Ipswich Town 2-0 Doncaster Rovers - Half-Time
Tuesday, 28th Sep 2021 20:46
Goals from Macauley Bonne and Lee Evans have given Town a comfortable 2-0 lead over bottom club Doncaster Rovers at Portman Road at half-time.
Sam Morsy was handed his Blues league debut as skipper and Evans returned to the team.
Morsy, who had previously been serving a suspension from his time with Middlesbrough, and Evans, who missed Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday with a hamstring injury, came in to the centre of midfield with Idris El Mizouni dropping to the bench with Tom Carroll missing from the 18.
Kyle Edwards was also absent from the squad, despite manager Paul Cook having said he expected the winger to return. Joe Pigott was also missing with James Norwood back on among the subs.
Doncaster made one change from their weekend 2-1 defeat at Plymouth with Dan Gardner coming in for Ethan Galbraith, who dropped out of the squad.
Ahead of kick-off both teams took a knee, including Bersant Celina who didn’t join his team-mates in doing so ahead of the Owls match.
Town started on the front foot with Wes Burns winning a fourth minute corner, which Scott Fraser hit straight into visiting keeper Pontus Dahlberg’s midriff. As the Sweden international kicked out of his hands, Cameron Burgess blocked and the centre-half was shown an unnecessary early yellow card.
The Blues had one or two scruffy moments as they looked for the opening goal but in the 13th minute it came, and from a familiar source.
After intercepting a poor Kyle Knoyle pass, Burns outpaced Tommy Rowe, brother of former Blue Danny, on the right of the box and cut across to Macauley Bonne, who tapped home his sixth of the season from close range at the far post.
Town kept up the pressure and in the 21st minute, Celina played in Burns on the right of the area and the Welshman again crossed for Bonne, but the linesman had raised his flag against the right winger and in any case the striker was unable to get enough on it to direct it goalwards.
The Blues continued to control the game and look for a second and on 27 Fraser played a pass which would have seen Celina in on goal on the right but a defender’s out-stretched foot cut it out.
But Town fans didn’t have to wait too long for the lead to be doubled. In the 31st minute, Fraser’s corner from the right flicked off Rovers skipper Tom Anderson’s head and reached Evans at the back of the box from where the Wales international volleyed home his first goal for the club.
Rovers right midfielder Joe Dodoo was booked for a foul on Penney on 35, then two minutes later Celina, who was finding acres of space to work in in the middle of the park and was at the heart of every Town attack, hit a snapshot from 30 yards which Dahlberg bundled uncomfortable behind. Following the corner, Morsy shot over from a similar distance.
As half-time approached Town were completely dominant, passing the ball around slickly and confidently with Doncaster chasing shadows.
The half-time whistle was greeted by warm applause with the Blues having maintained the pressure up to the break having won a couple of corners in the final moments.
Once Town had got their noses in front - Burns again having used his pace to good effect and Bonne maintaining the predatory start he’s made to his Portman Road career - the Blues had been well on top and in total control against a Doncaster side looking every bit the bottom-placed side that they currently are.
Debutant skipper Morsy had added stability and assuredness to the Blues midfield with his defensive instincts and reading of the game allowing Evans perhaps more confidence to push forward than in previous matches.
Celina was regularly finding himself space and had made a number of incisive passes which might well have led to goals.
On the evidence of the first half, it’s difficult to see Doncaster getting back into the game with more Blues goals looking on the cards.
Town: Hladky, Donacien, Edmundson, Burgess, Penney, Evans, Morsy (c), Burns, Celina, Fraser, Bonne. Subs: Holy, Woolfenden, El Mizouni, Harper, Aluko, Chaplin, Norwood.
Doncaster: Dahlberg, Knoyle, Anderson (c), Williams, Close, Rowe, Smith, Hiwula, Dodoo, Cukur, Gardner. Subs: Jones, Olowu, Barlow, Seaman, Vilca, Horton, Hasani. Referee: Carl Brook (Sussex).
Photo: Matchday Images
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