|Ipswich Town 0 v 1 Peterborough United|
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 23rd January 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Ipswich Town 0-1 Peterborough United - Match Report
Saturday, 23rd Jan 2021 17:10
Town continue to look for a win against one of League One’s top sides as Mark McGuinness’s 69th minute own goal saw Peterborough United to a 1-0 win at Portman Road. Jonson Clarke-Harris missed a penalty for Posh in a dull first half and the game improved little in a second in which McGuinness scuffed past his own keeper to win three points for the visitors who otherwise didn’t manage a shot on target, while the Blues registered merely two.
Town boss Paul Lambert, who again watched the game sitting in the dugout, made one enforced change with Aaron Drinan replacing James Norwood up front.
Norwood dropped out of the 18 having felt some fatigue in his previously injured hamstring during last Saturday’s 1-0 win at Burton.
Kayden Jackson was also not in the squad having missed training earlier in the week due to thigh and hip injuries.
Winger Luke Thomas, who signed from Barnsley in the week, was among the subs, as was Jon Nolan, who had previously been out with a calf problem. Town’s other new loan signing, Josh Harrop, is self-isolating having tested positive for Covid-19.
Posh made one change from the team which beat Charlton 2-1 in midweek with midfielder Reece Brown coming in for Ethan Hamilton, who was among the subs.
After the two teams had taken a knee in support of Black Lives Matter, the game got under way with Peterborough controlling the early stages but without either keeper being tested.
Town gradually began to show more and on 16 Teddy Bishop won a free-kick five yards outside the penalty area to the right. The ball was played short to the midfielder on the edge of the area, where he worked himself space to hit a shot which deflected wide.
Five minutes later, former Posh wideman Gwion Edwards won a free-kick on the left, although the decision looked harsh on the visitors, and Alan Judge scraped a strike past Christy Pym’s right post with the keeper never looking in any trouble.
Clarke-Harris struck a powerful 25-yard free-kick only just over Tomas Holy’s cross-bar in the 25th minute but with the Town keeper similarly unflustered.
Just before the half hour, Sammie Szmodics, under pressure from Dozzell, was able to turn the ball into the path of Siriki Dembele breaking down the left. The former Grimsby striker took it on into the area and hit a shot which looked to be going wide before Holy’s right hand made sure.
In the 33rd minute the visitors were handed a golden opportunity to go in front when Toto Nsiala lunged in to make a challenge on Dembele in the area. Referee Antony Coggins didn’t appear to be that interested until his assistant on the right-hand side after a long wait waved his flag and the Oxfordshire-based official pointed to the spot.
However, fortunately for the Blues, Clarke-Harris smashed his penalty very powerfully straight down the middle but too high.
The visitors didn’t seem unduly affected by their penalty miss and in the 43rd minute again weren’t far away from the opening goal.
Dan Butler’s whipped over a free-kick from the right which somehow avoided everyone in the area and flashed past the far post.
Just before the whistle, Jack Taylor was booked for a foul on Bishop inside the centre circle as the Blues broke.
A not particularly memorable half with neither side having recorded a shot on target with the visitors’ penalty the only really significant opportunity, although Dembele might feel he could have done better with his earlier chance.
Prior to the penalty, the Blues had started play more in the Peterborough half but without being able to create a chance and having had a tendency to give the ball away. Posh seemed buoyed by their penalty, even if they had missed it, and had looked more threatening in the spell which followed.
Edwards whipped over a cross from the right a couple of minutes after the restart but Drinan, still looking for his first competitive goal for the Blues, was unable to get his head on it.
On 54 Chambers nodded a bouncing ball towards Drinan not far outside the six-yard box but a Posh boot took it away from the Irishman. Five minutes later, Stephen Ward was booked for a foul on Idris Kanu.
There was a scare for the Blues in the 62nd minute when a scuffed Butler free-kick from the right made its way through a crowd of players and bounced off Holy, but fortunately didn’t fall kindly for a Posh player.
Peterborough were looking the more threatening of two not at all dangerous-looking sides and on 68 they went in front, perhaps inevitably given the overall lack of threat shown by the two teams, via an own goal.
Butler sent over a cross from the left and under no pressure McGuinness, the scorer of Town’s winner at Burton last week, sliced his clearance across Holy and into the corner of the net to give the visitors the lead.
Edwards was booked for a foul on Kanu on 71, then two minutes later skipper Luke Chambers smashed a shot high and wide after Bishop had found him on the right of the area.
Prior to the goal-kick, Town made a triple substitution with Nolan, Thomas and Freddie Sears replacing Bishop, Judge and Drinan.
Less than a minute after coming on, Nolan struck the Blues’ first shot on target from 25 yards but Pym was able to bat the ball into the air.
Thomas made his first contribution in a Town shirt on 78, cutting in from the right and playing a low ball to Edwards on the other side of the box. The Welshman turned inside his man before hitting a shot not too far over.
The Blues, as snow began to fall, briefly started to look a threat as the game moved into its final 10 minutes, Sears and then Thomas both having efforts blocked.
Posh swapped Hamilton for Brown two minutes later and the sub went close almost immediately, shooting over from Butler’s cross having initially played the ball wide to the former Newport man.
Niall Mason took over from Dembele for Posh in the penultimate minute with the Blues by now no more than huffing and puffing and an equaliser not looking particularly likely.
The Blues did have the ball in the net during five minutes of injury time but the ball had already gone out of play before Chambers had knocked back in to Nsiala, who had acrobatically hooked home.
Downes headed into Pym’s arms to register a second attempt on target before referee Coggins brought the afternoon to an end.
The winning goal summed up a game of little quality with neither team ever showing much incisiveness or invention in and around the penalty area. Despite their lack of attempts on goal, Peterborough probably deserved the three points marginally more than the Blues.
Town never create many chances but few opposition keepers will have had as quiet an afternoon as Peterborough’s Pym, who was only forced into action by sub Nolan’s shot.
On this evidence, both teams are some way off the likes of Hull City, Portsmouth and Doncaster.
The Blues have now lost five of their last six at home and taken 10 points from their last nine games.
The result, one which heaps yet more pressure on under-fire Blues boss Lambert, moves Posh up to third while Town are down to ninth ahead of another tough home game against Sunderland on Tuesday and a difficult away trip to Crewe next Saturday.
Town: Holy, Chambers (c), Nsiala, McGuinness, Ward, Dozzell, Downes, Bishop (Nolan 74), Judge (Thomas 74), Drinan (Sears 74), Edwards. Unused: Cornell, Woolfenden, Kenlock, Huws.
Peterborough: Pym, Butler, Thompson, Beevers (c), Kent, Taylor, Clarke-Harris, Dembele (Mason 89), Brown, Szmodics (Jones 84), Kanu. Unused: Gyollai, Eisa, Broom, Burrows. Referee: Antony Coggins (Oxfordshire).
Photo: Matchday Images
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