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Ipswich Town 2 v 5 Bolton Wanderers
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 11th September 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Ipswich Town 2-5 Bolton Wanderers - Match Report
Saturday, 11th Sep 2021 17:04

Town’s disappointing start to the season hit a new low as Bolton Wanderers came from behind to defeat the still winless Blues 5-2 at Portman Road. Macauley Bonne put his hometown club ahead on five but Dapo Afolayan levelled for the Trotters in the 10th minute, then eight minutes later won the penalty which Eoin Doyle converted to put the visitors in front. A Ricardo Santos own goal put Town on terms on the half hour but just before the break Afolayan added his second in first-half injury time to make it 3-2 and after the break Josh Sheehan and George Johnston made the most of calamitous Blues defending on 47 and 57 to complete Town’s misery.

Christian Walton and George Edmundson were handed their Town debuts, Sone Aluko his first league start and Macauley Bonne and Conor Chaplin returned from injury.

Walton took over from Vaclav Hladky in goal with the Czech dropping out of the 18 and Tomas Holy on the bench.

Edmundson, who has been recovering from a hamstring problem since his move from Rangers, was at the centre of the defence alongside Cameron Burgess - for the first time since a 5-4 EFL Trophy defeat to Carlisle while they were both at Oldham in 2016/17, their only previous game together - with Luke Woolfenden missing from the 18.

Aluko was on the left of the three behind striker Bonne in place of Kyle Edwards, who is injured.

Scott Fraser was also absent from the squad, while Bersant Celina is not yet ready to be involved and Samy Morsy is suspended.

Aside from Bonne, who was released by the Blues at 14, there was no academy player in the Town 18.

Bolton made one change from Monday’s 0-0 draw with Burton with Sheehan taking over from Kieran Lee in midfield.

As has been the case all season, the prior-to-kick-off taking a knee was warmly applauded by the Blues support.

Bolton were first to threaten in the third minute, skipper Antoni Sarcevic looping a header well over from a Sheehan corner, conceded by Burgess as he defended a free-kick in from the right.

But a minute later, the Blues went in front with their first attack of the game. Wes Burns beat Trotters left-back Liam Gordon and, with the defender having gone to ground somewhat easily, crossed low to the far post where the unmarked Bonne was able to tap into the net for his fourth goal of the season. Bolton protests came to nothing.

In the ninth minute Bolton might well have levelled when Lloyd Isgrove chased Doyle’s flick-on and burst towards goal, however, Edmundson slid in to block and then dispossess the Wales international.

But the visitors only had to wait a minute for an equaliser. A long ball from Santos was nodded inside to Afolayan, who had been left a gap in which to shoot low through Walton’s legs and into the net to claim a birthday goal.

Kane Vincent-Young was yellow-carded for a foul on Afolayan in the 13th minute with the game almost like a basketball match with play quickly moving from one end to the other.

And in the 19th minute the Trotters took the lead from the penalty spot. Vincent-Young, already on a booking, mistimed a challenge on the right of the Blues’ box and felled Afolayan.

There were few protests prior to Doyle confidently slamming the kick down the middle as Walton dived to his right.

Isgrove was booked for a foul on Hayden Coulson in the 20th minute before Town boss swapped Vincent-Young for Janoi Donacien, almost certainly to avoid the risk of the former Colchester man being shown a second yellow card having already been booked once and conceded a penalty for challenges on Afolayan.

Bolton subsequently had a spell where they were well in charge but without threatening Walton’s goal further, but as the game approached the half hour mark the Blues began to get more into the game with Gethin Jones picking up the afternoon’s third yellow card for a foul on Aluko.

And on 30 Town levelled. Burns again burst away on the right, crossed low and Santos mis-cleared past his own keeper and into the roof of the net.

Their second goal seemed to give the Blues a huge shot of confidence and on 33 after a spell of possession on the right, Chaplin shot over from the edge of the box. Moments later, the former Barnsley man flicked a header wide at the near post from Coulson’s left-wing cross.

Town might have gone back into the lead in injury time when Burns, already with two assists to his name, beat his man on the right and cut back to Bonne, who scuffed his shot the wrong side of the post.

Bolton immediately went up the other end and claimed the lead themselves. Afolayan was found in acres of space on the left by a cross-field ball from Jones and curled an inch-perfect shot beyond Walton’s left hand and into the corner of the net.

Moments later, referee Madley ended what had been a frenetic half which could have ended with either side in front.

The Blues had grabbed themselves an early lead but once again left themselves too open at the back, allowing the Trotters to level and then go in front with Vincent-Young having been unable to deal with Afolayan.

Having weathered a spell where Bolton threatened to take control, the Blues got back into it via the own goal forced by Burns and had a spell in which they might well have gone back in front.

Bonne will have gone in rueing his late miss with Town again defensively at sea as Afolayan gave the visitors the half-time lead.

On-loan QPR frontman Bonne struck the second-half’s first shot from just outside the box in the 47th minute but Bolton keeper Joel Dixon saved with ease.

The visitors immediately went up the other end and scored their fourth of the game. Walton initially did well to save from Sarcevic with his feet, after Doyle again had been given far too much space, but the loose ball was played to Sheehan, who deftly curled low into the corner of the net.

Having extended their lead to two goals, Bolton sought to plunge the knife in further, Afolayan hitting a half-volley not too far wide, before Sarcevic looped a 51st-minute overhead effort well over following a corner.

The fourth visitors goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of Town with the Blues unable to get out of their own half and Bolton pushing for a fifth.

And in the 57th minute it came. Shortly after Walton and Burgess had collided as one sought to clear and one claim, the ball was sent in from the right by Santos and Johnston hooked into the roof of the net at the second attempt.

The fifth Bolton goal triggered loud and prolonged boos around Portman Road, the clearest sign of fan frustration since the start of the season.

There had been little sign that Town would mount anything in the way of a comeback and on 64 Chaplin, who again had looked a threat in brief spells but had been quiet overall, was swapped for Tom Carroll.

The Blues were within an inch or two of reducing the deficit in the 65th minute when Coulson’s free-kick from the left was flicked on to the inside of the post by Bonne, the ball agonisingly bouncing along the line before being cleared. Two minutes later, Evans curled a free-kick into Dixon’s arms.

Walton saved from Doyle on 71 with the visitors looking more likely to net their sixth than the Blues their third.

Sarcevic belted well over from distance on 80 with the game appearing long over from a competitive perspective.

Four minutes later, moments after Kayden Jackson had replaced Burns, a well-worked Blues move ended with Evans crossing from the right of the box but just too far in front of Bonne at the far post.

The final minutes were played out to test match like chatter around Portman Road rather than the buoyant atmosphere in which the afternoon had begun and the final whistle was greeted with more boos, loud but briefer than earlier before the Sir Bobby Robson Stand applauded Bonne and other members of the team after they went over to clap their appreciation on another very disappointing afternoon for Blues fans.

The sixth goal of the game proved key with Town looking beaten as soon as Bolton scored it so soon after the break and their fifth ended any doubt that the points would be going back to Lancashire.

It was the Blues’ first home league defeat of the season and Bolton’s first league win at Portman Road since November 2001.

Town, who have now conceded 15 goals in six in league matches, were defensively more chaotic than at any time previously this season with the backline looking every bit one which had never played together previously and was regularly on a different wavelength from keeper Walton, who had a debut to forget.

Patience from the Blues’ support has been urged with it inevitable that it will take time for a team to settle after such a turnaround in personnel over the summer.

However, after such a comprehensive defeat to foes of old, it’s similarly inevitable that supporters will start to show their frustrations and start to question the manner in which the Blues have begun the campaign - and perhaps also that recruitment revolution - with the same frailties on show every week.

The result sees the Blues, who last conceded five at home when they were beaten 5-2 by Southampton in August 2011, drop to 22nd in the table now 10 points off second and 13 from top spot, although with 40 games of the long League One season still to play.

Town are next in action at home to West Ham’s U21s in the Papa John’s Trophy on Tuesday before a visit to 17th-placed Lincoln - who won 5-1 at Cambridge today - next Saturday.

Town: Walton, Vincent-Young (Donacien 21), Edmundson, Burgess, Coulson, Harper, Evans (c), Burns (Jackson 84), Chaplin (Carroll 63), Aluko, Bonne. Unused: Holy, Penney, Barry, Pigott.

Bolton: Dixon, Jones, Williams, Santos, Johnston (Baptiste 81), Sheehan (Lee 74), Doyle, Sarcevic (c), Afolayan, Isgrove (Kachunga 62), Gordon. Unused: Gilks, Delfouneso, Aimson, Thomason. Referee: Robert Madley (West Yorkshire). Att: 19,267 (Bolton: 553)

Photo: Matchday Images

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fistpumpfury added 17:48 - Sep 11
The worst managerial career ever? 4 wins 23 played. Against some of the poorest sides Town have faced? Makes McCarthy and Lambert look like Sir Alf. Get your kitbag packed Cookie boy. YOU’RE FIRED.

Eddie1985 added 17:48 - Sep 11
Act now need a manager with a clue, there are good players here just being played and managed poorly, I think if we act now and bring a decent team in we could still salvage the season

algarvefan added 17:48 - Sep 11
I can defend the manager and the team when the performance is OK, but there is no way anyone can defend that shambles today.

It's not players not understanding each other that's the problem, but players making little effort and giving in without a fight for me. There were some dreadful individual performances. It seems to me that Cook was determined to purge the starting 11 of anyone who was here last season. Edmunson clearly was not match fit.

442 next match please Mr Cook and get Woolfie back in.

jas0999 added 17:50 - Sep 11
Beyond shocking and the club simply can not ignore this. There can be no excuses for conceding five at home to Bolton in League One. None. No gelling excuses. The stark reality is the manager isn’t good enough. It’s embarrassing being a Town fan. Seven games this season …. Five at home. No wins. This is on top of a poor pre season and woeful results last season. There will be very few clubs who would tolerate Cooks results any longer. Four wins in twenty four. Shameful.

Cook and Ashton keep referring to us as a big club. Big clubs are active in the transfer market etc. A big club also needs a competent manager. We don’t.

Truly dark days. Difficult to justify that journey to PR despite having a season ticket. Deflated.

KenHancocksBoot added 17:52 - Sep 11
I was a fence sitter as far as Cook's appointment went, but I'm falling off it now. No matter who the personnel are, the end product is the same. Did no one look into the size of the Bolton defenders before playing Chaplin? By sticking rigidly to his wonderful system, he has no change of tactic when things aren't working. As others have said he's out of his depth. His record since his appointment is too poor for him to stay any longer

spanishblue added 17:53 - Sep 11
No rest for this shower they all have to play Tuesday night no excuse

WhoisJimmyJuan added 17:55 - Sep 11
The bell tolls for thee Mr Cook

DebsyAngel added 17:55 - Sep 11
First half was entertaining but sick of the stupid defensive errors. Felt a bit sorry for the new goalkeeper, and thought replacing KVY was a good decision. Second half an utter embarrassment - I left 2 mins before the end, as could not take anymore. Just shockingly bad.

richardpaul added 17:58 - Sep 11
was cut off by a dodgy laptop from my previous post Then to concede in injury time to go in 1 down at half time knocked the stuffing out of the players I think they collectively thought we are not good enough to come back at this Bolton team and so it transpired I dont know what the solution is to the malaise which is affecting the team When interviewed they all seem positive but whether they are advised in what to say is debatable when I say advised you'll get my meaning Unless there is a sea change in tactics and some control over the injuries that seem to take so long to heal I like others here can see a lucky mid table finish I do fervantly hope that I am proved wrong

Help added 18:02 - Sep 11
What can I say that had not already been said. Very poor. Not sure what the midfield two actually do. Harper and Evans do the same nothing. Only decent performance was from aluko. Burns and Bonne. Maybe Burgess. Walton decision making was abysmal. Team communication was not there. 11 individuals who looked more like they had never played together let alone train together for the last two weeks. Also cookie stop the hoof balls. A better midfield would sort this out. Finally maybe the formation is wrong. Ever thought that. Oh one more get a defensive coach in now. I think you know the one. To our American owners I will repeat my post from the last game. Offence wins games defence wins championships. I am sure you know why we are nearly bottom of the league and leaking goals.

graham2408 added 18:07 - Sep 11
Beattie, Mariner and other "Greats" from our team must be turning in their graves.

Michael101 added 18:08 - Sep 11
Richardpaul, I think a lot of people on here would be over the moon with a mid table position at the moment.


Monkey_Blue added 18:08 - Sep 11
The club are now like a gambler sat at the table a few million down. They need to chase their losses( keep Cook) or walk away from the table( get rid now). We all know they’ve gambled far too much to walk away from the table right now.

Orraman added 18:10 - Sep 11
Well then all you followers of the blind faith that Cook was the second coming of the Messiah, what are your thoughts now. He is now far and away the worst manager we have ever had. He is a fraud, unable to manage without a knowledgable and trusted lieutenant alongside him. Totally exposed on his own with a totally unproved and incompetent coaching staff unable to help.
He has had 2 uninterrupted weeks to try to get some cohesion in this squad and failed miserably. Look at the Bolton team today - how many names did you recognise? I would bet none and yet they ran rings round us and humiliated us.
So Mr Ashton, either get him out now. No more games…….NOW

legoman added 18:10 - Sep 11
We looked like a bunch of little squirts today :( compared to Bolton.

Bluroo added 18:10 - Sep 11
As I keep saying the phrase “we just need time to gel” is disingenuous as it implies a guarantee that (a) it’s a matter of when and not if (b) the new squad is an overall improvement and (c) Cook knows what he’s doing. I’m not convinced by any of those measures.

I’m concerned Cook has bought a lot of mates and bang average players, I’m concerned that there was no new manager bounce last season and I’m concerned that we’ve now played 3 teams that made as many summer changes as us and they’ve schooled us.

I’m not going to single out any players but I could list several that don’t appear to be an improvement. More worryingly, this team is collectively shipping goals in the 3rd tier of football. That isn’t about gelling, it’s about shape, discipline and strategy. Cook needs to turn this around quickly, or he has to go.

BlueInBerks added 18:12 - Sep 11
To all the 12 year olds that demand immediate success...
"Things hardly got off to a flyer under Robson with three and a half years of mediocrity following with 12th the best placed finish Ipswich could muster. In the Cobbold family though, the club were in the hands of owners who were affording of time and in the 1973 season Robson began to repay the faith that had been shown as he guided the club to fourth and European football the next season."
Just saying.

martin587 added 18:13 - Sep 11
Still very little understanding after six + games and even a two week break did nothing.We lack a leader on the pitch as evans is not captain material.Cannot understand why Jackson came on when when Pigott is far better.My personal opinion is the coaching staff is not up to the job and PC needs a very good assistant.We have the players now sort it out PC as today was a total embarrassment for us the supporters.I still don’t like the booing but it’s going to happen again if this kind of slapdash football continues.

ldnj added 18:15 - Sep 11
Since turning his back on players last season I have not been a fan as I believe it shows poor man management and a tacit admission he's not capable of getting the best out of his staff. How long till he starts ignoring this bunch and saying he needs to buy 20 more in Jan as they aren't good enough ?!
At least he has an excuse not to play KVY now and he can then have dispensed with all last season's team, which he gives the impression is his desire.

It may not be for a while but whenever and whoever is the next manager (as there will be another one day) don't let him be called Paul ...

Orraman added 18:19 - Sep 11
I just cannot understand all these thousands of people who stand, cheer and applaud as Mr Gobby comes out 3 minutes before kick off, ahead of the teams and waves to all his deluded followers while he boosts his own ego. We have come to see a football match not a fraud

dml12345 added 18:20 - Sep 11
4 wins in 25 games. Paul Cook might say all the right things but a few of you would do well to remember football is a results business. Good managers get the best out of their teams. He’s had 2 yet here we are…..

bernie added 18:21 - Sep 11
Shambles mr cook absolute shambles , where’s the game plan ? Tactics poor, formation poor we just look so open every time they attack they look like scoring could of been more . Great support again but how long will they put up with this rubbish . Mr cook looks totally out of his depth and all he goes on about is what he’s done at other clubs but that was with a very good number two . Let’s be honest the amount of money he has spent on players and back room staff and we are so far away . So poor and the more time he has on the training pitch the more hopeless we look . We’re going backwards !!

multiplescoregasms added 18:22 - Sep 11
I don't like to have a go at individual players, but if anyone can tell me what Evans brings to the team, I would love to hear it.

USA added 18:23 - Sep 11
BobbyPetta11 - Evans and Harper neat and tidy? Sorry but couldn’t disagree more. They both give the ball away far too much. Evans today was shocking. Aimless balls into no one. Both so casual. Not for me right now.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 18:29 - Sep 11
It's the tactics and formation stoopid! And probably the inexperienced coaching team as well. There are clearly some decent players in there: Aluko, Bonne, Burns, but until we organise midfield and defence, we'll keep getting found out.

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