|Ipswich Town 2 v 1 Shrewsbury Town|
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 21st November 2020 Kick-off 15:00
Ipswich Town 2-1 Shrewsbury Town - Match Report
Saturday, 21st Nov 2020 17:18
Sub Jack Lankester netted a winner seven minutes into injury time to see the Blues to a fortunate 2-1 comeback victory over Shrewsbury at Portman Road. Oliver Norburn’s fourth-minute penalty - the first goal conceded by Town at home in the league this season - had given the Shrews a 1-0 half-time lead with the Blues very much under par. The game appeared to going nowhere until Ethan Ebanks-Landell’s bizarre 75th minute own goal, before Lankester’s close-range header grabbed an undeserved three points for Town, who remain third in League One.
The Blues were without top scorer Gwion Edwards and striker Oli Hawkins, manager Paul Lambert having revealed prior to the match that two unnamed players had picked up knocks in training during the week.
In total there were three changes from the team which lost 2-1 at Sunderland in Town’s most recent League One match 18 days ago.
In midfield, Brett McGavin came into the side for the suspended Andre Dozzell for his second league start and ex-Shrew Jon Nolan returned for Lankester, who dropped to the bench, with Teddy Bishop the third midfielder.
Edwards’s place in the front three was taken by Freddie Sears, who was on the left, with Kayden Jackson continuing in the middle and Alan Judge on the right.
Tomas Holy was again in goal behind the same back four which faced the Black Cats, from the right, skipper Luke Chambers, Toto Nsiala, like Nolan facing his old club, Mark McGuinness and Stephen Ward.
James Norwood was on the bench having returned to training this week after suffering a minor hamstring problem in the FA Cup tie against Portsmouth alongside Luke Woolfenden.
The centre-half had missed the last three matches as he was self-isolating after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19. James Wilson, a regular starter earlier in the season, was missing from the 18.
Shrewsbury, who went in to the game third bottom, were unchanged from last week’s 3-3 home draw with Swindon with former Blues trialist Shilow Tracey starting.
After both teams had taken the knee in support of Black Lives Matter, the game got under way with Shrewsbury going in front in only the fourth minute from the penalty spot, the first goal Town had conceded in the league at home this season and the Shrews’ first at Portman Road since 1957.
Shaun Whalley was played in behind on the right of the area by Norburn and McGuinness tripped him as he tried to avoid the Shrews forward running across his path. Referee Tim Robinson pointed straight to the spot and Norburn shot powerfully straight down the middle to beat Holy who got a touch on it.
After the early setback the Blues went about trying to get their passing out from the back going but struggled to impose themselves on the visitors. However, on eight Sears broke down the left and crossed low into Shrewsbury keeper Harry Burgoyne’s arms.
The early stages of the game were surprisingly open with both sides getting into promising positions around the opposition box, Shrewsbury more than the Blues. But in the 11th minute Jackson cut in from the left and hit a low shot which Burgoyne claimed without fanfare.
On 16 Shrewsbury thought they should have been awarded another penalty when McGuinness appeared to catch Marc Pugh as he cut inside him. Referee Robinson waved away the protests, despite the visitors appearing to have a strong case.
Town were forced into the first of their five available substitutions in the 22nd minute when Lankester took over from Nolan, who had suffered what looked like a groin problem and following treatment on the pitch made his way around the perimeter to the dressing rooms.
Two minutes later, McGavin played a ball in to Judge, who flicked it in the path of Jackson but Burgoyne was quickly off his line to clear ahead of the striker.
The Blues gradually began to look more threatening and in the 29th minute Jackson fed Bishop on the edge of the box and the midfielder skipped into the box before hitting a shot to Burgoyne. Jackson may well have been better laying the ball off earlier to Lankester to the left.
Town claimed a penalty in the 32nd minute when McGavin’s low corner from the left was cleared against his own hand by Pugh. Referee Robinson wasn’t interested, however, the Blues were penalised in not dissimilar circumstances at Sunderland recently. Two minutes later, Norburn was booked for a foul on Bishop.
Jackson almost created a leveller in the 39th minute when he chased a McGavin pass to the byline on the right and cut it back. Lankester’s initial shot was blocked and the ball ran to Sears who seemed destined to score but his effort was diverted behind.
From the resultant corner Nsiala was pushed as the ball came across but referee Robinson again showed no interest.
That was the last serious action of a disappointing half from the Blues. Having got their early lead from a somewhat gifted penalty, the Shrews had looked the more dangerous side and might well have been awarded a second spot-kick.
Town had started to look more dominant the longer the half went on, although without creating many chances.
The double opportunity when Lankester and Sears had efforts blocked was the nearest they came to a goal, although the Blues will feel they ought to have been awarded a penalty for the handball.
Two minutes after the restart, Jackson had a chance to put the Blues on terms. The striker chased a long ball forward which Burgoyne appeared to misjudge. Jackson tried to head over the keeper but it caught both Burgoyne and a defender before bouncing wide with the Shrews number one subsequently flattening Jackson, who was fine to continue after treatment after what looked a nasty collision.
In the 49th minute the Blues were forced into their second midfield sub of the afternoon when Bishop was replaced by Emyr Huws, like Nolan the academy product gingerly making his way around the pitch to the dressing rooms.
The game reached the hour mark with the Blues not having looked like getting back on terms. At the other end, Shrewsbury hadn’t threatened since the first half and were happy sitting back on their lead. On 62 Lankester was yellow-carded for a foul on Tracey.
Town finally went close to an equaliser in the 64th minute when Judge slid in at the far post to send the ball against the post from a Sears low ball across the area from the right which had been flicked on by Jackson. Keeper Burgoyne somehow managed to scramble the loose ball clear.
Despite that opportunity, the Blues desperately needed a spark with the game going nowhere. On 66 Town swapped Jackson and Sears for Norwood and Keanan Bennetts.
Three minutes later, Pugh hit a shot through to Holy, then on 71 Chambers did well to get across to dispossess the former AFC Bournemouth man from Whalley’s pass with the midfielder in a promising position in the area and about to pull the trigger.
In the 75th minute Town levelled out of absolutely nothing. The Blues hadn’t looked like threatening at all until Bennetts whipped over a low cross from the right and Ebanks-Landell diverted past his own keeper from the six-yard line with the outside of his left boot as he sought to clear.
Rarely will the Blues have scored a more fortunate goal at a more crucial moment in a game in which they had been badly floundering.
Town went after a winner having finally got on terms but unconvincingly. On 86 there was a scare at the other end when sub Ryan Barnett robbed Nsiala and cut back but McGuinness got ahead of another sub Daniel Udoh to turn it behind from the edge of the six-yard box.
The Blues weren’t looking particularly like grabbing an undeserved winner, and urgency continued to be lacking, but with two minutes of scheduled time remaining Chambers looped a Lankester cross well over.
A minute later, Bennetts headed over from a Judge ball into the box with Matthew Millar giving him a nudge which might well have been viewed as a foul by some referees. Again Mr Robinson waved away Town’s enquiries.
The fourth official’s board indicated seven additional minutes in which Town could score their equaliser but almost immediately Shrewsbury were handed a chance to restore their lead.
McGavin slipped allowing Barnett to take the ball into the box where Nsiala pushed him wide, then slid in to put out for a corner. Shrews penalty appeals looked hopeful and were unsuccessful.
Visitors’ sub Josh Vela shot wide, before McGuinness was within a few inches of winning it for Town. McGavin sent over a freekick from the right and the centre-half headed back across goal but past the far post.
It looked like Town were going to have to settle for a point but in the fifth minute of injury time they won it.
Judge worked himself space on the area to shoot, Burgoyne stopped his effort but it fell to Lankester a few yards out and the sub nodded home his second goal in two league games to seemingly win the match.
Despite there being only seconds remaining, Shrewsbury almost grabbed a late, late leveller. A cross came in from the right and Ebanks-Landell hooked goalwards only for Chambers to nod off the line and away. Eventually Lankester was fouled as he hooked away and the Blues could relax.
Moments later the whistle confirmed as fortunate a victory as Town have had for some time.
At 1-0 they were showing no signs of getting back on terms until Ebanks-Landell’s unforced own goal.
Even after that the Shrewsbury goal was never under severe pressure as Town huffed and puffed, but Judge forced the keeper’s error with his shot and Lankester was on hand to net his second goal in his last two league games and the third of his senior career.
The Shrews will spend their long trip back to Shropshire shaking their heads and wondering not just how they failed to claim a point but how they conspired to allow all three to slip through their fingers.
The win sees Town stay stay third in the table, now behind Peterborough in second on goals scored, although with a game in hand, and two points behind new leaders Hull City, who are at Portman Road on Tuesday when the Blues will almost certainly have to be much better than they were today if they’re to maintain their 100 per cent home record.
Town: Holy, Chambers (c), Nsiala, McGuinness, Ward, McGavin, Nolan (Lankester 22), Bishop (Huws 49), Judge, Jackson (Norwood 66), Sears (Bennetts 66). Unused: Cornell, Woolfenden, Kenlock.
Shrewsbury: Burgoyne, Millar, Williams, Ebanks-Landell, Pierre, Daniels, Edwards, Norburn (Vela 76) (c), Whalley (Udoh 80), Tracey (Barnett 79), Pugh. Unused: Iliev, Walker, High, Cummings. Referee: Tim Robinson (West Sussex).
Photo: Matchday Images
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