|Ipswich Town 1 v 4 Peterborough United|
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 1st February 2020 Kick-off 15:00
Ipswich Town 1-4 Peterborough United - Match Report
Saturday, 1st Feb 2020 17:07
Town dropped to fourth in League One after a disastrous 4-1 home defeat to Peterborough United. Ivan Toney netted a penalty on 23, Sammie Szmodics made it 2-0 10 minutes later adfter dispossessing keeper Will Norris, then in the second half Siriki Dembele and Szmodics again scored on 50 and 74 to secure Posh their first ever league win at Portman Road and their first in all competitions since January 1960. Sub James Norwood netted a 79th minute consolation from the spot for the Blues.
Cole Skuse returned to the midfield for Emyr Huws in an otherwise unchanged Town side, the Welshman having suffered an ankle injury at Rotherham in the week.
Norris continued in goal behind a back three of skipper Luke Chambers, James Wilson and Luke Woolfenden. Luke Garbutt and Gwion Edwards were the wing-backs.
In midfield, Skuse joined Flynn Downes with Alan Judge ahead of them behind front pair Will Keane and Kayden Jackson.
Teddy Bishop was missing from the bench having suffered a knee problem in training, while Peterborough were unchanged for the fourth successive match.
The visitors struck the game’s first shot in the fourth minute but Posh skipper Mark Beevers’s well-struck volley from a half-cleared corner from the left was, rather fortunately for the Blues, hit straight at Norris in the Town goal.
But Town soon began to get on top. However, their first effort at goal didn’t come until the 13th minute when ex-Posh wideman Edwards cut in and hit a left-foot strike over.
The Blues were forced into a change in the 16th minute when Garbutt, who had undergone treatment a few moments earlier, was forced off and was replaced by Myles Kenlock.
Peterborough started to look the greater threat, winning a number of corners, and on 19 Siriki Dembele hit a shot from the edge of the box which was easily snaffled by Norris.
In the 22nd minute Peterborough took the lead from the penalty spot. Dembele was played in on goal on the right of the area by Toney and Wilson slid in, catching the striker. Dembele managed an effort at goal as he fell which was stopped by Norris and then cleared by Chambers.
The Peterborough players protested but referee Andy Woolmer wasn’t interested until he spoke to his assistant and pointed to the spot. Under the old rules Wilson would have been red-carded for a professional foul but given that he made a genuine attempt to play the ball the defender rightly stayed on.
League One top scorer Toney took the kick and rolled his 21st in all competitions to Norris’s left and into the corner of the net.
On 32 Edwards crossed from the right and Kenlock headed well wide as Town looked for an equaliser but two minutes later they conceded a disastrous second.
Skuse played the ball back to Norris under no pressure and the keeper tried to take it past Szmodics just to the right of his goal but was dispossessed and the former Colchester man was able to tap the easiest goal he will ever score into an empty net.
Town looked to hit back in the 37th minute when Edwards made a mazy run down the right. The Welshman’s cross fell to Judge on the edge of the six-yard box but the Irishman was only able to stab into Posh keeper Christy Pym’s arms.
Norris had another shaky moment on 39, failing to hold on to a cross when under pressure on the edge of the box but fortunately the ball fell safely. At the other end, Jackson was hauled to the ground by his neck by Beevers but with referee Woolmer not spotting a foul.
Neither side were able to seriously threaten in four minutes of additional time and the half-time whistle was greeted by muted boos from the frustrated Town support.
Having conceded the opener via the penalty - which looked a correct decision - the Blues had started to show signs of pushing for an equaliser when Norris was undone by overconfidence inside his own six-yard box, not the on-loan Wolves keeper’s first error in recent games.
As half-time approached Town had begun to control the game against a Peterborough side content to sit in their half but without creating a significant opportunity.
Norwood replaced Judge ahead of the second half with the Blues desperately needing more of a goal threat if they were to get back into the game.
Norris was forced into an early save when Toney’s shot was deflected towards his left post, but the keeper got down to his left to save leading to a smattering of sarcastic cheers.
A minute later, the keeper did superbly to tip a Toney header wide but with referee Woolmer having awarded a foul against the Posh frontman.
In the 51st minute Posh made it 3-0. Keane’s knockback inside just inside the Town half fell to Jack Taylor and his well-weighted ball forward found Dembele, who cut inside Wilson before shooting beyond Norris.
There was controversy two minutes later when Jackson again looked to be hauled down, this time when away on goal. However, referee Woolmer gave a freekick to the visitors.
Wilson claimed he was pulled over as a corner came in from the right on the hour mark with referee Woolmer again not interested, then Peterborough swapped Reece Brown for Josh Knight.
On 65 Dan Butler was yellow-carded for a foul on Downes, then two minutes later sub Knight joined him for a scuffle with Woolfenden.
Shell-shocked Town had failed to get going in the second half after the blow of the third Peterborough goal. But as the 70-minute mark approached they began to seriously press for the first time, Jackson sending a ball across the box from the right but too far in front of Keane at the far post. Moments later, the former Hull City man was replaced by Freddie Sears.
On 73 Jackson flicked a header wide from a Woolfenden cross from the left, then Posh switched Joe Ward for Niall Mason.
Moments later, Town’s disastrous afternoon got even worse. Toney flicked on a long Pym kick, Dembele played it over the backline and Szmodics confidently beat Norris to make it 4-0.
Streams of Blues supporters immediately decided they had seen enough and departed Portman Road.
Edwards was booked for a foul in the 77th minute, his 10th yellow card of the season meaning the Welshman will miss the next two matches.
Town pulled one back two minutes later from the game’s second penalty. Norwood ran round the outside of Beevers on the right and the defender slid in taking both ball and player. Referee Woolmer again looked to his assistant before pointing to the spot. Norwood himself took the kick and beat Pym to his left to claim his 11th of the campaign.
Posh replaced Nathan Thompson with Rhys Bennett in the 83rd minute before Toney stung Norris’s hands with a 20-yard strike.
The latter stages of the game - including five additional minutes - were played out with the result settled.
Close to the end Skuse was booked for a frustrated foul before the whistle confirmed the end of an awful afternoon for Town.
The Blues were very much the architects of their own downfall in the first half, allowing the visitors two soft goals. The third and fourth in the second half were little better and aside from Norwood’s penalty Town never looked like a goal.
Town’s decent run from the start of the year which took them to the top of the table has been brought to an abrupt halt with the defeats at Rotherham and now at home to Posh, a slide which has to be arrested far more quickly than the downturn prior to Christmas.
The Blues are next in action at Sunderland, who were beaten 2-0 at Portsmouth today, next Saturday.
Town: Norris, Chambers (c), Woolfenden, Wilson, Edwards, Downes, Skuse, Judge (Norwood 46), Garbutt (Kenlock 16), Keane (Sears 70), Jackson. Unused: Holy, Donacien, Nolan, Dozzell, Sears.
Peterborough: Pym, Thompson (Bennett 83), Beevers (c), Kent, Ward (Mason 74), Taylor, Brown (Knight 61), Butler, Szmodics, Toney, Siriki, Dembele. Unused: Chapman, Eisa, Boyd, Mason, Jade-Jones. Referee: Andy Woolmer (Northamptonshire). Att: 21,351 (Peterborough: 1,908).
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