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Ipswich Town 3-1 Fleetwood Town - Match Report
Sunday, 9th May 2021 13:56

First-half goals from James Norwood, Gwion Edwards and Troy Parrott saw Town to a comfortable 3-1 home victory over Fleetwood Town in a typical meaningless final-day game at Portman Road. Norwood gave the Blues the lead on three, Edwards made it 2-0 six minutes later and Parrott added the third on 29, while Wes Burns pulled one back for the visitors in the 72nd minute.

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.

Six 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 Mönchengladbach 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 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.

Fleetwood swapped Kyle Vassell for Nathan Sheron ahead of the second half but it was the Blues who were first to seriously threaten after the restart, Parrott shooting into the side-netting having been sent away on the left of the box by Flynn Downes.

On 57 the Dubliner was again sent away down the left by Andre Dozzell and cut in but allowed the ball to run too far in front of him and his eventual shot was blocked.

At the other end, Burns hit an effort into the side-netting off Mark McGuinness, another loanee playing his last game, from the right of the box after the visitors had broken quickly. On 52 Sam Finley was booked for pulling back Downes.

Town skipper Chambers wasn’t far away from a goal as the game reached the hour mark, the right-back catching a Fleetwood defender dawdling on the ball on their own touchline. The veteran’s effort from a tight angle was pawed over by Cairns. From the corner, McGuinness sent the ball well over, the on-loan Arsenal man claiming he had been fouled.

The Blues were camped in the Fleetwood half, prodding and probing for an opening and on 65 they should have made it 4-0. Bennetts sent over a curling low cross from the left, the best of his spell with the club, but the unmarked Norwood scuffed well wide when it looked easier to score, the striker acknowledging the winger’s excellent ball.

Bishop replaced Norwood, who had suffered a knock moments earlier, for the final 20 minutes with Parrott taking on the lone striker’s role.

Almost immediately, the Irishman fed Dobra in on goal as the Albanian U21 international made a clever run across the area from the right but keeper Cairns thwarted him. The 20-year-old is still waiting for his first league goal.

Fleetwood reduced the deficit in the 72nd minute when Burns was sent away down the right and shot powerfully across Cornell and into the net.

Six minutes later Skuse and Jackson were handed what could be their final appearances for the club, along with loanee Josh Harrop, whose loan spell ends today. Skuse, making his 277th appearance for the club 268 starts and eight as a sub, replaced Bennetts, Jackson Parrott and Harrop Dobra

Harrop was on the right and Bishop the left with Skuse in central midfield alongside Downes with Dozzell ahead of them.

As the game moved into its final 10 minutes Jordan Rossiter was booked for pulling Downes’s shirt on halfway.

McKay smashed a low free-kick well wide on 85 before Fleetwood made a triple change in which he Andrew, Finley were replaced by Barry Baggley, Josh Morris and Glenn Whelan.

On 88 Burns shot low and hard across the face of the Town goal, then as the match moved into three minutes of injury time Bishop crossed onto the roof of the net.

A comfortable Town win for the Blues who having established their early lead never looked in any real trouble.

Having established their two and then three-goal lead they probably played as well as at any time this season, albeit in a final-day dead rubber, showing that they can play once they’re a couple of goals in front, as they did against Blackpool at Portman Road earlier in the year.

Although Fleetwood kept at it and pulled a goal back in the second half, there never seemed any likelihood that the Blues’ lead was in danger.

Town finish the season ninth in League One, two places better off than last year, but will hope they’re very much more in the mix come this time next season.

Town: Cornell, Chambers (c), Woolfenden, McGuinness, Kenlock, Downes, Dozzell, Edwards (Bennetts 16 (Skuse 78)), Parrott (Jackson 78), Dobra (Harrop 78), Norwood (Bishop 70). Unused: Holy, Nsiala.

Fleetwood: Cairns, Andrew (J Morris 85), Connolly (c), Burns, Rossiter, Vassell (Sheron 46), McKay (Baggley 85), Finley (Whelan 85), Biggins, Garner, Hill. Unused: Coleman, Holgate, S Morris. Referee: John Busby (Oxfordshire).

Photo: Matchday Images

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BromleyBloo added 13:56 - May 9
We crossed, we scored - 3 up inside 30 mins - and we won. Fleetwood decent, especially going forward, but early goals and clinical finishing !?! meant the match was done and dusted.

So what, small positives can we draw from the horrendous experience this term?

- Woolfy played a few matches and if he works hard and we get him a decent, experienced partner then he still has potential to establish himself as a centre half stalwart for us
- similarly, Dobra shown himself well in the last few matches and has potential
- Downes and Norwood proved they have something to offer if they stay with us and fit
- Dozzell may benefit next season from having been fit and played so many matches this term
- Kenlock has improved and Cornell could do an okay job as a No.2
- other youthful potential for the future in the likes of Ndaba, Nydam, Gibbs and Baggott
- FA youths fantastic!

Good to see Chambers and Skuse feature - wish them well.

Apart from that not much else, but of course the really big, positive news is that Marcus Evans has gone and the new ownership have already shown that they are serious in doing everything necessary to reverse the wanton destruction of the last 14 years and take our great club back to where we belong. Hopeful for the first time for as long as I can remember for what should be a fascinating journey....................

The future’s bright and I want to wear 😎


Bert added 13:59 - May 9
At last a game to enjoy with some quality. More players in the box and more forward movement than at any other time this season. There are reasons to be cheerful looking forward to a new season and a new era at Portman Road. Have a good summer everyone.

martin587 added 14:03 - May 9
Good to end a disappointing season on a high.Town showed glimpses of how PC wants us to play and it showed with three well taken goals.Let’s just hope PC gets in the players he wants and we can start next season well.I can now breath a sigh of relief as a very poor season finally ends.

Europablue added 14:05 - May 9
Great result and performance to brighten the mood just before the summer break. The close season is very important. I look forward to hearing some good news in terms of signings. A break will do us all good and we can come back refreshed and genuinely excited about a new season for the first time in a long time.

marco5113 added 14:06 - May 9
too little too late. no bottle when we have nothing to play for we win. 5pts from playoffs..... i bit more effort and courage in earlier matches and who knows. cannot feel positive with this, feel short changed and tbh sick.

midastouch added 14:08 - May 9
Good result today. Am I the only one thinking though why couldn't they start playing like this a few weeks ago when everything was still to play for!
But anyway, all water under the bridge now. It wasn't meant to be this season and we go again next season with fresh impetus! Looking forward to it. I really hope the new owners and Cook can deliver on their vision and give us all something to smile about. After all, we've all been starved for far too long now!


DebsyAngel added 14:09 - May 9
A great game to end a very disappointing season. The first half was a joy to watch, with very well taken goals. Dobra was MOTM for me, one player I hope will still be here come August. The second half was patchy, and their goal was decent, Burns was a very good player. But glad we held on. 9th is a fair place to come, considering the dreadful performances and the changes that have happened here. Will be interesting to see who is going over the summer, and indeed,who will be coming here to replace them.

cat added 14:10 - May 9
Thank God for that, the seasons finally over. Shame we couldn’t have been there to give them the proper send off they deserve in one of our worst campaign.
Good to finish on a high, going to be an exciting summer ahead and real optimism going into next season.

bluesince76 added 14:11 - May 9
Good win today but thank God won't have to watch this current team again worse team in town history what a crap last 13 years hopefully the good times will be back starting next season.

runningout added 14:14 - May 9
First half clinical finishing and impressive at times. 2nd half we went back to naivety that stinks our team out. Fleetwood the better side. Mick Mills summed it up with Bennett’s that Norwood probably surprised he received a good pass from him for a forth goal. Our team hasn’t had trust with each other for most of season and beyond.

chopra777 added 14:20 - May 9
A positive win to finish the season. Time to rebuild. Bring back McGuiness and Parrot.Bennett's has been the biggest disappointment coming from BM, I believed he was going to good. Just poor as winger. Dobra will be even better in next season. Half a dozen good players will help the squad. Find some more talented youngsters and a good pre-season . It would be so wrong to buy a new eleven. At least we got a performance from today. PC on Monday do what is right.


DaGremloid added 14:26 - May 9
Yeah great, they turn up for half a game today when they've got their eyes on their holidays. This just frustrates me even more tbh. Why didn't they make this kind of effort a couple of months back when the play-offs were still more than achievable? I actually don't know what to think anymore.

WhoisJimmyJuan added 14:27 - May 9
A sign of things to come? Could be psychologically beneficial to go into the summer with a slight lift and an understanding of how OC wants them to play.

Kickingblock added 14:32 - May 9
Interesting to see that the most recent managerial appointments all finished outside the playoff's.

atty added 14:35 - May 9
Staggering that after such a poor season we are just 5 pets off the play offs. Mind you 20 off top spot and 18 (6 wins) off second place. 4 wins max short of the 4 play off places, Only one win short of Sunderland,and 3 off Lincoln and Oxford.

ringwoodblue added 15:04 - May 9
Well the season is over and on reflection I think it’s better that we stayed in Lg1. The rebuilding process and the time that it will take for the new players to gel into a team will be easier in Lg1 than the Championship where we would have to hit the ground running to stand any chance of staying up.

An exciting summer to come for the fans

runaround added 15:08 - May 9
Nice to end a poor season on an all too rare positive note. Not only the end of the season but the end of the Evans era & the start of the new Gamechanger era. Hard not to feel excited about what could be ahead for the club. Hopefully the decline is over, the line in the sand has been drawn & we now move forward. Roll on the changes and roll on next season

TimmyH added 15:10 - May 9
Good to see a final day decent performance particularly 1st half but can draw on little comfort on what happened before...let's hope for better things for 21/22 it has to be better!

jas0999 added 15:11 - May 9
Good result to end a thoroughly disappointing season.

The hard work now starts. Looking forward to a completely different team starting next season.

December1963 added 15:37 - May 9
We finished 5 points off the playoffs and dropped 8 points to the 4 relegated sides.
What might have been!!
Looking forward to next season here's hoping we can all be back at Portman road.
Best wishes to all town fans, keep safe.

istanblue added 16:01 - May 9
Performing when there is no pressure on the result is one thing, but these players have shown time and time again that when they need to put in a performance and get a result they fail almost every single time. BIG clear out and complete change of mentality needed.

1psw1ch added 16:09 - May 9
Nice way to finish off the season,,,looking forward to a fresh new beginning next season,,, been toxic and negative for a long time,,, good luck to all the players who move on especially chambers,,, at the end of the day he loves the club that's the main thing thing,,,, can't wait to see who comes and plays for this magicical club,,,, let the rumours begin

warksonwater added 16:25 - May 9
I know the game was meaningless, and I know I'm hard to please, but slightly disappointed in the final result given the victory was secured so early on. 3-0 after half an hour and naively hoping we might really turn the screw and run up a big score. But that's Town for you, we're not ruthless enough. Conversely, Fleetwood probably quite happy about the final score considering what might have been. Still, nice to end on a very comfortable win, all too rare occurrence, and presents just a glimmer of hope for next season. Paul Cook in!

TractorFrog added 16:29 - May 9
I'm going to go ahead and say that that performance by Andre Dozzell was the best I've seen from any Ipswich Town player this year. Pure class.

Nobbysnuts added 16:32 - May 9
It's over....thank god. Now clear out the dead wood frauds who have ruined this club. Let the rebuilding begin.

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