Ipswich Town 3-0 Fleetwood Town - Half-Time
Sunday, 9th May 2021 12:56
Goals from James Norwood, Gwion Edwards and Troy Parrott have given Town a 3-0 half-time lead over Fleetwood at Portman Road.
Luke Chambers skippered the Blues in what could be his final game for the club, coming in at right-back for Kane Vincent-Young, who suffered a shoulder injury at Shrewsbury on Tuesday evening.
Loanee Parrott, whose spell is up after today’s game, kept his place behind lone striker James Norwood with Teddy Bishop again on the bench, alongside Kayden Jackson, Toto Nsiala and Cole Skuse, with all four also out of contract this summer. For Fleetwood, former Blues loanee Callum Connolly skippered.
Town went ahead from the first serious attack of the game in the third minute. Armando Dobra brought the ball in from the right inside the area then, with no Fleetwood challenge having come in, squared to Norwood, who shot low past Alex Cairns in the visitors’ goal.
It was Norwood’s 10th goal of the season, making sure he ends an injury-hit campaign on double figures, as he has done every year since 2013/14 season when he was with Forest Green Rovers.
Seven minutes later it was 2-0. Edwards out-muscled James Hill on the Town left, cut in and shot right-footed low past Cairns. It was the Welshman’s sixth goal of the season but his first since October.
Fleetwood’s first chance came in the 12th minute when Kyle Vassell cut across to Harrison Biggins but the ball was stabbed away from the striker and Dai Cornell in the Town goal claimed.
Edwards, another who could be playing his last game for the club with his deal up this summer, was forced off with a knock in the 16th minute and replaced by Keanan Bennetts with the loanee from Borussia Monchengladbach playing his final match before his loan expires.
Cornell was forced into a save two minutes later when Dobra was robbed on the halfway line after Luke Woolfenden played him an under-hit ball and Barrie McKay was sent away on the left before hitting a low shot which the Town keeper stopped and then grabbed at the second attempt.
The Cod Army threatened again on 24 when Wes Burns crossed from the right but Ged Garner was unable to get in a shot and the ball was scrambled away, albeit rather untidily.
Despite the visitors having reacted well to conceding the two earlier goals, the Blues made it 3-0 in the 29th minute.
Norwood cleverly threaded in Parrott inside the area and the Irish international confidently placed his shot to the keeper’s right to claim his second goal of his spell and of his senior career.
It was the first time Town had scored three times at home in the league this season, having previously netted only twice in their last eight matches, in the 2-1 win at Swindon last week. Town last scored three goals in a half at Blackpool in October.
Biggins saw an effort deflect wide in the 35th minute after Fleetwood had broken quickly and had been two on one at one stage before the Town backline retreated. Then, following the resultant corner, Danny Andrew forced Cornell to bat away his well-struck shot.
Vassell shot too close to Cornell from just behind the penalty spot on 44, the final action of a dominant half from the Blues.
Town started positively grabbing their two early goals as the visitors began the game somewhat hesitantly at the back. Confidence flowed from there with the Blues passing the ball around and looking for opportunities as well as they have at any time this season.
To their credit, Fleetwood didn’t completely crumble as they might have done in a meaningless final day game, albeit without showing the intensity they might have done earlier in the season, and had one or two chances themselves before the Blues made it 3-0 with their third shot on target of the afternoon. How they could have done with such clinical finishing earlier in the campaign.
There seems little likelihood of a Fleetwood comeback in the second half and the Blues would appear to have done enough to secure ninth place with their impressive first-half display.
Town: Cornell, Chambers (c), Woolfenden, McGuinness, Kenlock, Downes, Dozzell, Edwards (Bennetts 16), Parrott, Dobra, Norwood. Subs: Holy, Skuse, Jackson, Bishop, Nsiala, Harrop.
Fleetwood: Cairns, Andrew, Connolly (c), Burns, Rossiter, Vassell, McKay, Finley, Biggins, Garner, Hill. Subs: Coleman, Whelan, Morris, Sheron, Baggley, Holgate, Morris. Referee: John Busby (Oxfordshire).
Photo: Matchday Images
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