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Ipswich Town 2 v 0 Wigan Athletic
SkyBet League One
Sunday, 13th September 2020 Kick-off 12:00
Ipswich Town 2-0 Wigan Athletic - Match Report
Sunday, 13th Sep 2020 13:59

The Blues’ Sky hoodoo was finally vanquished as Paul Lambert’s men opened their League One campaign with a 2-0 behind-closed-doors victory over Wigan Athletic at Portman Road. Town, who hadn’t won when playing live in front of the Sky cameras for 16 matches going back to December 2015, went ahead through Teddy Bishop’s first goal in nearly six years in the 11th minute before sub Gwion Edwards added the second on 80.

Town were forced into one change with Luke Woolfenden missing from the back four with the centre-half having picked up a knock in training. He was replaced by James Wilson, who was making his first competitive appearance of the season.

Corrie Ndaba missed a chance of making his league debut having suffered a dead leg during the 2-1 EFL Trophy defeat to Arsenal's U21s in midweek.

Tomas Holy got the nod ahead of David Cornell in goal, while there was again no place in the squad for Downes, who was given time off ahead of last week’s 3-0 Carabao Cup victory over Bristol Rovers following the interest from Crystal Palace and his subsequent transfer request.

Also absent from the bench was Jack Lankester, who has also picked up a knock, with Janoi Donacien included having recovered from the injury he suffered at Cambridge.

Former Blues striker Joe Garner was named as Wigan’s captain, while ex-Town winger Gary Roberts was also in the XI.

One-time Blues youngster Pat Webber was on the bench for the Latics, who had manager John Sheridan in charge for the first time since taking over on Friday.

Wigan were without forward Gavin Massey due a leg muscle injury, while defensive pair Danny Fox and Josh Clarke, who signed on short-term deals on Friday, were not involved.

Following a summer exodus as a result of their administration, only Kai Naismith remained from the XI which drew 1-1 at home to Fulham on the final day of the Championship season in July.

Town got the game under way at an empty and eerily quiet Portman Road after both sets of players had taken a knee in support of Black Lives Matter.

Wigan were first to threaten in the seventh minute from a corner on the right. The ball was allowed to reach Emeka Obi, who sent his header into the ground and wide. It was a fortunate escape for the Blues.

And four minutes later, Town went in front. Stephen Ward quickly took a free-kick on the left, catching Wigan cold and sending Freddie Sears away in space. The former West Ham man sent over a cross which was half-cleared and Teddy Bishop ran in and nodded into the roof of the net past Jamie Jones to give the Blues the lead.

It was only the 24-year-old’s second career goal, his previous one having come at AFC Bournemouth in November 2014 during his breakthrough campaign as an 18-year-old.

Wigan, who had won a number of corners in the early stages, should have levelled in the 14th minute. After a flag-kick had been half-cleared, the ball was sent back and Obi this time headed over when he ought to have scored.

On 21 Dozzell curled a shot well over with the Blues increasingly in control of the game with Wigan unable to keep hold of the ball.

Three minutes later, Dozzell returned a Judge corner from the right across goal, skipper Luke Chambers nodded it back in and English league debutant Aaron Drinan’s close-range header scuffed the top of the bar.

Town began to create more chances and might well have added to their lead in the 26th minute. Dozzell found Ward on the left with a sublime cross-field ball and the Irishman sent in a cross which reached Chambers breaking into the area but the captain’s header into the ground bounced harmlessly to Jones in the Wigan goal.

In the 28th minute Bishop went very close to his second goal of the game. Jon Nolan brought the ball into the box unchallenged and laid it to Drinan to his left, from where the Irish U21 international, with his back to goal, laid it to Bishop, who struck a low shot which hit the post. The ball rebounded awkwardly for Drinan and he was unable to divert it towards goal.

It had been all Town but in the 34th minute ex-Blue Roberts whipped in a ball from the left, Toto Nsiala’s header went straight up in the air and Garner’s powerfully-struck overhead kick beat Holy but smashed against the bar. It was another fortunate escape for Town, who had been much the better side but also could well have conceded three times.

Five minutes later, Town built patiently from the back, Dozzell eventually finding Sears with another great cross-field ball to the left, the striker moving it on to Judge. The Irish international then back-heeled into the path of Sears who was breaking into the area and the former Colchester man saw his shot stopped by Jones with Drinan calling for the ball to be squared to him on the edge of the six-yard box. The quality of the move deserved a goal.

As the half moved into two minutes of injury time, Sears curled a 25-yard free-kick just over, Nolan having been fouled.

Town deserved their half-time lead on the balance of the period overall with Bishop reacting quickly to nod home his first goal in nearly six years. At times the Blues had played some lovely stuff and might have been further ahead with Sears likely to feel he should have added to last week’s two Carabao Cup goals, Chambers also feeling he ought to have added to his goal against Bristol Rovers and Bishop unlikely with his strike against the post.

But Wigan could easily have scored three times themselves with Obi missing two very good early opportunities, with Town not looking entirely comfortable when defending set pieces, and Garner coming very close with his excellent overhead kick.

However, a second Blues goal after the break ought to be enough to put the game beyond the reach of the visitors.

Town swapped Drinan for James Norwood ahead of the second half, presumably due to an injury with the former Waterford man having had another decent half, while the Latics swapped Dan Gardner for Alex Perry.

The Blues began the half brightly, Judge heading wide at the near post from a Ward cross from the left in the opening minute after the restart.

On 52, Town again looked shaky from a set piece, Roberts sending the ball in from the left and Holy looking hesitant as it reached two Latics at the back of the box. However, they were unable to create an opening and eventually Nolan was fouled as he looked to clear.

The Blues ought to have doubled their lead in the 56th minute when Dozzell played a low ball across the area after it had been played back to him following a corner. Wilson was unable to make a significant contact when he should have scored and it wafted wide, appearing to catch a defender on its way out, although referee Thomas Bramall awarded a goal-kick.

Sears curled another free-kick over three minutes later, then, as the game reached the hour mark, Chambers was booked for a foul as Wigan sought to break following a Town attack.

Garner headed well over for Wigan in the 63rd minute, a warning to Town that the visitors had created chances even if they hadn’t been able to take them and that the scoreline was still only 1-0.

There was another scare two minutes later when a Roberts free-kick was headed out of the area to sub Perry, who hit a controlled effort which only just looped over the bar.

Wigan began to see more of the ball as the game moved towards the 70-minute mark, a well-worked move ending with Tom Pearce crossing low into Holy’s arms at the near post.

Two minutes later, Lee Evans shot over with the Latics on top and taking the game to the Blues. Moments later, Edwards took over from Sears with Judge moving to the left of the front three with the Welshman on the right.

Bishop curled an edge-of-the-area effort through to Jones on 74, before the goalscorer made way for Emyr Huws.

Town’s second goal finally came in the 80th minute. Nolan sent Judge away in space down the left and the Irishman sent in a cross which fell to sub Edwards, who shot low into the net from six yards on the turn.

In the final scheduled minute, Edwards cut in from the left and hit a powerful shot which Jones did well to palm behind for a corner. There was little serious action during three minutes of injury time before referee Bramall confirmed the Blues’ first three points of the season.

A deserved victory for the Blues, who had enough chances to have made their lead more secure prior to Edwards hitting the second late on.

The second half display wasn’t as convincing as the first with Wigan having a strong spell midway through, while manager Lambert will be unhappy with the way his team defended a number of Latics set pieces which on another day could have resulted in goals.

Overall however, he will be delighted that the League One season is off and running with a home win, only the Blues’ 11th in their last 50 in the league at Portman Road.

The victory ends a winless run of 16 games in front of the live Sky cameras, their previous success the 1-0 defeat of the MK Dons at Stadium MK in December 2015.

Town are next in action when Fulham visit for a Carabao Cup tie on Wednesday with the Blues’ first away League One game of the season at Bristol Rovers next Saturday.

Town: Holy, Chambers (c), Wilson, Nsiala, Ward, Dozzell, Nolan, Bishop (Huws 76), Judge, Sears (Edwards 73), Drinan (Norwood 46). Unused: Cornell, Donacien, Kenlock, Hawkins.

Wigan: Jones, Obi, Long, Naismith, Pearce, L Evans, Merrie (Crankshaw 82), Solomon-Otabor, Gardner (Perry 46), Roberts, Garner (c). Unused: O Evans, Joseph, Jolley, Aasgaard, Webber. Referee: Thomas Bramall (Sheffield).

Photo: Matchday Images

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ShropshireBluenago09 added 14:02 - Sep 13
Scrappy game but we fought well. Good performances by Wilson, Dozzell & Bish.

Rodrigo91 added 14:03 - Sep 13
That’s all you need in a league like this I’d take 2-0 wins every week playing average then losing or drawing playing well. Yes today’s performance wasn’t great but we got the 3 points. Still got Wolfenden, Vincent young and Lankester to come in aswell.

guentchev added 14:05 - Sep 13
Didn't play that well at times but got the 3 points....

Well done to the lads. Good start.....

shouldistayorcounago added 14:05 - Sep 13
Relatively solid, good to see the midfield playing some nice fluid football. Onwards and upwards, COYB

brendenward35 added 14:06 - Sep 13
Good win and a good shift by all the players another clean sheet for Holy. Well done Town

DebsyAngel added 14:08 - Sep 13
Thoroughly enjoyed it - nice to actually see the match, and was pleased that the commentary was linked to Radio Suffolk. Thought the first half was excellent. Sears brilliant. Thought we looked sloppy in the second half and too much hoof to the striker play, until Edwards came on and we looked good again. Great goals from Bishop and Edwards. I do miss the proper matchday experience and chatting to my usual friends there, but it's better than nothing. The IFollow stream was good, apart from 74 mins in it went stuttery, but it smoothed out thankfully. Well done town - and we won on Sky Sports!!!

timkatieadamitfc added 14:10 - Sep 13
Didn’t play brilliant but we got the win and that’s ALL THAT MATTERS.
Some real positives like still got the likes of Kvy/woolfenden/ lankester to come back, great to keep a clean sheet with a somewhat make shift defence.
Finally won on sky so a great day all round

arc added 14:11 - Sep 13
Phew. Three points. Pretty ropey performance for the most part, but I'll take the win!

Emeka Obi our stand-out performer—two goals (missed) and an assist. Fabulous foul throw, as well :-)

90 minutes from Andre, 75 from Teddy. Promising.

I hope Drinan's OK, because the contrast between his movement and Norwood's was the difference between the halves.

Toto an adventure. Chambers pretty awful (sorry). Ward solid.

Nice cameo from Edwards.

Here we go again...

TimmyH added 14:12 - Sep 13
Just about deserved the win though there were some good sporadic passages of play first half but will come against stiffer opposition than a depleted Wigan (The Bolton Wanderers of last season) and have to say the defence still worries me and what chances they had (1st half) the microscope falls on Mr Chambers.

3 points up and running so a good start...

Dolphinblue added 14:12 - Sep 13
Excellent result........#thenegcrew wrong.........again.....

chepstowblue added 14:17 - Sep 13
For all but 15mins that was dopey football at a dopey level. Rode our luck at the back and were certainly no better than Wigan. Proud of myself that I didn't turn over to the cricket. It is what it is and a win's a win. Enough evidence there to suggest we'll finish 9th or 10th.

itfchorry added 14:20 - Sep 13
Great win - With some very good Football at times

Bert added 14:24 - Sep 13
A rather laboured performance particularly from midfield but we put the ball in the net twice so can't complain. Toto good with his head, some decent penetrating passes including two from Chambers, nice link play at times but we allowed Wigan to put too many crosses in. Early days but we are joint top !

martin587 added 14:24 - Sep 13
Excellent 3points.Midfield were great and some brilliant passing and a very well taken goal from Teddy.Nsiala and chambers do worry me a bit but they came through unscathed so I will forgive them but they both need to up there game for me.The three upfront ran the lines well and worked hard.All in all a very happy team tonight although we could easily have been 2 down early on.Roll on next Saturday as Wednesday is just a bonus for me.WELL DONE LADS.👍

BlueandTruesince82 added 14:25 - Sep 13
Pleased but we still sound shakey at the bag.... better teams will take advantage.

Cut and thrust of KVY back would be huge... hope Woolfie is back pronto too...

Win is a win though and on sky to boot.


BlueandTruesince82 added 14:26 - Sep 13
Also fantastic to see Dozzell playing and playing well! Something we all so desperate to see!

DurhamTownFan added 14:29 - Sep 13
Pleasantly surprised. At least there is a fairly clear plan, pattern of play and ambition. We will play better but could have been a lot worse! They only really threaten on set pieces. Midfield 3 were great even after the subs: such a different to have goals from midfield! Wrap Bishop up in cotton wool, please!

blues1 added 14:29 - Sep 13
Arc. What are you on about man? Chambers never put a foot wrong all game. Stop just wanting to slag him off bcse that's what fans seem to want to do. Pathetic.

TimmyH added 14:29 - Sep 13
Seriously Rodrigo91 when did we last season draw or lose playing well?...a number of our wins particularly away from home last season we didn't even play well.

For me this season if we are going to seriously threaten an automatic spot (or play-offs) we have to be looking at consistent performances...and a defence which looks better than the one today when put under any pressure.

P.S. Another classic post by Dolphin...(consistency there).

DifferentGravy added 14:30 - Sep 13
A jumbled Wigan side gave us a few early scares and a better team may have punished us. But well done lads, several occasions of really nice play(no surprise most involved Teddy) and perhaps if we had driven into their box we could have created/scored a few more. Ward is an excellent passer and communicator. Nice to start with a win, hopefully build confidence.......and on sky!

BlueSwede added 14:31 - Sep 13
Winning is all that matters. Three points and a clean sheet is the perfect way to start the season. Don't care about anything else really.

dangerous30 added 14:33 - Sep 13
Most important thing today was the win well done lads 👍

blues1 added 14:33 - Sep 13
Timmy h. How does the microscope fall on chambers. Other than thos idiots who want to dlag him off, however he plays? If ur talking about the 1st chance the wigan guy had, then he cant mark 2 players at the same time. He was with his man, obi ran off his marker.

BangaloreBlues added 14:34 - Sep 13
Entertaining game.
Sears needs to smash those free kicks instead of those fairy lifts over the bar.
Should have put the game to bed much earlier though.
And TWTD have been working on a new version of the Ground Guide for about three years now. I guess the guy creating it works for about 30 minutes a year.

jas0999 added 14:36 - Sep 13
Happy to take the three points and move on. Let’s hope Wigan stay afloat so we don’t lose the points later in the season. Okay game which you always felt we’d win against a club in complete turmoil. Great to see Bishop score.

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