|Accrington Stanley 1 v 2 Ipswich Town|
SkyBet League One
Tuesday, 2nd March 2021 Kick-off 19:00
Accrington Stanley 1-2 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Tuesday, 2nd Mar 2021 21:10
James Wilson and James Norwood saw Town to a 2-1 victory over 10-man Accrington at the Wham Stadium, the Blues’ striker having missed a earlier penalty. Dion Charles put Stanley ahead in the fourth minute, before Seamus Conneely was dismissed on 16 for bringing down Parrott in the incident which led to the spot-kick. Wilson slammed in his first Town goal on 41 and Norwood added his sixth of the season in first-half injury time to see the Blues to their third win in a row and up to seventh.
Town fielded the same line-up for the fourth successive game as caretaker-manager Matt Gill, assisted by Bryan Klug, took charge with new boss Paul Cook watching from the stands.
Tomas Holy was again in goal with the back four, from the right, skipper Luke Chambers, Toto Nsiala, James Wilson and Myles Kenlock.
Andre Dozzell and Teddy Bishop were in the centre of the midfield with Alan Judge on the left and Keanan Bennetts on the right, while Troy Parrott was behind lone out-and-out striker James Norwood.
Flynn Downes was again on a bench which was unchanged from Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Doncaster.
New boss Cook, who joined on a contract until 2023 earlier today, briefly spoke to the team prior to the match, before taking a place in the stands, alongside new assistant Gary Roberts, who until earlier today was an Accrington player, and leaving Gill and Klug to run the team before he takes charge properly tomorrow.
For Stanley, Paul Smyth returned to the starting XI for Adam Phillips, who drops to the bench.
Prior to kick-off both teams took a knee in support of Black Lives Matter, again with the exception of Toto Nsiala.
In the second minute Kenlock sent in a cross from the left but Norwood scuffed his effort wide.
Three minutes later, from their first attack of the game, the home side took the lead. Smyth crossed low from the right, Holy spilled it and Stanley top scorer Dion Charles stabbed home his 15th of the season.
The Blues showed very little in the opening quarter of an hour but in the 18th minute they were handed a great opportunity to level when they were awarded a penalty and Accrington were reduced to 10 men.
Norwood flicked a long ball on to Parrott, who looked certain to score his first senior goal until he was clumsily upended by Seamus Conneely. Referee Bobby Madley immediately showed a straight red card, presumably as he deemed the Stanley skipper not to have made clear attempt at playing the ball, which seemed harsh.
After some fruitless complaining, Norwood took the penalty but hit his shot too close to Nathan Baxter’s right. The keeper, who also saved a spot-kick in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Fleetwood, initially stopped it and then pounced on it as it threatened to dribble over the line behind him.
Baxter thwarted Norwood again in the 27th minute when he worked himself space from 12 yards out and hit a shot which the keeper palmed wide to his left.
A minute later, the game was brought to a halt as Baxter required treatment for what appeared to be a dislocated finger after colliding with Parrott as the keeper pawed clear a low ball into the area.
The on-loan Chelsea man continued for a few minutes but after further treatment was eventually forced off and Toby Savin replaced him.
Savin was called into action for the first time in the 39th minute when Judge unleashed a 25-yard strike which he was forced to bat away to his left, although without being overly troubled.
But two minutes later the 19-year-old was beaten. Dozzell sent over a corner from the right, the keeper fumbled as he tangled with one of his defenders and Wilson smashed his first Town goal into the net from a matter of inches.
The Blues, who hadn’t overly impressed despite the additional man, finally started to put the home side under pressure. On 44 Savin went some way to atoning for his error with an impressive save from Norwood after a Judge cross from the left had fallen loose.
Bishop shot over soon afterwards as incoming manager Cook began to issue instructions to Kenlock, Judge and Bishop on his side of the pitch.
In the final scheduled minute, Kenlock skipped his way into the area on the left and sent a low ball across the six-yard box which Norwood was just unable to reach at the far post.
But in the sixth of six additional minutes, Norwood finally found the net. Dozzell whipped in a free-kick from the right, after Bennetts had been pulled back by Cameron Burgess, and the striker flicked a powerful header into the net. It appeared the most difficult of the chances the striker had had.
Referee Madley brought the half to an end soon afterwards with the home side perhaps right to feel a little miffed at the way the period had progressed.
Having started well and gained their lead, albeit courtesy of a Holy error, the red card seemed a double punishment for Conneely and, after Norwood had missed his spot-kick, the half had got even worse for Stanley.
Sub keeper Savin had looked shaky even prior to conceding Wilson’s goal and having levelled the Blues began to take charge and create chances with Norwood, now Town’s top scorer on six, grabbing the lead just before the break.
Given the man advantage, Town ought to have been looking at adding to their goals in the second half.
Accrington made a change at the break with David Morgan taking over from Ben Barclay. Three minutes after the restart Charles was booked for a foul on Bishop on halfway.
With new boss Cook by now continually issuing instructions, Norwood charged down a Savin clearance after the keeper had rushed out of his goal to the Town right. The ball deflected into the area but was cleared.
Stanley went close to an equaliser in the 54th minute when Michael Nottingham rose highest to head a free-kick from the right goalwards but Holy got down to his left to save.
As Joe Pritchard underwent treatment on the floor in the 58th minute, Cook made his annoyance at Mark Hughes for an earlier comical dive as a corner came over very clear. Pritchard was unable to continue and was replaced by Sean McConville.
In the 61st minute Matt Butcher shot towards goal but his strike, which looked on target, was blocked by Wilson.
Six minutes later, McConville was booked for a blatant dive when under pressure from Chambers on the left of the box.
Town, who were on top but without having looked like adding to their lead, switched Bishop and Bennetts for Downes and Gwion Edwards in the 71st minute.
On 80 Wilson was harshly yellow-carded for what looked a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge on Smyth on the touchline. Two minutes later, Josh Harrop replaced Dozzell, then on 87 without any further incident Aaron Drinan and Freddie Sears replaced Parrott and Norwood.
Nottingham shot well over for Accrington in the final scheduled minute before Tariq Uwakwe took over from Smyth for the home side.
Seconds before the whistle Drinan was sent away on the right and might have cut across to any one of three players unmarked in the middle but instead took it past the keeper and too wide to take an effort at goal and his low cross was cut out.
A third successive League One win for the Blues for the first time since a run of four on the trot in September and October 2019, and a third win in a week against a side above them in the table.
However, having got their noses in front just before the break, Town will have hoped to have added to their lead in the second half against the 10 men but the period’s only real chance fell to the home side, Holy saving well from Nottingham.
The Blues saw most of the ball but without creating an opportunity, while centre-halves Wilson and Nsiala.
The victory sees the Blues climb to seventh ahead of Stanley, still two points off the play-offs with a game in hand on sixth-placed Doncaster.
New manager Cook was a lively presence in the stand, offering loud encouraging instructions to his new players having initially kept his counsel for the first 20 minutes or so.
Cook seemed impressed with aspects of his new charges’ display and notably called on the wingers to push put wide further.
The former Chesterfield, Portsmouth and Wigan boss will take of his first Town game when the Blues travel to Gillingham on Saturday.
Accrington: Baxter (Savin 37), Nottingham, Hughes, Burgess, Butcher, Smyth, Pritchard (McConville 59), Barclay (Morgan 46), Bishop, Conneely (c), Charles. Unused: Russell, Uwakwe, Rodgers, Phillips, Morgan.
Town: Holy, Chambers (c), Nsiala, Wilson, Kenlock, Dozzell (Harrop 82), Bishop (Downes 71), Bennetts (Edwards 71), Judge, Parrott (Sears 87), Norwood (Drinan 87). Unused: Cornell, Ward, Harrop, Sears, Drinan. Referee: Bobby Madley (West Yorkshire).
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