Ipswich Town 0-1 Swindon Town - Half-Time
Saturday, 9th Jan 2021 18:31
Diallang Jaiyesimi’s 16th minute goal has given second-bottom Swindon a 1-0 half-time lead over Town at Portman Road.
Aaron Drinan and Armando Dobra returned to the Blues starting line-up, while Flynn Downes, James Norwood and Zanda Siziba were among the subs.
Drinan was the lone central striker with Oli Hawkins having dropped out of the 18, while Dobra was on the left of the front three for Keanan Bennetts, who suffered a knock in the Blues’ last game against Burton at home 25 days ago.
Kayden Jackson was again wide on the right of the front three with Andre Dozzell, Emyr Huws and Alan Judge the midfield trio.
At the back, skipper Luke Chambers and Stephen Ward were the fullbacks with ex-Swindon loanee Luke Woolfenden and Mark McGuinness the centre-halves. Dai Cornell was in goal.
Downes was back among the subs for the first time since suffering a knee injury at the start of October and Norwood returned after his latest hamstring problem, while midfielder Siziba, 17, was in the squad for a League One game for the first time having made one start and one sub appearance in the Papa John’s Trophy.
For Swindon, ex-Blues striker Brett Pitman and one-time loanee defender Zeki Fryers were in a starting XI which featured seven changes from their 4-1 defeat at home to the MK Dons last time out.
Forward Scott Twine, who played alongside Blues frontman Drinan for League of Ireland side Waterford, and midfielder Matty Palmer started having been recalled from loan spells, while keeper Mark Travers and Dominic Thompson made their debuts.
After both teams had taken a knee in support of Black Lives Matter, Swindon struck the first shot of the game in the third minute but Matt Smith hit his effort from the edge of the box over.
The Blues, with manager Paul Lambert watching from a box rather than the dugout having been among those at Portman Road to have suffered with Covid-19 over Christmas, created their first opportunity in the seventh minute when Dozzell sent Dobra away down the left. The Albanian U21 international crossed and Drinan’s awkward effort at goal was diverted out for a corner.
Three minutes later Paul Caddis crossed for Smith but his header from the edge of the box gave Cornell no trouble. Moments later, veteran Caddis was booked for tripping Dobra, whose direct running was already causing the visitors problems. From the free-kick, McGuinness looped a header to keeper Travers who claimed comfortably.
While Town had seen most of the ball, it was the Robins who would take the lead in the 16th minute.
Thompson was played in in space behind Jackson on the visitors’ left and sent over a cross which former Norwich winger Jaiyesimi headed back across Cornell and into the net as he ran into the area unchecked.
Town continued to see most of the ball but didn’t threaten until the 25th minute when Ward crossed from the left and Huws stooped to head well wide from the 18-yard line.
Swindon were looking more dangerous on the break and two minutes later, the ball was cut back from the right by Caddis to Jaiyesimi, whose effort was inadvertently blocked by his team-mate Pitman.
On the half hour, Dozzell’s clever chip played Judge in on goal inside the area to the left, Town’s best chance of the half, but the Irishman’s effort at goal was blocked by Travers.
From the resultant corner, the Robins broke quickly and after good work from Pitman, Jaiyesimi’s shot deflected through to Cornell.
On 37 Pitman found the net but with referee Sebastian Stockbridge having already blown his whistle.
Just before the half-time whistle, Chambers crossed from the right and the ball flicked off Dobra’s head and wide with the winger under pressure.
A disappointing half from the Blues, who as so often had seen plenty of the ball but without looking particularly threatening, aside from the couple of occasions when Dozzell had shown his passing quality.
At the other end, the visitors had looked a danger on the break and had taken their first real chance and might well have taken another, while Town fans will be all too aware of Pitman’s finishing ability when the ball falls for him in the area.
Downes and Norwood spent half-time warming-up vigorously and look like they may well be introduced ahead of the second half.
Ipswich: Cornell, Chambers (c), Woolfenden, McGuinness, Ward, Dozzell, Huws, Jackson, Judge, Dobra, Drinan. Subs: Holy, Nsiala, Kenlock, Downes, Siziba, Lankester, Norwood.
Swindon: Travers, Caddis, Fryers, Conroy (c), Jaiyesimi, Pitman, Twine, M Smith, Lyden, Palmer, Thompson. Subs: Matthews, T Smith, J Smith, Payne, Curran, Grant, Hope. Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge (Tyne and Wear).
Photo: Matchday Images
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