with both outside centre-halves, Woolfenden and skipper Chambers, pushing forwards.
On 23 Accrington keeper Josef Bursik failed to hold a Jackson cross from the right after a neat interchange on the right but Garbutt could only loop the loose ball behind from a tight angle on the left.
Six minutes later it was 2-0. Huws played a long ball over the top from inside the Town half sending Norwood away behind the Accrington defence. Keeper Bursik made an uncertain half-advance to the edge of his area and into no-man’s land, and the Blues’ striker delicately chipped over him and into the net for his 10th of the season.
The visitors managed their first shot at goal on 33 but Sam Finley’s effort was allowed to roll past his left post by Norris.
Town should have made it 3-0 in the 36th minute when Jackson used his pace to break away on the right before cutting back to Norwood from the byline. However, the former Tranmere man scuffed his first-time shot well wide.
The Blues had another chance to extend their lead in the 42nd minute when Judge sent Jackson away in on goal but Bursik came off his line to block.
But two minutes later it was 3-0. Chambers picked up the ball deep and brought it forward before feeding Norwood, who returned the ball to his captain by now on the edge of the box. Chambers turned it on to Judge to his left and the Irishman beat Bursik to claim his first league goal for the Blues in his 39th league appearance for the club.
Not long after the whistle ended as good a first half as the Blues have enjoyed this season. Virtually from the off Town were on top, with the centre-halves notably breaking forward Sheffield United-style.
Jackson’s well-worked early goal settled any nerves there might have been following the Blues’ winless run and the scoreline could easily have been 5-0 at the break had Norwood and Jackson taken their later opportunities.
The Blues were last 3-0 up at the break at Rotherham in November 2015, a game they eventually won 5-2.
Town began the second half as they had ended the first. On 50 Norwood was played in on the right of the box and probably should have cut across to Jackson but shot against a defender with the ball deflecting behind.
On 55 Accrington swapped Carvahlo for Zanzala, then three minutes later Aji Alese took over from Pritchard.
Norwood headed wide at the far post from a Garbutt corner on the right in the 61st minute with the Blues continuing to create chances, albeit with the game lacking some of the intensity of the first half.
Two minutes later, Judge curled a weak effort into Bursik’s arms, then on 71 Cole Skuse replaced Huws in midfield.
Alese was shown the game’s first yellow card in the 73rd minute for a foul on Judge, who sent over a teasing cross from the left a minute later which was too close to Bursik.
Teddy Bishop took over from Judge, who continued his resurgent form and will be relieved to finally score his first league goal for the Blues, in the 75th minute. Two minutes later, Jackson was swapped for Will Keane.
The game, effectively won by half-time, was petering out but on 80 Finley struck a powerful shot for Accrington which was deflected wide.
Stanley might have pulled a goal back on 84 when the ball fell to Dion Charles inside the box but the striker’s shot was deflected over.
Two minutes later, the visitors did reduce the deficit from the penalty spot. Wilson and Zanzala tangled and the striker went to ground. The sub took the penalty himself and beat Norris.
But Town weren’t to be denied a victory by three goals even if they did miss out on a clean sheet.
In injury time Keane hustled his way on to the ball on the right of the box before hitting a low shot past Bursik for his sixth goal of the season and his third in four on his 27th birthday.
Soon after, the whistle confirmed the Blues’ second 4-1 win of the season, Tranmere having been beaten by the same scoreline in September.
Town had chances to add to their first-half lead after the break but with the game all but won were largely content to see the game out, which they did with little fanfare until Accrington's late couple of late chances and the penalty. Keane’s late goal restored a three-goal margin which was at least a fair reflection of the match overall.
A confidence-boosting and much-needed comfortable win which sees the Blues up to third in the table ahead of back-to-back away trips to Oxford - who are down to fifth having lost 3-1 to new leaders Rotherham today - on Tuesday and then Tranmere next Saturday.
Town: Norris, Woolfenden, Chambers (c), Wilson, Edwards, Downes, Huws (Skuse )71), Judge (Bishop 75), Garbutt, Jackson (Keane 77), Norwood. Unused: Holy, Donacien, Dozzell, Kenlock.
Accrington: Bursik, Johnson, Hughes, Sykes, Finley, Pritchard (Alese 58), Bishop, Carvahlo (Zanzala 55), Conneely (c), Charles, Opoku. Unused: Savin, Barclay, Rodgers, Diallo. Referee: Charles Breakspear (Surrey). Att: 17,536 (Accrington: 155).
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