|Ipswich Town 2 v 3 Swindon Town|
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 9th January 2021 Kick-off 17:30
Ipswich Town 2-3 Swindon Town - Match Report
Saturday, 9th Jan 2021 19:35
James Norwood and Alan Judge were on target for the Blues but two goals from Diallang Jaiyesimi and a stunner from Scott Twine saw Swindon to a 3-2 victory over the Blues at Portman Road. Jaiyesimi gave the visitors the lead on 16 before sub Norwood levelled for the Blues in the 62nd minute, but Twine smashed home a brilliant 30-yard strike on 67 to restore the Robins’ lead and Jaiyesimi made it 3-1 with a cross which found its way into the net seven minutes later. Judge gave the Robins a fright with Town’s second in the 87th minute but the Blues, who stay eighth, were unable to find a third goal against the division’s 22nd-placed side.
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 academy 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.
Downes and Norwood spent half-time warming-up vigorously and took over from Drinan and Huws for the second half.
Swindon went close to making it 2-0 two minutes after the restart, Thompson cutting back from the left to the unmarked Twine, who shot over when he should have done much better.
In the 51st minute Judge wasn’t too far away from levelling for the Blues. After referee Stockbridge had waved play on following a foul on Dozzell, the ball dropped to the Irish international 25 yards out and his low shot scraped the outside of Travers’s left post.
A minute later, Downes was booked for a foul on Jordan Lyden with the substitute adamant he had won the ball, and he appeared to have a good case with the Robins man having made a lot of the challenge.
Norwood hit a low shot from an angle on the right of the box in the 55th minute but Travers was untroubled.
The Blues were again seeing most of the ball but without being able to carve out a significant opportunity.
However, in the 62nd minute Town equalised, slightly fortuitously. Jackson crossed from the right, Norwood completely missed the ball on the edge of the six-yard box when he seemed certain to score, but it struck Caddis and bounced back to the Blues striker who gratefully slammed home his first league goal of the season from a matter of inches.
Having levelled, Town continued to dominate possession and in the 66th minute Downes ran on to a ball played into the box as he broke from midfield but Travers was out quickly to claim.
And a minute later the visitors reclaimed their lead with a goal from the top drawer. Twine, who had been recalled from a loan spell at Newport earlier in the week, picked up the ball and smashed a superb 30-yard strike which flew over Cornell and dipped just under the bar giving the keeper no chance.
Norwood was booked for pulling back Twine in the 71st minute and two minutes later, the Robins increased their lead to two goals.
Jaiyesimi crossed from the left towards Pitman who threw out a foot as the ball passed him as it made its way beyond Cornell and inside the post. The striker appeared to indicate that he hadn’t got a touch and it was his team-mate’s goal.
The Blues had a mountain to climb against one of the division’s lowlier teams, the sort of side they have usually defeated this season. On 78 Jack Lankester took over from Dobra.
Town continued to huff and puff but without showing too many signs of getting back into the game. On 84 Norwood hit a deflected effort through to Travers after Dozzell had seized on some loose Swindon passing.
A minute later, Jaiyesimi slammed a shot wide from the edge of the box as he looked for his hat-trick.
At the other end, Downes headed over from a Judge cross from the left and in the 87th minute the Irishman pulled a goal back for the Blues.
Norwood chased a ball over the top and held off his man before playing inside to Judge, who slammed past Travers from six yards to give the Blues hope of grabbing a point.
But the Robins saw out the remaining scheduled minutes and four more in added-on time and referee Stockbridge’s whistle confirmed Swindon’s first win at Portman Road since September 1991 and the Blues’ fourth home defeat in their last five.
Town may have had 25 days without a game due to Covid-related postponements but it was a performance all too familiar to Blues supporters. Their side saw plenty of the ball but rarely created opportunities.
Norwood’s introduction at the break made a difference and the striker made a Town goal look more likely even before his leveller. However, the Blues’ possession to chances ratio remained low.
At the other end, no keeper would have saved Twine's strike but Jaiyesimi's was another soft goal to concede from the Blues' perspective.
Town started the weekend seventh but dropped to eighth following Accrington’s victory Charlton last night and that’s where they stay ahead of next week’s trip to bottom side Burton, which looks a must win game after today’s defeat.
Ipswich: Cornell, Chambers (c), Woolfenden, McGuinness, Ward, Dozzell, Huws (Downes 46), Jackson, Judge, Dobra (Lankester 78), Drinan (Norwood 46). Unused: Holy, Nsiala, Kenlock, Siziba, Lankester.
Swindon: Travers, Caddis, Fryers, Conroy (c), Jaiyesimi, Pitman, Twine, M Smith (Grant 90), Lyden, Palmer, Thompson. Unused: Matthews, T Smith, J Smith, Payne, Curran, Hope. Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge (Tyne and Wear).
Photo: Matchday Images
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