|Crewe Alexandra 1 v 1 Ipswich Town|
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 30th January 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Crewe Alexandra 1-1 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 30th Jan 2021 17:09
Sub Aaron Drinan netted his first goal for the Blues as 10-man Town drew 1-1 with Crewe Alexandra at Gresty Road. Charlie Kirk gave the home side the lead on 59 but Drinan bundled home the leveller on 75, seven minutes before Teddy Bishop was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence.
Town boss Paul Lambert made three changes from the team which lost 1-0 at home to Sunderland on Tuesday with Myles Kenlock, Alan Judge and Freddie Sears returning to the side.
Kenlock was at left-back for Stephen Ward, who dropped to the bench, with Judge in the more advanced role in place of Jon Nolan, who was left out of the 18, while Sears was the lone central striker replacing Kayden Jackson, suspended for three games following his red card on Tuesday.
James Norwood, who has been out with a recurrence of his hamstring, was among the subs, as was young defender Elkan Baggott, who signed his first professional contract earlier in the week.
Crewe made five changes with Harry Pickering, Mikael Mandron, Luke Murphy, Billy Jones and Stephen Walker coming into the team for Rio Adebisi, Chris Porter, Tom Lowery, Travis Johnson, and Owen Dale.
After the two teams had taken a knee in support of Black Lives Matter, the Blues started the brighter, winning two early corners which home keeper David Richards was forced to punch away, not entirely comfortably given the windy conditions.
In the 11th minute a clever Edwards flicked sent Kenlock away down the left but the full-back’s cross was cut out and eventually the Blues won another corner which Oliver Lancashire inadvertently headed just past his own far post.
Two minutes later, a Town move from deep in their own half ended with Luke Thomas cutting in from the right and hitting a low shot which Richards turned past his near post.
On 14 Edwards hit a testing, dipping 25-yard strike which Richards batted away, the ball falling safely for the Railwaymen.
Crewe had struggled to make any impact going forward but in the 18th minute they went close to going in front when they deftly passed their way into the box and Mandron seemed certain to score from the edge of the six-yard box until Kenlock slid in to make a superb challenge.
The Railwaymen began to see most of the ball and in the 28th minute Kirk got to the byline on the left but twice saw low balls into the box cut out.
Just after the half-hour mark, Kirk had the ball in the net after his initial effort had been saved by Tomas Holy, however, the wideman had strayed offside.
Kenlock, who had begun his first league start since October promisingly both defensively and when going forward, was shown the game’s first yellow card in the 32nd minute for a late tackle on Murphy on the edge of the Alex area.
Sears joined his team-mate in referee Ross Joyce’s book four minutes later for catching Ryan Wintle with a high boot. On 39 Omar Beckles had his name taken for a foul on Judge.
Chances continued to be rare at both ends has half-time grew close. In the 43rd minute Sears hit a shot from distance which curled well away from goal.
As the game moved into two additional minutes, Kirk struck a powerful effort which struck Woolfenden on the edge of the box.
Moments later, Sears was flagged offside after seizing on a Beckles error with Norwood and Lankester, warming up and well-placed to make a decision, certain the linesman was wrong, and they appeared to have a case.
That was the last incident of an evenly-balanced half of few chances. Town, again not quite as ponderous in possession as they have been at times this season, started positively and won a number of early corners.
However, Crewe began to see more of the ball and worked the best opportunity of the period when Mandron was thwarted by Kenlock.
Thomas’s low effort which Richards saved at his near post and Edwards’s long-range strike had been the closest Town had come to a goal.
Two minutes after the break, Kenlock held off Murphy as the Crewe midfielder chased a ball over the top and Holy claimed.
On 50 Edwards scraped a shot well wide following a long spell of Blues possession, then two minutes later Dale replaced Walker for the Railwaymen.
In the 61st minute, Chambers intercepted a loose pass on halfway, brought it forward and hit a weak shot which struck a defender on the edge of the area. The ball fell to Thomas, who tried to play in Edwards on the left of the box but the Welshman failed to read his pass.
Crewe took the lead with their first serious attack of the half in the 59th minute. Luke Woolfenden was dispossessed in the centre circle, claiming he had been pulled back by Mandron and appeared to have a case. Wintle took the ball forward and played it wide to Kirk on the Crewe left and the left winger swept past Holy for his sixth goal of the season.
Town boss Lambert, who was back on his feet in the technical area having spent the previous few games sitting in the dugout following his recent illness, quickly made a double substitution, Norwood and Bishop taking over from Sears and Thomas. Soon after the change, Oliver Finney shot over in the aftermath of a corner.
In the 69th minute a brilliant Dozzell pass played in Edwards on the left, from where the winger cut across towards Norwood at the far post but Beckles turned it wide ahead of the Town striker.
Moments later, as Crewe broke following the corner, Bishop was booked for a foul on Kirk, who himself was yellow-carded on 73 after a clash with Flynn Downes.
On 75 the Blues swapped Edwards for Drinan, the Irishman joining Norwood up front, and within seconds the sub levelled with his second touch of the game.
Judge lofted a hopeful ball into the box, Lancashire inadvertently chested across his own area and the former Waterford man bundled the ball home as he challenged with a defender, injuring himself as he did so.
However, Drinan was OK to carry on having finally scored his first senior competitive goal for the Blues.
Crewe went looking to restore their lead and in the 78th minute Finney’s drifting effort from the right was palmed over by Holy.
A minute later the Alex had an even better chance when a ball looped into the area from deep on the right saw three players in behind the Town defence and Jones headed over when he really should have scored. On 79 Crewe replaced goalscorer Kirk and Finney were replaced with Daniel Powell and Antony Evans.
In the 82nd minute the Blues were reduced to 10 men for the second game running when Bishop was shown his second yellow card and then a red for a foul on Murphy.
The frustrated midfielder made his way to the tunnel and could count himself somewhat unfortunate with the two fouls he committed, although certainly infringements, hardly warranting a red card between them.
Town saw out the remaining scheduled minutes and five more in additional time to secure a point, which was a fair reflection of the game.
Neither team did enough to claim all three with chances rare throughout, although with both teams having missed one or two opportunities in the second half.
Drinan has deserved to get off the mark having broken into the first team this season and although the goal was far from a classic, it will be one the Irish U21 international will always remember.
Any momentum the Blues might have gained from that goal was halted Bishop was dismissed for two nothing fouls in the opposition half of the field. The midfielder will miss one game as a result.
Town are without a win in three, although also unbeaten in four away from home, two draws and two wins. They drop to 11th in the table, but are now only four points from the play-offs.
However, the result and slip of a further place will do little to reduce the pressure on manager Lambert ahead of Blackpool’s visit to Portman Road next week.
Crewe: Richards, Jones, Lancashire, Beckles, Pickering (c), Murphy, Wintle, Finney (Evans 79), Walker (Dale 52), Kirk (Powell 79), Mandron. Unused: Jaaskelainen, Lowery, Porter, Johnson.
Ipswich: Holy, Chambers (c), Woolfenden, McGuinness, Kenlock, Dozzell, Downes, Judge, Thomas (Bishop 63), Edwards (Drinan 75), Sears (Norwood 63). Unused: Cornell, Ward, Lankester, Baggott. Referee: Ross Joyce (Cleveland).
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