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Ipswich Town 0-1 Oxford United - Match Report
Saturday, 22nd Feb 2020 17:16

Matty Taylor’s goal a minute before the break saw Oxford United to 1-0 victory over 10-man Town at Portman Road. The Blues dominated the first half but were unable to find a goal and were hit by a sucker punch just before the break. The Blues huffed and puffed for the most part in the second half and had Kayden Jackson red-carded for an alleged stamp in injury time.

Town named an unchanged side with Tomas Holy in goal behind a back three of Luke Woolfenden, skipper Luke Chambers and Josh Earl, while Gwion Edwards and Luke Garbutt were the wing-backs.

In midfield, Flynn Downes was partnered by Jon Nolan with Alan Judge ahead of them behind strike pair Will Keane and Jackson.

There was one change on the bench with Andre Dozzell taking the place of James Norwood, who underwent a groin operation on Friday.

For Oxford, midfielder Alex Gorrin was back after a ban and replaced Mark Sykes, who dropped to the bench.

Town began the game brightly with Jackson, who was celebrating his 26th birthday, and Edwards both sending in crosses from the right.

The Blues controlled the early stages for the most part although twice Earl, playing without his protective mask for the first time since joining the Blues, gifted the ball to the U’s in his own half before his team-mates helped snuff out the danger.

On nine, Jackson escaped his man and broke away down the right before sending in a low cross which was too far in front of Keane.

Two minutes later, Jackson turned Edwards’s ball to feet into the path of Keane who looked to be in on goal until his first touch took him into the path of an Oxford defender, who cleared the danger.

The Blues continued to have the better of it with Oxford pinned back in their half and as the game reached the 15-minute mark Woolfenden struck a powerful 20-yard strike which was blocked just inside the area.

Town threatened again down the right in the 22nd minute, Jackson cutting a ball back to the edge of the area from where Garbutt smashed a shot over.

Two minutes later, Marcus Browne hit Oxford’s first effort of the game over the bar from a 25-yard freekick.

On the half hour a Judge corner from the left was nodded out to Chambers, whose header was flicked over the bar by a defender.

From the subsequent flag-kick, Nolan eventually stabbed the ball through to Keane in space inside the six-yard box to the left but Oxford keeper Simon Eastwood was able to smother.

Town continued to push for the game’s opening goal and in the 32nd minute Keane crossed low from the right and Downes flicked across the face of goal. Had the midfielder left it Garbutt behind him would have had an easy tap-in.

The Blues kept up the pressure and went close again in the 35th minute, Keane heading wide from a tight angle beyond the far post from Garbutt’s right-sided corner.

Oxford had made little impression from an attacking perspective but in the 36th minute James Henry broke into the area in space from the right but scuffed his shot through to Holy.

Town then attacked down the left, Jackson beating his man then teeing-up Garbutt, whose shot was blocked. Nathan Holland subsequently hit a shot which hit a Blues defender before Garbutt was booked for an attempted foul during Oxford’s previous attack. On 41 Nolan shot wide.

The Blues had dominated the half but a minute before the scheduled end of the half, the visitors took the lead.

A neatly-worked move ended with Cameron Brannagan finding Henry on the right of the area. His low ball across the edge of the six-yard box found Taylor, who beat Holy.

On the balance of play, Town could find themselves very unfortunate to be behind at the break. The Blues had dominated a team who usually control games themselves and had created a number of openings.

However, they had been unable to take them - or force Eastwood into any significant saves - while Oxford’s goal had come via their first passage of passing inside the Blues half.

Town won a corner moments after the restart, a bouncing ball reaching Woolfenden on the edge of the area after being half-cleared but the defender’s effort looped well over.

Soon after, Jackson was sent away on the left and his cross was diverted behind. From the subsequent corner taken by Garbutt on the left, Earl headed goalwards but Eastwood tipped over. From the resultant flag-kick, the ball was headed out to Judge, who shot over.

On 51 Oxford broke forward and Brannagan was found on the edge of the box but his strike was blocked by Woolfenden.

Two minutes later, Earl’s cross from the left took a flick off Josh Ruffels on its way towards the far post where it hit Edwards, who had been unable to react to the touch, and bounced straight to Eastwood.

Holland shot over after Woolfenden was overconfident on the ball in a dangerous area on 59, then two minutes later Taylor got in behind Chambers but fortunately for the Blues stabbed the ball straight at the advancing Holy.

Town were continuing to dominate with balls coming into the box from both flanks but with the Oxford backline remaining resolute. On 64 Browne was booked for a foul on Edwards.

Oxford swapped Holland, who had picked up a knock, for Sykes in the 70th minute, then the Blues, with their performance having become scrappier and more frustrated, switched Edwards for Teddy Bishop and moved to 4-4-2 with the sub on the left of midfield.

On 80 Jamie Mackie replaced goalscorer Taylor for the visitors, then three minutes later Dan Agyei took over from Henry.

Town were continuing to push and send balls into the box but the U’s were maintaining their determined defence.

As the game moved into four minutes of additional time Judge was switched for Freddie Sears.

Town’s frustrating afternoon got worse three minutes into injury time when Jackson was, to the surprise of most in the ground, shown a straight red card for what referee Scott Oldham indicated was a stamp on Oxford skipper Rob Dickie.

The striker looked bemused as the card was waved in his direction and the Blues may well have grounds for an appeal with Jackson otherwise facing a three-match ban.

Woolfenden was booked for a foul, then just before the whistle, with referee Oldham, who had had an inconsistent afternoon, starting to lose control, there was a scuffle involving most players from both teams by the corner flag by the away fans.

The final whistle was greeted by boos from the home support aimed partly towards the referee but also at manager Paul Lambert and his assistant Stuart Taylor as they made their way towards the Sir Bobby Robson Stand after another frustrating afternoon at Portman Road.

Town had dominated possession in the first half and created enough opportunities to have won the game. However, they failed to take their chances or even overly test the keeper. Oxford scored with their first serious shot in open play.

The Blues were still on top for most of the second half but were less dominant and still failed to create enough chances against an Oxford defence who will be delighted with their afternoon's work, Earl’s early header the only big save Eastwood was forced to make.

The defeat sees the Blues, who have now won just four of their last 18 in the league, drop to eighth, eight points off the top two and two from sixth, with a visit to Blackpool, who drew 0-0 at Wimbledon this afternoon, next Saturday.

Town: Holy, Chambers (c), Woolfenden, Earl, Edwards (Bishop 71), Nolan, Downes, Garbutt, Judge (Sears 90), Jackson, Keane. Unused: Norris, Skuse, Wilson, Dozzell, Huws.

Oxford: Eastwood, Ruffels, Dickie (c), Moore, Gorrin, Brannagan, Taylor (Mackie 80), Forde, Henry (Agyei 83), Holland (Sykes 70), Browne. Unused: Stevens, Long, Hanson, Thorne. Referee: Scott Oldham (Poulton-le-Fylde). Att:19,367 (Oxford: 1,365).

Photo: TWTD

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Karlosfandangal added 17:17 - Feb 22
Don’t worry guys next 3 home games and 9 points
Just Fleetwood Portsmouth and Coventry plus no Jackson


Welshblue72 added 17:20 - Feb 22
Oh dear oh dear, kiss goodbye to automatic and prob playoffs as well. Why wait until 91 mins to bring on Freddie when neither Keane or Jackson could find the net. Wish we could turn back time to October when I was happy. Been down hill since. Sad times ahead I fear.

Karlosfandangal added 17:20 - Feb 22
Did Sears touch the ball........ why put him on with 4 mins left what was the point

blueboy1981 added 17:20 - Feb 22
..... cue .... lets blame Evans for not spending shall we ?? - not Lambert for not knowing his ass from his elbow.
Going nowhere with him, as per his previous Clubs - one success in his career, big deal .... !!

Tractorboy1985 added 17:21 - Feb 22
5 more years of lambert?? Wouldn’t give him 5 mins after 6pm tonight!! Hate Evans.. detest lambert!! Even with the lack of support financially from the owner we should be beating sides like Oxford at home! This comes down to management! 23 points from 16 home games!! Joke!! LAMBERT OUT!!

TimmyH added 17:22 - Feb 22
Sounded like we played okay for 20 minutes in the 1st half and then went AWOL without a chance being created in the last half hour...if so unforgivable, very disappointing result but probably asking too much for 2 back to back good performances.

So since the start of November - W:4 D:4 L:7 - certainly not the form of a play-off team, if I had my way I'd sack Lambert now and put a Burley/Holland/Butcher team in place before time runs out, we need some momentum and quick!

ShropshireBluenago09 added 17:23 - Feb 22
Failure to bring in a quality striker will cost us now. No Norwood, no jackson (for a couple of games), Sears not 100% fit and Keane not scoring. season over.

dirtydingusmagee added 17:23 - Feb 22
there you go, we just ARENT good enough. I didnt think we would win this match but i did think we would get a point,. We have no hope of promotion.

blueboy1981 added 17:23 - Feb 22
What planet was Lambert on today ? - not with the rest of us surely ? - he hasn’t a clue, and couldn’t care less is the total reality of the situation.

Bert added 17:23 - Feb 22
Definitely played the best football for 43 minutes then mostly downhill after that. Inconsistent ref and woefully delayed decision making by Lambert. Nothing more to be said.

Doctor_Earman added 17:24 - Feb 22
Genuinely buzzing to see which player will be sent out in run-up to the Blackpool game to tell us how ''away form will be crucial''.

ChrisR added 17:28 - Feb 22
So the season's over, 4 wins in 18 , never looked like scoring today , so no reason to suppose next season will be any better , Lambert now has worst record of any Town manager ever.

therein61 added 17:28 - Feb 22
3pm 5 points from the top 5pm 5 points from 4th with two teams above us having two games in hand, over to you Mr Lambert how are you going to get us out of this mess all the talk has to stop(players coming on here spouting the same script as you) this is turning into a disaster of your making.

ITFC_Cotton added 17:30 - Feb 22
This club is rotting, an owner that rewards sub par performance of a manager with a f*cking 5 year contract. An owner that continues to underfund the club despite the continuing decline. I thought we were boring to watch back in the days of Jim Magilton and get we just lost to Oxford. We’re a joke of a club.

martin587 added 17:30 - Feb 22
Once again so many missed chances.Same story most weeks.We ran the show for most of the game but yet again we blew it.Why o why does he send sears on with just a few minutes to go.Very bad substitution once again.With a squad like this how can we not rise to the occasion on match days.We are running out of games now and a top six place is going to be very hard to grab now,I fear.The season started so great now all the other teams around us have games in hand.Oh dear.😢

TimmyH added 17:31 - Feb 22
So much for Chambers 'psychological barrier' being broken - as said just wrap up and put some hard work in on the training ground with the aid of a new manager!

matthewwylds added 17:31 - Feb 22
Jackson Edwards Kane Chambers judge absolutely dog shi t always have been

planetblue_2011 added 17:33 - Feb 22
Ipswich haven’t got a clue, that was the game to prob see us reach at least the play offs. You can kiss good bye to that now. Oxford weren’t even that good but neither were we. Great win last week then they just let us down again time after time. I travel from Heybridge in Essex every home game, sing my heart out. What’s the point??! with an owner, manager & players who don’t have a sodden clue what it feels like being a fan. Gonna see out rest of season because I don’t want to waste my ticket & then that’s it for me. ITFC a mid table league one team - DECENT!!!!

dezb added 17:34 - Feb 22
Never seen a club so happy to go along with its own demise. 5 year contract for a manager despite abolsutely woeful form, having proved very little in the previous 15 months. 1 player in during january despite form.

The biggest concern though is lamberts in game management. Sears only on at 90. Only switched to 4 4 2 once we had 4 centre mids on the pitch.....

Michael101 added 17:34 - Feb 22
oh dear oh dear. that's it folks .not looking forward to next season not many season ticket sold in the spring so marcus will sell anybody worth anything balance the books then nobody will be bothered to turn up for the odd game and so the circle continues think we might be where we are for a few more years.

BarleyBoy added 17:34 - Feb 22
Dear oh effing dear......promising 1st half, Jackson suppling some great balls in but nobody on the end & they notch on their only genuine chance all game. Yet again, we can only string 45 mins of football b4 someone switches off the lights & back to Sunday league garbage. Final whistle audible frustrations deserved & cannot believe we didn’t force a save (again). Lambert yet again clueless tactically.......why he leaves it so late re changes is baffling. What do they do in training all week?.........clearly little re close control, first touch & trapping a ball!!!....Keane has the touch of a rapist & pls, can someone pls educate me in what Nolan adds?.......all in all table speaks for itself; we aren’t good enough & it’s a struggle to keep any optimism whilst turning out that sort of performance at we draw closer to the business end of the season.......still, Ant & Dec are back tonight!!....all the jolly

DebsyAngel added 17:37 - Feb 22
Just back from the match. Awful game - far too many wasted chances, wasted passes. The referee lost the plot towards the end. Why was Jackson sent off? And putting Sears on so late - needed to come on in the 70th minute at least. Need to do a LOT better than this.

TimmyH added 17:38 - Feb 22
Lambert hasn't a scooby doo on how to change a game in play, tactically he is woeful.

Though I haven't been able to make some games for the last 2 months, I'm getting this mist of depression starting to descend, I thought we had turned a corner back in October but I'm afraid it seems the same old same, as the downward spiral continues.

matthewwylds added 17:38 - Feb 22
O and also Oxford were p Iss poor as well

tractorollson added 17:38 - Feb 22
League on here we stay! Clueless owner give a clueless manager 5 year deal based on nothing, the futures bright, not on the pitch though

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