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Ipswich Town 2-1 Fleetwood Town - Match Report
Saturday, 23rd Oct 2021 17:05

Bersant Celina smashed home an injury time winner as Town beat Fleetwood 2-1 at Portman Road to record back-to-back league victories for the first time under Paul Cook. Conor Chaplin gave the Blues the lead with a sharp shot four minutes after the break but the Cod Army looked to be on their way to a point after Callum Morton had equalised on 82 until Celina lashed home his first goal of his second spell with the Blues three minutes into added-on time.

Boss Cook named the same team that beat Portsmouth 4-0 at Fratton Park on Tuesday. Christian Walton continued in goal with Janoi Donacien at right-back, Matt Penney at left-back and Toto Nsiala and George Edmundson the centre-halves.

Lee Evans was alongside skipper Sam Morsy in the centre of midfield with Kyle Edwards on the left and Sone Aluko on the right, Conor Chaplin the number 10 and Macauley Bonne the central striker.

Joe Pigott returned to the bench having missed the last two games following his father’s death. For Fleetwood, former Town striker Joe Garner was among the substitutes.

Co-owner Brett Johnson, watching the side the Gamechanger 20 Ltd ownership group took over in April live for the first time, was applauded by the Portman Road support as he took his seat in the directors’ box.

Town started the game on the front foot and Edwards struck the first shot of the match in the third minute following an Evans short corner on the left but hit his effort over the bar.

Soon after, Donacien crossed from the right, Bonne nodded back from the byline but visiting keeper and skipper Alex Cairns grabbed it above Chaplin.

Fleetwood threatened for the first time in the 10th minute from a free-kick midway inside the Town half. The cleverly-worked set piece saw Harrison Biggins, son of ex-Norwich City striker Wayne, lay the ball off to Ged Garner on the edge of the area. The frontman feinted away from one man but took too long and Donacien blocked.

The Cod Army were having a decent spell with the Blues unable to push out of their half until the 13th minute when George Edmundson headed the ball in the net from an Evans free-kick on the right but with the linesman’s raised flag coming as little surprise.

The Blues - and the stands - had been a little flat and the performance lacking in tempo, but in the 17th minute Aluko took a free-kick in the centre circle quickly and after the ball was returned to him, the Nigerian international played a clever ball in behind the defence for Bonne to chase, however, the striker was offside.

Moments later, Bonne had an excellent chance to add to his 10 goals when Chaplin floated a ball from the left but the on-loan QPR man’s header was too close to Cairns, who claimed.

But it was Fleetwood who would see most of the ball and play the more composed football as the game moved towards the half hour. On 27, Dan Batty did well on the right and cut back to Garner with space to shoot but Evans did well to close down and block.

Three minutes later, Aluko sent over a corner from the right which Cairns got a hand to ahead of Nsiala, who as a result headed over at the far post.

In the 32nd minute, Chaplin was tripped by James Hill as he turned after receiving a ball to feet and looked to be in on goal 10 yards outside the area. Hill was booked and the free-kick came to nothing.

Aluko shot wide from distance in the 35th minute with the Blues on top but making little headway.

On 42, Bonne headed a right-wing cross wide, while a Max Clark ball into the box from the Fleetwood right was diverted into the air with Walton claiming.

An underwhelming half from the Blues, who started positively but failed to maintain their impetus with their display pedestrian and lacking in tempo. Off the pitch, the Portman Road crowd had been surprisingly subdued in the wake of Tuesday’s result.

The one standout opportunity was Bonne’s header but the striker was unable to direct the ball away from the keeper.

Fleetwood had been neat and tidy and had looked threatening on occasion with one or two desperate defensive blocks from Town defenders but with keeper Walton not required to make a save.

Chaplin almost found himself in behind the Fleetwood defence within seconds of the restart, but the ball just wouldn’t run for the former Barnsley man and then also for Bonne.

But Chaplin, co-owner Johnson and the rest of the Portman Road crowd didn’t have to wait too much longer for a goal.

The forward received a 49th-minute pass from Morsy inside the D, made himself space with his first touch before smashing a low left-foot shot past Cairns with the keeper not even able to make a move before it hit the back of the net.

Town had started the half with greater intensity than they had ended the first and the Blues subsequently looked to build on Chaplin’s fifth goal of the season.

Edwards wasn’t too far away in the 58th minute when he was found in space on the left of the box by Evans and hit a shot which Cairns did well to stop.

The Blues were forced into a change on the hour after Aluko suffered what looked to be a broken nose. Wes Burns took over.

Fleetwood had rarely got out of their half since the break but soon after the substitution Batty hit a low free-kick at Walton’s right post which the keeper did well to get down to to push behind.

Town swapped Edwards, who had had one or two moments without really stamping his mark on the game, for Celina in the 65th minute, while the Cod Army brought on ex-Canary Anthony Pilkington for Clark.

There was a scare for the Blues in the 68th minute when Garner found himself in a promising position on the right of the area with a number of Town defenders hesitant about making a tackle. Eventually, the Fleetwood striker hit his shot too close to Walton, who saved. Fleetwood were showing some fight with the game far from over.

Town immediately broke up the other end, Chaplin finding Celina with a deft touch and the Kosovan international taking it on and returning the ball on the left of the area but the ex-Portsmouth man’s cross was too close to the keeper.

In the 71st minute Jay Matete was booked for needlessly sending Morsy flying well after the ball had departed.

The Blues began to restore their dominance and a minute later Burns tricked his way in from the right but his low cross was cleared from inside the six-yard box.

Chances started to come more frequently. Cairns saved from Bonne, then Evans looped a cross in from the right and Burns turned a shot over.

In the 75th minute sections of the Town support thought the Blues had hit their second of the game but Burns’s strike from the right of the box had merely smashed into the side-netting.

Two minutes later, Fleetwood’s free-kick expert Danny Andrew had a chance to add to his four set-piece goals already this season but sent the ball well into the Sir Alf Ramsey Stand. On 79 Callum Johnson was yellow-carded for a foul on Celina.

Fleetwood had never looked out of the game and in the 82nd minute they levelled. Sub Paddy Lane looped a cross from the right to the far post and Morton headed home with Town appealing that the striker was offside to no avail.

Having conceded, the Blues went looking for the goal which would put them back in front, a defender’s toe just preventing Chaplin from playing in Burns on the right of the box.

As the game moved into its penultimate scheduled minute, Evans crossed from the right to Bonne, who headed across goal but well wide.

Town were pushing for the goal which would prove to be the winner as the match moved into five minutes of injury time but without looking particularly convincing.

However, three minutes into added-on time. Evans’s deep cross from the left reached Donacien at the back of the box from where the right-back knocked it back across goal for Celina, who volleyed home the first goal of his second spell with the club before celebrating by waving his shirt around his head and throwing it into the Sir Bobby Robson Stand.

After Celina had been booked for his overzealous celebration, Chaplin was replaced for the final couple of minutes by Cameron Burgess but there was little opportunity for the centre-half to get involved before the final whistle confirmed co-owner Johnson had witnessed a victory on his first visit to Portman Road.

While Town deserved the three points on the balance of the game, they were never hugely convincing and Fleetwood always seemed to have a chance of taking something from the match.

The visitors’ leveller might have seen heads drop but that was never the case with Town getting on with the job in hand of restoring their lead with Celina the man on the spot to slam home after great work from Donacien.

Back-to-back league wins for the first time under manager Cook sees Town move to 10th only four points off the play-offs ahead of a visit to leaders Plymouth, who drew 1-1 at Morecambe today, next Saturday.

Town: Walton, Donacien, Edmundson, Nsiala, Penney, Morsy (c), Evans, Aluko (Burns 60), Chaplin (Burgess 90), Edwards (Celina 65), Bonne. Unused: Hladky, Harper, El Mizouni, Pigott.

Fleetwood: Cairns (c), Andrew, Morton, Garner (Lane 75), Matete, McLaughlin (Carl Johnston 81), Hill, Batty, Callum Johnson, Biggins, Clark. Subs: Crellin, Garner, Pilkington, Edmondson, Teale. Referee: Sam Allison (Wiltshire). 20,099 (Fleetwood: 133).

Photo: Matchday Images

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billlm added 17:48 - Oct 23
We're moving, top six is on, oopsi meant easily,

therein61 added 17:51 - Oct 23
Well hard earned 3 points we appeared a bit hesitant at times(no games are the same as Doncaster and Pompey and possibly felt a bit of pressure) Fleetwood didn't come here to roll over and gave us a hard game, however our boys kept their heads up battled and won well done you blue boys i would think Mr Johnson will enjoy a few beers and have enjoyed the experience of his 1st visit to P.R.

Help added 17:55 - Oct 23
Why oh why do we make it so hard for ourselves to win these types of games. After we score we had numerous chances and just never added the second, then we let them score and have to do all the hard work again. Then Bersant who for me had done nothing since coming on goes and scores. Take a win, 3 points. Looks like I forgot to mention the 1st half, or did I just put that first 45 minutes to the back of my mind. Tenth. Really tough game next to see what we are made of against Plymouth away.

jas0999 added 17:56 - Oct 23
Performance wasn’t great today, but that’s a huge three points. Overall, I thought we deserved it. I’m sure we will probably play better and not win … so these type of victories are arguably more important. Great to get back to back wins and must now press on, starting with another victory next week.

runaround added 18:02 - Oct 23
Very important result to keep the run going and the positivity running high too.
I think we deserved over all even though Fleetwood stuck to their game plan really well with that guy Morton possibly the best player on the park
We kept patient, played are football and although Bonne had a rare off day in front of goal, Celina produced the one moment of magic required to cause absolute scenes in the Sir Bobby Robson lower
Great end to the match

Lukeybluey added 18:14 - Oct 23
That was a battle. Fair play to Fleetwood, they have a couple of decent players.
Well done town for going right to the end. For me Burns must start, always positive.
COYBs!!! Whiskey will taste good tonight!

BlueUlsterman added 18:14 - Oct 23
Thank you Bersant. A Saturday night in the house with Covid is now a very happy one. I’m not ashamed to say I shed a tear when the goal alert came through.

runningout added 18:30 - Oct 23
We sneaked it. Fleetwood were decent so mustn’t grumble

Nobbysnuts added 18:31 - Oct 23
Good hard fought win today. At this stage of the season it's all about getting 3 points and we've got 3 more points than we had at 3 o'clock. Heading in the right direction. We are definitely back in the mix. Now a win at Plymouth and...........

therein61 added 18:39 - Oct 23
Billlm Fleetwood would have beaten a big gob side as well, and i see the old dino has jumped from Cardiff before officially sacked.

Orraman added 18:40 - Oct 23
6 - 0 and 4 - 0 are great results but you just cannot beat a stoppage time winner in the Sir Bobby Stand goal

cat added 18:47 - Oct 23
“Sexy football in league one” (lol) will take it every time.
Great atmosphere and a superb ending to the game, credit to fleetwood for making a game of it. Partnerships are being forged throughout the team and it’s all coming good. We look an attractive prospect, specially going forward. Donacien is looking tastier with every game and his link up with Burns when he came in was awesome.

dirtydingusmagee added 18:49 - Oct 23
well i said i hope the team give it 100% for 90 mins well they managed 95, another assist from Donacien , a player who is really commanding his place . Well done all concerned .real tough games ahead now, but im more confident now . COYB.

inghamspur added 18:55 - Oct 23
I have no fingernails left after watching that😂

ImAbeliever added 19:15 - Oct 23
Edmondson stuck one into Celina just after BC came on. Rightly so. What a response.

Dissboyitfc added 19:21 - Oct 23
Great win, love a late winner! when was the last? Just think all those people who leave early every week will never get to experience it! Glad the players stay till the end!

A very happy Saturday evening, Norwich getting humiliated, even heard stories of some thinking they would win at stamford Bridge (its true) and we win now upto 10th! Not the start we had ll hoped for, but i will gladly settle for continued progress, said that right early on!

Cakeman added 19:27 - Oct 23
Well done lads, great win. Never a classic but kept going and the effort paid off.
We are brilliant going forward but I can never sit comfortably with how we struggle to defend crosses. If that can be sorted we will be unplayable in league One.

Nobbysnuts added 19:27 - Oct 23
Is it just me or is donacien like having a new signing.? Another rock solid performance. KVY will not oust him on this form and rightly so. I'm so pleased for him.

Linkboy13 added 19:55 - Oct 23
Yes agree Cakeman the centre of defence still is a big concern for me. The quality of football and entertainment has been good this season. Burns came on and looked dangerous straight away. Morsy seemed to be constantly on the ball driving us forward a massive signing. Edwards was disappointing today and needs to add more end product to his game. Celina came on and done what good players do arrive in the right place at the right time dispite not looking fully fit yet. Bonne didn't score today but was still a physical presence up front . Chaplin looks bedded in to the team and was always a threat. But my man of the match was Morsy always demanding the ball never hiding and driving the team on like a good captain should do. I'd almost forgotten about KVY such has been the form of Donasien very pleased for him.

midastouch added 19:57 - Oct 23
Chaplin looks much more like I was hoping for. He came with plenty of hype (such as how he's too good for League One and talk about how he only wants to drop a league for one season, if all goes to plan) etc. To start with though he didn't look up to much, however, he's really starting to look the part now. Great to see.

Fat_Boy_Tim added 19:59 - Oct 23
Paul Cooke doesn’t have any responsibility to tell the truth in his pre or post match comments. I didn’t take it as gospel when he said ‘I don’t shut up shop’ and he doesn’t give smelly brown one if you lot took it to heart it not. He’ll do what he thinks is right to win a match and today he was right. People coming on here being smug like he’s taken their advice are talking out of their collective arses!!

blues1 added 20:30 - Oct 23
Bromleybloo that's just a typical post from some1 xlearlyvnot at the game. "Fleetwood sounded better than their position suggests"? As for u saying ud start Celina next game? Why? Yes, he scored the winner, a good finish. But he did little else, and gave the ball away on several occasions. Frankly he's done very little since re-signing but obviously does possess the quality, as the finish showed, to still be a good player for us. But not sure he's done enough to earn a start, just yet. Hopefully the goal will help his confidence tho.

SpiritOfJohn added 20:37 - Oct 23
Lacklustre first half, but a great improvement after the break. Fleetwood put up a good fight, but we should have scored more when well on top. On the plus side it enabled us to win the game in Fergie time. It would be good to see Oluko and Burns starting in the next match as they both look so dangerous. Morsy was my MOTM today, he was always available and kept driving the team forwards.
Great scenes when Celina scored the winner in front of the North Stand - it demonstrated beyond any doubt that there is no need for 'goal music'. It would also have been good if the PA operators could have given Neil Diamond a week off at the end.

DifferentGravy added 20:37 - Oct 23
Was out all day and just got back to read the report.....GET IN!

Would like us to dominate and win every game comfortably......but we did that against a difficult away opposition in will def take this hard fought win.


cat added 20:39 - Oct 23
Spot on blues 1, Celina changed the game in their favour when he come on, was clearly off the pace but he came good and that’s what matters.
Chaplin or Bonne are on fire and irreplaceable at mo so completion for places is up there

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