|Tranmere Rovers 1 v 2 Ipswich Town|
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 18th January 2020 Kick-off 15:00
Tranmere Rovers 1-2 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 18th Jan 2020 17:02
Flynn Downes and Kayden Jackson netted second-half goals for the Blues as Town came from behind to beat Tranmere Rovers 2-1 at Prenton Park. Manny Monthe’s 32nd-minute goal gave Rovers a 1-0 half-time lead but Downes headed in the leveller on 55 and Jackson grabbed the winner in the 79th minute as Town deservedly claimed all three points and their eighth League One away win of the season.
James Norwood was surprisingly dropped to the bench against his former club with Jackson returning to an otherwise unchanged team.
Will Norris continued in goal behind a back three of skipper Luke Chambers, James Wilson and Luke Woolfenden. Gwion Edwards and Luke Garbutt were the wing-backs.
In midfield, the Blues fielded the same trio of Flynn Downes and Emyr Huws behind Alan Judge with Jackson, who missed the 0-0 draw at Oxford with a minor hamstring problem, joining Will Keane up front.
Tranmere made two changes from the team which drew 0-0 at Southend last weekend with skipper and keeper Scott Davies returning for loanee Aaron Chapman, who has returned to Peterborough, and Liam Ridehalgh in for Calum Woods at the back.
Given the boggy sand-covered pitch, it was little surprise the game started scruffily with the ball sticking on the surface a couple of times within the first couple of minutes.
Tranmere struck the game’s first shot in the 12th minute but Connor Jennings’s strike from some distance was blocked. Nevertheless, it woke up the previously quiet home supporters.
Huws hit Town’s first effort in the 16th minute, Davies stopping it but as on a number of occasions at Portman Road earlier in the season failing to hold on. Fortunately for Rovers the loose ball fell safely.
The Blues were beginning to get on top and a minute later Chambers shot from distance but his strike curled away from goal and behind.
Despite the conditions, Town began to pass the ball around nicely on their right flank, which wasn’t quite as much of a quagmire as the left. On 24 a neat interchange on the right ended with Edwards whipping over a cross which eventually fell to Keane, whose overhead kick was too close to Davies.
Two minutes later, Keane did well to out-battle his man and had a chance to play in Jackson to his left as the pair broke on goal but the former Manchester United trainee overhit his pass.
In the 29th minute a Judge corner on the left was cleared out to Downes, whose well-struck shot was blocked by David Perkins, a Town target during the Mick McCarthy era.
However, despite the Blues having been on top, it was Rovers who took the lead. Garbutt fouled Jake Caprice on the right flank and Monthe rose highest to nod the Tranmere right-back’s freekick into the far corner of the net past Norris.
The Blues keeper was subsequently booked for protesting with the freekick having come after Caprice had been allowed two goes at taking a throw, the right-back having initially thrown the ball out for a goalkick but referee Busby, for reasons which weren't clear, taking play back and giving him a second go, leading to Garbutt's foul.
Perkins was shown the game’s first yellow card for a late trip on Edwards, then on 37 it was almost 2-0. Peter Clarke was found in the area and hit a low shot on the turn which flew only just past Norris’s left post.
Town faded having conceded but as half-time approached they threatened again. Judge played a clever ball into the path of Jackson on the left, he crossed and Keane missed his kick and eventually he scuffed a chipped cross towards Judge straight to Davies.
Soon after, the whistle ended the half with the scoreline not really a reflection of the balance of the game.
The Blues had seem most of the ball and had managed to pass it around at times, while also looking to hit Keane and Jackson quickly, an unsurprising approach given the surface.
They had had one or two chances but without overly testing Davies in the Tranmere goal.
Town were first to threaten after the restart, Jackson cutting in from the right and whipping over a ball which was too long for his team-mates.
On 52, with the Blues starting to take firm control of the game, Jackson sent over a dangerous ball from the left but picked out a Tranmere defender rather than a Town shirt. Moments later, Edwards battled in from the right but found Davies’s hands with his cross.
But three minutes later, the Blues were level. Keane brought the ball forward from midway inside the Tranmere half and played it wide to Garbutt on the left. The on-loan Everton man whipped over another brilliant teasing cross which Downes met with his head to power past Davies right in front of the Town support. It was Downes’s second of the season, both headers.
Huws shot over from distance on 59, then a minute later Jackson sent a low ball across the six-yard box but with referee John Busby already having blow up for a foul.
Neil Danns had been yellow-carded for handling a cross from the right towards the Town goal, then on 66 Teddy Bishop replaced Judge Two minutes later Huws was booked for a foul in the centre circle.
Bishop hit a low strike through to Davies from just outside the area on the right in the 70th minute with the game increasingly open. A minute later Monthe was yellow-carded for a foul on Bishop.
Moments later, Town swapped Keane, who had put in an impressive shift, for ex-Rover Norwood, who was applauded by his old fans. Tranmere switched Danns for Ollie Banks.
Bishop felt he had been tripped as he burst into the box on 73 but the referee waved away his protests and the ball broke to Edwards on the right. The Welshman’s low cross found Jackson, whose first effort was blocked and his second diverted over the bar by Monthe.
In the 77th minute, Town swapped Cole Skuse for Huws, who had committed a couple of debatable fouls having been booked and had shown his frustration to the referee.
Much of the build-up to the game had been about Norwood and inevitably the former Rovers frontman had a hand in the Blues’ winner in the 80th minute. The Town sub looped a clever pass over the top for Jackson to chase, Davies rushed off his line and the Blues’ number nine lobbed his ninth of the season over the keeper and under the bar. The Town players were joined by a handful of fans as they celebrated the goal.
As Tranmere pushed men forward looking for an equaliser, Town began to catch them on the break, Jackson ending a long run down the right with a low cross into Davies’s arms. On 84 Rovers replaced Perkins with Corey Blackett-Taylor.
Jackson forced Davies to save at his near post with a powerful strike in the 86th minute with the Blues looking more likely to score the game’s fourth goal than the home team.
In the first minute of five additional minutes, Norwood scraped a shot to Davies when he had time to take the ball on further.
Banks hit a freekick from 30 yards straight at Norris as the Blues saw out the remaining minutes comfortably to claim a deserved win.
Town were much the better side in the second half and allied their performance with decent chances, the first goal was particularly well worked down the left, and Davies kept far busier than he had been in the first period. At the other end, Norris had a quiet half with the Blues backline remaining solid.
The win - Town’s second in three games - continues the recent resurgence but, with Wycombe claiming a late 2-1 victory via a 94th-minute penalty and leaders Rotherham winning 3-0 at home to Bristol Rovers, Town remain third ahead of next week’s home game against Lincoln City.
Tranmere: Davies, Caprice, Clarke, Monthe, Ridehalgh, Morris, Danns (Banks 71), Perkins (Blackett-Taylor 84), Woodyard, Jennings, Ferrier. Unused: Pilling, Nelson, Gilmour, Payne, Mullin.
Town: Norris, Chambers (c), Wilson, Woolfenden, Edwards, Downes, Huws (Skuse 77), Garbutt, Judge (Bishop 66), Keane (Norwood 72), Jackson. Unused: Holy, Earl, Nolan, Sears. Referee: John Busby (Oxfordshire). Att: 7,921 (Town: 1,148).
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