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Ipswich Town 2 v 0 Blackpool
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 6th February 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Ipswich Town 2-0 Blackpool - Match Report
Saturday, 6th Feb 2021 17:11

Goals either side of half-time from Alan Judge and Luke Woolfenden saw the Blues to a what was ultimately a comfortable 2-0 home victory over Blackpool. Judge stuck from 20 yards on 43, then Woolfenden added a second with a close-range header four minutes into the second half and the Blues really should have won more convincingly with a number of subsequent chances spurned.

Skipper Luke Chambers and five-goal joint-top scorer Gwion Edwards dropped to the bench as manager Paul Lambert handed debuts to new loan signings Luke Matheson and Troy Parrott from the start.

Chambers, previously the Blues’ only ever-present in the league this season, last missed a game for which he was available in August 2019 when squad rotation saw him among the subs for the 2-1 home win against AFC Wimbledon.

The captain joined Edwards, Stephen Ward, who was also a sub for last week’s 1-1 at Crewe, on the bench with Matheson making his debut at right-back and Woolfenden and Mark McGuinness the centre-halves. Myles Kenlock, at 24 the senior man in a back four with an average age of 21, continued at left-back, with Tomas Holy again in goal.

In midfield, Flynn Downes wore the captain’s armband with Andre Dozzell more advanced than usual and Judge ahead of him.

Freddie Sears moved to the left of the front three having started in the middle last week with Parrott the central striker and Luke Thomas on the right.

Josh Harrop was in a Town 18 for the first time having completed his 10-day self-isolation following his positive Covid-19 test which came soon after his loan move from Preston.

For Blackpool, ex-Town midfielder Grant Ward and ex-loanee Luke Garbutt were both on the bench having recently been out with injuries, while striker Gary Madine missed out on a place in the 18 due to a groin problem.

The Tangerines made one change from the team which beat Northampton 2-0 at Bloomfield Road on Tuesday with new loan signing Elliot Embleton, who came on as a sub for Sunderland in Town’s previous home match, coming in for Ellis Simms.

After the two teams and the officials had taken a knee in support of Black Lives Matter, Blackpool won an early free-kick from deep on the left which McGuinness cleared.

Rain was falling steadily, having been heavier in the hours up to the match, with an area of the pitch in front of the East of England Co-op Stand already starting to look waterlogged.

As the 10-minute mark approached the Blues briefly began to dominate possession with Parrott looking to make runs in behind the Blackpool defence. On nine Matheson sent over a cross from the right but was unable to pick out a team-mate.

In the 12th minute Woolfenden found Kenlock with a cross-field ball and the left-back fed Judge as he broke into the area and the Irishman hit a shot which Seasiders’ keeper and skipper Chris Maxwell palmed into the side-netting.

Blackpool began to see more of the ball and in the 16th minute Marvin Ekpiteta headed a free-kick from the left not too far wide wide at the back post. Six minutes later, Kenlock was shown the game’s first yellow card for a foul on Jordan Gabriel.

The visitors were winning a lot of free-kicks midway inside the Town half on both flanks. From one of them in the 26th minute Sullay Kaikai looped a ball from the left towards the near post and James Husband diverted it well wide with his shoulder as he looked to add a flick which would have caused Holy in the Town goal significant problems.

Jordan Thorniley shot not too far wide from a corner in the 32nd minute, then two minutes later the Blues had their best opportunity of the half up to then.


Thomas should have seriously tested Maxwell when the ball was played low to him on the edge of the box as he broke forward on the right but the on-loan Barnsley man’s scuffed effort bobbled wide.

A minute later, Holy batted away Embleton’s 20-yard drive, then in the 39th minute the Blues had the ball in the net but with the linesman raising his flag. Parrott, who had had a lively half, played in Sears, who took the ball wide of the advancing Maxwell before slipping it home. Video evidence suggested the former Colchester man might have been onside.

On 43 McGuinness cut out a Kaikai through ball which would have seen two visiting players through on goal and immediately Town broke up the other end and went in front.

Kenlock found Judge in space on the right with a cross-field pass and the Irishman brought the ball forward and rather than looking to pass to Parrott inside to his left struck a low 20-yard shot across the wet turf past Maxwell and into the net for his second goal of the season.

Just before the whistle, Kenneth Dougall screwed an effort well wide for the visitors, who could count themselves a little unlucky to be behind at the break.

The Blues had had spells on top but Maxwell hadn’t been significantly threatened prior to Judge’s goal, while the Seasiders had had the better of the game’s opportunities, albeit with Holy only forced into one save.

A rare half-time home lead for the Blues, only the second this season, the other the opening league match against Wigan, and coincidentally their first anywhere since the game at Blackpool in October.

Town started the second half brightly and in the 48th minute Dozzell worked his way into the box via a one-two and fed Sears to his right, the striker hitting a shot which Maxwell palmed into the air and over.

And from the corner, the Blues doubled their lead. Dozzell’s flag-kick from the right was unwittingly flicked on by a Blackpool defender and Woolfenden nodded home from a matter of inches at the far post, the defender’s first goal of the season and the second of his Town career.

Town should have made it 3-0 in the 56th minute when Judge’s corner from the left skimmed of McGuinness’s head when the on-loan Arsenal man looked set to score and the ball then flashed past Woolfenden at the far post.

Tangerines keeper Maxwell was sent off at Portman Road for taking out Kayden Jackson having come well out of his goal when playing for Preston in November 2018 and almost repeated the trick in the 58th minute when he arrived late and sent Parrott flying midway inside the visitors’ half to the right. Referee John Busby deemed the challenge worthy of only a yellow card.

Town again should have had a third in the 57th minute when McGuinness was found by Dozzell’s corner but the centre-half powered his header wide.

Three minutes later, Edwards, who scored twice in the 4-1 win at Bloomfield Road earlier in the season, replaced Thomas, who had again been on the periphery, then the visitors swapped Matty Virtue for Demetri Mitchell.

Kaikai was yellow-carded for a high and late challenge on Edwards as the Blues looked to break in the 64th minute, then three minutes later Matheson joined him in the book for a foul on Husband.

On 69, the Blues swapped Parrott, who can be pleased with his Town debut, and Dozzell for James Norwood and debutant Harrop.

Norwood immediately got involved, chasing a ball down the left and crossing low towards Edwards, who claimed he’d been fouled as he and Ekpiteta slid in, but it appeared the Blackpool man had made contact with the ball and a corner was awarded. On 72, Simms took over from Kaikai for the visitors.

Two minutes later, Judge smashed a shot into the side-netting with the net subsequently requiring some tape to reattach it to the post.

Town keeper Holy suffered a nasty blow to the face in the 78th minute when Gabriel was sent in on goal chasing a low bouncing ball. The Czech got there first and bundled away but caught the Blackpool right-back’s boot in the face. However, after a couple of minutes’ recovery, Holy was able to continue.

The Seasiders, who were showing few signs of being able to get back into the game, made a triple change in the 82nd minute with ex-Blues Garbutt and Ward and Beryly Lubala taking over from Husband, Dougall and Embleton.

A minute later it again should have been 3-0 to the Blues. Matheson cut the ball back from the byline on the right and Sears looked certain to score until Ekpiteta somehow diverted his low shot past the far post.

In the 88th minute referee Busby pulled up with a hamstring injury and after a delay was replaced by fourth official Paul Yates.

With the game in seven additional minutes, Sears was played in on the right but checked back and played to Norwood, whose cross was flicked wide by Harrop.

That was the last action of a game which was all but won when Woolfenden headed the second goal four minutes after the restart.

Town had plenty of chances to improve on the three-goal margin they beat the Tangerines at Bloomfield Road earlier in the season but were unable to take them.

For once they looked threatening from set pieces and ought to have scored more than just Woolfenden's goal via that route.

The Blues grew in confidence having gone into their 2-0 lead but already had sought to pass at a greater tempo, rarely in the predictable ponderous manner which has been the hallmark of their displays this season.

A Blackpool comeback never looked on the cards and the second half was as comfortable and competent as the Blues have been for some time.

New loanees Parrott and Matheson could be happy with their contributions with the Spurs man holding-up and linking play, while also looking to get in behind at times.

Matheson broke forward on occasions, something he will presumably do with greater regularly as he gets more games under his belt having not played a first-team match this season.

Harrop looked to get himself in the box during his time on the field and would appear to add a threat from central midfield that Town have been short of this season, although Judge will be delighted with his goal and a performance more in line with his early performances for the club rather than this season's often middling form.

A win which improves the Blues’ home form, following a run of six defeats in seven, and moves them up one place to 10th but still four points off the play-offs - although now nine off the top two following Hull City’s surprise defeat at Burton - ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Peterborough United, who are fourth following their 2-0 home win against Crewe.

Town: Holy, Matheson, Woolfenden, McGuinness, Kenlock, Dozzell (Harrop 69), Downes (c), Judge, Thomas (Edwards 60), Sears, Parrott (Norwood 70). Unused: Cornell, Chambers, Ward, Drinan.

Blackpool: Maxwell (c), Gabriel, Ekpiteta, Thorniley, Husband (Garbutt 81), Dougall (Ward 82), Stewart, Kaikai (Simms 72), Embleton (Lubala 82), Virtue (Mitchell 61), Yates. Unused: Sims, Turton. Referee: John Busby (Oxfordshire).


Photo: Matchday Images



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DifferentGravy added 17:12 - Feb 6
Second half was one of the better performances in last three seasons…..which say it all. How many of us have been banging on about getting players forwards, in the box……. more shots!?!? Only taken Shambert 23+ games for the penny to drop. If only we had 2 up top.

Parrot did well but the attack minded players being further forward helped. Dozzell and his passing came more into it….particularly as he actually had players to aim for. Downes covered well in the defensive role. Matheson played well and positionally he knows how to play RB. Judge looked happier with players to pass forward to.

Happy for the 3 points but one swallow does not make a summer. Lambert put us in this position and some far tougher challenges coming up in February against top 10 teams….so not getting carried away. But lets celebrate a win for once. Enjoy your evenings!
38

heathen66 added 17:12 - Feb 6
One word…Refreshing !!!
Isn’t it great to be cheerful on a Saturday evening…for a change !!!
Players seemed to be playing for each other
Both full backs were very good, stopping crosses, making tackles and getting forward.
Parrott looks a handy acquisition.
The only thing really missing was the belief we really could beat Blackpool, again often Parrott and especially Norwood were too isolated as lone strikers.
Judge still flatters to deceive, yes he scored, but much of his passing and corners were awful !!!
The plus point for me however was the back 4, they looked like a back 4 and played like a back 4. Very seldom if at all were the CBs left isolated.
Dozzell was far more effective in a more forward role and Downes played a great anchor role
Bring on Peterborough !!!
COYB !!!
25

Daz added 17:12 - Feb 6
Nice win keep it going
Seasons not over yet
Coyb
13

CustardCream added 17:12 - Feb 6
I hate to say it, but fair play Paul Lambert. Dropping Chambers will have required some bottle and he did it. The two young loanees looked very good and the change of position for Andre and Downes worked a treat. I’ve felt the performances have been better since Peterborough but not got the points we deserved. Fingers crossed we can go on a bit of a run now
20

midastouch added 17:12 - Feb 6
A must win game and we got the job done. Well done to the Blues, an important step in the right direction. However, we desperately need to back this up though as we can't afford to hang around any longer if we've got any serious designs on reaching the Play Offs.

Could we finally beat a team higher up the league with the new additions to the squad? Tuesday night will be a big test of our credentials.

COYB, let's back it up and keep it going!
16

BromleyBloo added 17:13 - Feb 6
Bloody hell! We scored first and went in at half-time leading - first time for 20 matches!!

And we didn’t let Pool back in.

Have to give PL his due, brave decisions, played Matt and kept Woolfy and Mc in, although I didn’t understand Sears instead of Edwards???

Parrot led the line well and Downes had a dominant match I thought. Judge okay, Norwood made a difference when he came on and defence solid after the first 10 mins. Harrop looked tidy, but Thomas pretty much invisible.

As Micky M said Dozzell further forward and Downes as base defensive midfielder also seemed a good change.

We won 🙌 and maybe something to launch from now. If not we would have lost touch with the top 6, but tough/key match on Tuesday!

COYB!!!
15

LWNR2013 added 17:14 - Feb 6
And there’s the answer. No old men. I’d pay to watch football like that - oh I already do. Get in!
14

jas0999 added 17:15 - Feb 6
A rare win which is most welcome. Enough for me to change opinion of Lambert? No. He still needs to go and allow a new man - preferably one who will not only speak to the press but also not Ban journalists - an opportunity to work with this squad.
7

TractorFrog added 17:15 - Feb 6
COME ON IPSWICH!!!!!!!!!!!
4

Bert added 17:15 - Feb 6
Sooooooooooo.... much better ! Quick link up play. Very watchable. Downes MoM. Reasons to be cheerful.
15

Saxonblue74 added 17:15 - Feb 6
Didn't set the world on fire but stick with that and things will start to happen. Superb from Judge, decent from Freddie and decent from all concerned. Actually felt a sense of anticipation in attack! Happy Saturday
6

Kickingblock added 17:16 - Feb 6
Well done 👍
4

TractorFrog added 17:16 - Feb 6
We are 12 points off top, with a game in hand. If we play like that for the rest of the year (unlikely, but not impossible), we could still win promotion! COME ON IPSWICH TOWN!
9

DebsyAngel added 17:17 - Feb 6
Excellent performance - really enjoyed it! The new players were impressive, really liked Matheson, a terrific debut, and Parrott looked very good. Judge's goal was great, and to actually win and enjoy the match was a refreshing change. Keep that team lineup for now, it was a joy to watch.
12

VanDusen added 17:18 - Feb 6
Much much better! Once the second goal went in we never looked back and probably the best performance since the same opponents away.

Judge looked the part playing where he should do. Freddie was really unlucky not to get at least one goal. Holy made some solid saves. The new lads all bedded in well - Parrott clearly got talent, but actually look forward to seeing more of Harrop too who impressed...

Now if we could get a shock win on Tues night you feel.the confidence
10

unknown100 added 17:18 - Feb 6
The key was they came out second half and went for the second, a much improved performance, a goal threat!!!!

Parrot looked clever
Mattheson looked assured
Harrop showed quality in small amount of time
Sears for me still not good enough
Judge shut me up

Games in hand, results went our way... I’m going to enjoy this moment and not think about Peterborough 😂
8

Len_Brennan added 17:18 - Feb 6
A number of positive developments with the team & play, resulting in a comfortable win. It's only one game I know, but maybe the season is not quite over just yet.
Keep playing Downes in the deeper role & pushing on forward; this result should breed confidence.
16

therein61 added 17:18 - Feb 6
Well done you boys in blue 3 welcome points and the spirit with which we helped each other was good to see although he has been slammed i thought Judge played well and relished being the elder statesman in a young side always cajoling when needed and a goal as well, it's about time you had the balls to make the call P.L but dropping errors to the bench worked and the side played with a freedom seldom seen since you came onboard just keep it up and do not revert to type.
11

BartonBluee added 17:18 - Feb 6
Quality win! If you can find negatives in that go and support another team!

Holy was solid. Kenlock and Matheson offer something Chambers and Ward CANT!

Nice to see Dozzell playing higher up the pitch. Downes is much better at the dirty work.

Parrott was great! 100% effort all game and nice to have a speedy skilful striker.

We will still win, lose and draw games this season, so fans need to be realists. Onwards and upwards with a big push to the end of the season COYB
12

RobsonWark added 17:19 - Feb 6
BRILLIANT!! Best I've seen Town play for a long, long, long time. The passing was much more quicker and more direct. Players were looking for the ball. We had a right back who defended and got forward now and then (rather than a right back who just hanged about on the right wing expecting the centre halves to cover for him).
If we can keep this starting 11 together each match they are only going to get BETTER and BETTER as they play with each other and learn how each other wants the ball. Whisper it quietly but I think if we start with the same 11 for each match we can WIN this league this season!!
I LOVED watching the match today. We looked like we might score every time we attacked and I was so confident in our defence when they had the ball.
13

sospier added 17:19 - Feb 6
Matheson and Parrott both had very good games and Judge scored a very good goal.A game we had to win.Very well done lads now let’s go to Peterborough on tuesday and get three points
11

SpiritOfJohn added 17:19 - Feb 6
Good energy from the team and players looked like they were enjoying it today - and so did I. More of this please!
11

RobsonWark added 17:20 - Feb 6
On another note - I've never seen our pitch look soooooooooooo bad as it did today!!
4

Saxonblue74 added 17:20 - Feb 6
LWNR, best player on the pitch was Judge. Chambers being dropped? It happened because this is the first time we've had the option to do so. I'm sure he would be willing and accepting of it being the club man that he is.
12

pennblue added 17:20 - Feb 6
Well done, great performance, still room for improvement, more focus needed at the back, but overall, a great confidence booster. Onto Posh next.
4


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