|Ipswich Town 1 v 0 Plymouth Argyle|
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 13th March 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Ipswich Town 1-0 Plymouth Argyle - Match Report
Saturday, 13th Mar 2021 16:59
Troy Parrott’s first senior goal saw Paul Cook to his first win as Blues boss as Town defeated Plymouth Argyle 1-0 at Portman Road. The on-loan Tottenham striker seized on a poor Adam Lewis backpass in the fourth minute to grab the game's only goal with the three points seeing Town up into the final play-off place.
Parrott, Kayden Jackson and Alan Judge returned to the Blues’ starting line-up with James Norwood missing from the 18 and Jack Lankester and Teddy Bishop dropping to the bench.
Jackson, who was making his first start under Paul Cook, started as the lone striker in place of Norwood with Parrott behind him, while Judge was on the left.
Veteran midfielder Cole Skuse was back in the 18 for the first time this season following knee surgery.
Plymouth made one change with Lewis coming into the side for 18-goal top scorer Luke Jephcott, who was on the bench following an eight-game goalless streak, with Niall Ennis playing as a lone frontman. Former Blues loanee Conor Grant started for the visitors.
The game got under way with hail falling heavily and the wind blowing strongly. Within a minute Pilgrims keeper Mike Cooper saw a clearance which would probably normally have reached halfway stop and then drop midway inside his team’s half with Jackson securing possession before being fouled 25 yards out.
Judge took the free-kick and hit a well-struck and wind-assisted effort which Cooper did well to claw behind for a corner to his left.
But the Blues only had to wait until the fourth minute to go in front via Parrott’s first goal in senior football. The on-loan Tottenham man reacted quickly to intercept an awful Lewis backpass across his area from left-back towards Cooper and took it wide of the keeper before slotting home prior to a punch of the air which looked as much relief at finally finding the net as it was celebration.
Jackson did well to break away down the right on seven but Parrott’s effort from his cutback was blocked.
The Blues’ number nine should have made it 2-0 in the 10th minute when James Wilson played a deftly weighted ball over the top of the Plymouth backline beating their offside trap. However, Cooper was out quickly and blocked Jackson’s lobbed effort at goal.
Town had been completely dominant in the early stages with the conditions in their favour but playing confidently and at pace, while Plymouth had looked distinctly shaky and unsure of themselves.
The hail subsided as the game passed the quarter-hour mark, although the wind remained something of a factor, with Plymouth making it out of their own half more than had been the case earlier.
But the Blues were still seeing most of the ball, passing it around slickly and at a greater tempo than has been the case for much of the season.
As the half hour mark approached, the Pilgrims had a spell of possession which ended with Grant hitting a low shot wide.
But the Blues quickly regained control, seeing most of the ball and usually quickly winning it back when it had been lost. However, without creating clear-cut opportunities with too many crosses easy for Cooper.
On 34 Parrott hit a shot against Kellard Watts from inside the box following a strong run and through ball from Downes, who suffered a knock as he was doing so and following treatment on the pitch was replaced by Bishop.
Three minutes later, Lewis almost atoned for his earlier error when his cross from the left wasn’t too far away from Ennis.
The visitors thought they’d missed a golden chance to level in the 43rd minute when Lewis found Panutche Camara unmarked in the middle with another decent ball from the left. Camara smashed well wide when it looked easier to score and was probably relieved when he saw the linesman’s flag had been raised.
Town were well worth their lead at the break and should have been in front by more goals - Jackson will feel he ought to have taken his one-on-one opportunity - with Plymouth having looked there for the taking in the early stages as they struggled to adjust to the conditions and the Blues’ front-foot start.
However, later on the half, while Town had still seen a lot of the ball, the Pilgrims had come into it more and more and had looked dangerous in the final third with Lewis having sent in a couple of threatening crosses from the left.
Myles Kenlock struck the first shot of the second half, five minutes after the restart but his powerful effort from wide on the left flew high and wide.
Town should have doubled their lead in the 52nd minute when Dozzell sent Jackson away on the right and the striker cut the ball back for Judge, who blazed over. The Irishman will feel he definitely should have scored.
Plymouth were seeing most of the ball with Town’s main threat on the counter-attack. As the game reached the hour mark, Parrott sent Jackson away on the right and the striker held the ball up well as he waited for Judge and Bishop to break into the area, but as they arrived put his pass well in front of both his team-mates. A wasted opportunity.
Both sides made subs in the 64th minute, the Pilgrims swapping Ennis and Lewis for strike pair Ryan Hardie and Jephcott, while the Blues switched Parrott and Jackson for Skuse, making his first appearance since March 7th last year, and Drinan. Bishop moved into the number 10 role behind Drinan with Skuse joining Dozzell in the centre of the midfield.
Plymouth continued to take the game to Town and in the 71st minute Tomas Holy was forced into his first save of the game, Lewis Macleod hitting a well-struck shot from 30 yards straight into the Czech’s midriff.
In the 77th minute Drinan played a clever ball to Judge from the right to the left as the Blues broke. The midfielder took it to the edge of the box but his shot was blocked by Will Aimson.
There was a big scare for Town a minute later when Watts crossed from the left and Camara, who had caused the Blues’ defenders a few problems, rose highest but diverted his header just the wrong side of the far post.
Both sides made their second double substitutions of the game in the 82nd minute, Town withdrawing Judge and Edwards for Lankester and Keanan Bennetts, operating on the left and right respectively. Plymouth replaced Grant and Macleod with Ben Reeves and Byron Moore.
The Blues had regained control as the game entered its final few scheduled minutes, Drinan and Lankester exchanging passes in the area before the Irishman was dispossessed when one of them ought to have looked goalwards earlier.
In injury time, Bennetts was sent away on the left but his ball towards Bishop at the back post was, like so many of Town’s crosses, disappointing.
The second half had been a more even affair but with the Blues still having had chances to cement their victory with Judge in particular missing a golden opportunity.
Plymouth might have nabbed an equaliser via Camara’s late header but a draw would have been harsh on the Blues overall.
A first win for new boss Cook takes the Blues above Portsmouth, who they face at Fratton Park next Saturday, with Pompey in Papa John’s Trophy action today. The Blues travel to Fleetwood, who drew 0-0 at Blackpool today. on Tuesday evening.
Town: Holy, Chambers (c), Nsiala, Wilson, Kenlock, Downes (Bishop 37), Dozzell, Edwards (Lankester 82), Judge (Bennetts 82), Parrott (Skuse 64), Jackson (Drinan 64). Unused: Cornell, Ward.
Plymouth: Cooper, Watts, Aimson, Edwards (c), Mayor, Grant (Reeves 82), Macleod (Moore 82), Ennis (Hardie 64), Lewis (Jephcott 64), Opoku, Camara. Unused: McCormick, Fornah, Tomlinson. Referee: Sam Purkiss (London).
Photo: Matchday Images
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