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Ipswich Town 0 v 2 Rotherham United
SkyBet League One
Tuesday, 23rd November 2021 Kick-off 19:45
Ipswich Town 0-2 Rotherham United - Match Report
Tuesday, 23rd Nov 2021 21:46

A goal in either half from Ben Wiles and Shane Ferguson saw Rotherham to a comfortable 2-0 victory over the Blues, extending the Millers’ unbeaten run to 15 games and taking them to the top of League One. Wiles opened the scoring on 24 with a shot from the edge of the box with Ferguson adding the second a minute before the hour with the Blues never looking like getting back into the match.

Conor Chaplin came into the Town side for Sone Aluko, who was absent from the 18, but in the number 10 role with Bersant Celina on the right, while Fraser started on the left with Kyle Edwards on the bench.

Matt Penney was back on the bench having been left out of the squad for the last three league games.

For Rotherham, 12-goal top scorer Michael Smith returned from a one-match ban, while midfielder Ollie Rathbone didn’t make the trip having been ill.

The Millers were forced into a late change with keeper Josh Vickers dropping out and sub Viktor Johansson starting.

After the teams taking a knee had been warmly applauded, the game got under way with neither side threatening in a high tempo opening.

Rotherham forced the first save of the game in the 12th minute when Jamie Lindsay hit a curling effort from the edge of the box and Christian Walton did well to get across to his left to tip away for a corner.

Town were seeing a lot of the ball but with the Millers very quickly on to the man in possession they didn’t create a chance until the 21st minute when Janoi Donacien’s header into the box from Macauley Bonne’s left-sided cross was half-cleared to Fraser, who scuffed his shot wide.

Four minutes later, the visitors took the lead. Wiles was allowed to bring the ball to the edge of the area unchallenged from deep before hitting a shot to Walton’s left and into the net. It looked stoppable and the keeper’s reaction suggested he felt he ought to have done better.

It was a poor goal to concede from a Town perspective and handed the impetus to the South Yorkshiremen, who immediately went looking for a second, Lee Evans making an important block on the left of the box and Fraser eventually clearing after the Blues had made heavy weather of getting it out of their area.

A minute later, a clever Town move down the left ended with Bonne losing his footing as he looked to cut Chaplin’s pass into the six-yard box.

In the 31st minute, Freddie Ladapo shot across the face of Walton’s goal from the right from Smith’s pass.

The Blues were having long spells with the ball but without being able to break through the visitors’ determined defence.

The Millers were looking far more dangerous on the break and on 38 skipper Richard Wood headed Ferguson’s free-kick across the face of goal but with Rarmani Edmonds-Green and Ladapo unable to reach it at the far post, fortunately for the Blues.

On 40 Lindsay was shown the first yellow card of the game for stopping Town from taking a quick free-kick, then four minutes later Michael Ihiekwe joined him in the book for dissent, which he continued as he walked away from referee Ward who called him back but decided not to issue any further sanction.

The niggly Rotherham fouls in the closing stages of the half meant the game had little flow, although the Blues won a late corner but which ultimately came to nothing.

The scoreline at the break was a fair reflection of the opening period with the Blues having been unable to lay a glove on the well-organised Millers, who had looked much more of a threat when breaking, although Town will feel they played a big part in Wiles’s goal.

Town had seen plenty of the ball but had been hesitant in playing the final ball into the box or taking a shot with their spells in possession all too often seeing them make their way towards the edge of the area then away again as they struggled to find an opening.

Rotherham really should have doubled their lead three minutes after the restart when Smith tried to head down to Ladapo from Ferguson’s left-wing cross when he should have nodded at goal and failed to find his team-mate by some distance.

Town weren’t too far away from levelling in the 50th minute when Evans curled a free-kick just over from 25 yards after Fraser had been fouled by Lindsay.

After a shaky moment when Blues defenders and Ladapo both failed to get anything on one-time Town trialist Chiedozie Ogbene’s cross from the right, the ball eventually reaching Walton, Town worked their way into the box on the left of the Rotherham area before Chaplin’s low cross was cleared.

Town found some space in the Millers’ half for the first time in the 58th minute but Fraser was unable to find Bonne with his through ball, much to the frustration of the home support.

And a minute later, the visitors doubled their lead. Ogbene worked his way past Clements on the right, Ladapo's effort was blocked but Ferguson was able to slam into the roof of the net at the far post to claim his first goal for the Millers.

Town had a mountain to climb at 2-0 against a side against whom they were yet to manage a shot on target and it was no surprise when manager Paul Cook made changes in the 63rd minute with Edwards and Penney taking over from Evans and Clements.

Town continued to huff and puff without looking particularly dangerous, while Rotherham came very close to netting a third when Smith headed Ferguson’s left-wing cross over from close range following a long spell in possession.

The Blues swapped Chaplin for Joe Pigott in the 73rd minute with a Rotherham third looking more likely than Town pulling one back.

Penney did well to work his way in from the left on 74 but failed to beat the first man with his low cross. Moments later, a Town corner from the right came to nothing.

Edwards did well to beat Ogbene as the game moved towards its final 10 minutes but failed to find Celina with his cutback. Moments later, the Millers swapped Irish international Ogbene and Ferguson for Mickel Miller and Wes Harding.

On 87 Dan Barlaser was cautioned for time-wasting then Edmundson joined him in the book presumably for scuffling ahead of the free-kick.

In injury time, Pigott looped a header at goal which Johansson claimed under his bar to sarcastic cheers from the Sir Bobby Robson Stand.

Morsy scuffed a decent opportunity wide before the final whistle was greeted by muted boos from a frustrated home support.

Town had been comfortably beaten by a well-drilled Rotherham side who prevented the Blues from managing a shot on target until injury time at one end while carving out enough chances to win the game, more than 2-0 had Smith taken his opportunity.

While the Blues ought to have had the Sunderland game won before the Black Cats’ two late goals, Rotherham showed that they’re a level above most of the rest of the sides towards the top of the division

They never allowed Town a sniff and once they had established their lead, where the points were going was in little doubt.

A chastening lesson for the Blues, who are down to 13th ahead of Sunday’s home game against bottom club Crewe Alexandra.

Town: Walton, Donacien, Nsiala, Edmundson, Clements (Penney 63), Morsy (c), Evans (Edwards 63), Chaplin (Pigott 73), Celina, Fraser, Bonne. Unused: Hladky, Burgess, Vincent-Young, Harper.

Rotherham: Johansson, Barlaser, Wood (c), Wiles, Ladapo (Sadlier 86), Ogbene (Miller 81), Lindsay, Ferguson (Harding 81), Ihiekwe, Edmonds-Green, Smith. Unused: Vickers, Sadlier, Grigg, Kayode, Odoffin. Referee: Gavin Ward (Surrey). Att: 18,221 (Rotherham: 267).

Photo: Matchday Images

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CustardCream added 21:47 - Nov 23
Awful. Absolutely awful. I really don't understand us sometimes. We spend the whole game hoofing the ball to Bonne, then we bring Piggott on and don't go long once?!

Fraser not good enough, Clements (as much as we don't like hearing it) is out of his depth, Celina SO SO wasteful all game.

With the squad we have, 0 shots on target until the 92nd minute in league 1 is unforgivable.

I'm still behind Cook but it won't be long before my mind is changed

Bluewelshman added 21:47 - Nov 23
Can someone please tell me what the positives were tonight?

RobsonWark added 21:48 - Nov 23
Very poor game for us. We never looked like scoring tonight. McCauley out numbered up front on his own. Hard to name a Town player of the match tonight.

Rotherham were first to almost every ball. They were fitter than us. Chased us down when we had the ball.

Short of calling them cr#p...I have to say the two BIGGEST disappointments this season have been FRASER and PENNY. One of them on the pitch is bad enough but what chance do we have when they are both on the pitch together?

Bluearmy_81 added 21:48 - Nov 23
Cook you're too one dimensional. I've never known a manager be so inflexible and obsessed with one formation. Footballs a fluid game, things change, sometimes you have to mix it up. Piggott and Bonne would rip up league 1. How long have town fans had to watch one up top? It feels like forever. Too long!!

Blueballs83 added 21:49 - Nov 23
Shocking performance! Cooks time is now up. No more excuses. We need a new manager and coaching team to save our season!

Saxonblue74 added 21:50 - Nov 23
Deserved nothing, got nothing. Need to do something quick as the feel good factor is starting to disappear.

BromleyBloo added 21:50 - Nov 23
First half we had 60%+ possession, but Rotherham ran the game, always in control and looked far more dangerous than us as we struggled to create any meaningful opportunity to score. We huffed and puffed at times, but generally, including Morsy, looked at a loss as to how to get at their defence or create anything in the final third, with McB again living off scraps - once again just not there as an attacking force.

Second half more of the same, Morsy and Evans very quiet, neither full back did anything in the attacking sense and Chaplin and Fraser also pretty invisible.

We kept battling away to the end and a bit more animated in the last 20 mins, but no real cutting edge or any sense that we were going to make something happen and cause any real problems. Edwards was good after coming on and threatened, but really Rotherham just sat in their half and played the game out - our first attempt on target/their keeper made a save for the first time in 92nd minute…………….!!!

May be credit to Rotherham who were just a better team in most respects and comfortable for most of the match. Unlike Sunderland, we got what we deserved from the game. So given the quality in our squad, still underperforming and still lots of work to do.

Down to 14th and currently, sadly, we are just not a match for the top teams in this division.

Sort it out - COYB!!!

DaGremloid added 21:50 - Nov 23
This is dire. So called good players not playing well, mediocre tactics, no Plan B, a pretty crap Plan A for most of the time, a bang average back-up coaching team to Cook. And talking of Cook, it’s blatantly obvious he’s nothing without his no 2, Leam Richardson and I cannot see him getting any better than where he’s at now, both tactically and man management-wise. Yes, we’ll win a few more games here and there and some people will wet the bed again, but we’ve no consistency and consistency is what gets you promoted. Pi$$ed off, fed up, and depressed after tonight.

bixleyboy added 21:50 - Nov 23
No positives tonight…. Outclassed by a better drilled hungrier side.

TimmyH added 21:51 - Nov 23
Well that should put some supporters minds to rest that we're clearly a long long way off challenging for automatics in this league! Repeat what I said 2 seasons ago - Rotherham are a strong physical well organised bunch and probably would go as far as saying Lamberts side then put up a better performance! Have we improved that much if at all? maybe more entertaining football now but not much more...

That optimistic feeling ebbing away...Cook better get his finger out!

blueboy1981 added 21:51 - Nov 23
It’s your team Mr Cook - and currently you and / or your team are just not good enough.
It simply has to improve, no excuses please from anyone the last two games and results have not been what required.
Serious question have to be answered.

Saxonblue74 added 21:52 - Nov 23
Won't happen Blueballs, owners have stated its going to take time

fallguy1234 added 21:53 - Nov 23
Yawwwwnnnn, so predictable. Maybe one day Paul Cook will consider two strikers and not play 4-2-3-1 every-single game. 15th in league one behind teams like Cambridge who have a budget of peanuts. What an absolute mess and under performing team. Neil Warnock in for me!
Ohhh and who remembers Simpson, he’s in top form for Swindon

ShropshireBluenago09 added 21:53 - Nov 23
Rotherham out fought us and showed the work ethic and urgency we lacked. Only Edmunson and Donacien came out of that game with any credit. Edwards good W hen he came on.
That’s 15 games unbeaten for Rotherham who now sit top. They are there because the majority of their team has been together for 3-4 seasons.

Elizabeth added 21:53 - Nov 23
What a poor performance from the first minute ,to the last .. we looked lightweight against this team .. totally lacking in all areas ..

martin587 added 21:54 - Nov 23
I’m lost for words.This was a terrible performance.Not one shot on target.Cook needs to go now before it’s too late.Ten points adrift from 6th place and not even half way through the season.This just cannot carry on like this.Cooks win rate is awful.Enough said.

johnwarksshorts added 21:54 - Nov 23
Rotherham more fight more cohesion more desire. Sadly didn't have to do much to beat us.
Town to many stray passes, no desire no cohesion, Cook doesn't seem to change tactics soon enough. Play 2 up front!

runningout added 21:55 - Nov 23
played the worst team in league (Sunderland) and best team tonight. Lost to both of them. Going to name names for a change. Fraser flatters to deceive. Nsiala at least one booboo every game. Bonne losing form quickly. Pigott not horrible enough. These players need to wake up as they are a lot better than what they are producing

midastouch added 21:55 - Nov 23
Oh dear, the season is slipping by and we seem to be going nowhere fast at present! If we want to get out of this league we're going to have to a hell of a lot better than that! I know we're a work in progress and we can't expect miracles overnight, however, we've now lost more games than we've won this season. In truth, I was expecting a fair bit more than this by now.

delias_cheesy_flaps added 21:57 - Nov 23
No issue with the owners giving managers time, but not a manager who sticks to tactics that don’t really work and is totally inflexible to change formation!

churchmans81 added 21:57 - Nov 23
“Drilled” seems to be the word of the day. #bandwagon

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 21:58 - Nov 23
Got the result I expected tonight, I'm afraid to say. Hard to say exactly why we are so impotent up front, but Bonne battling on his own against two centre backs is hardly a fair fight and he's a pretty tough character. Donacien our MoM, Edwards tried hard to change things, and Edmunson was pretty solid. Apart from that, no-one seemed able to stamp any authority on a workmanlike but hardly superhuman Rotherham. The sad truth is we are an average L1 side and don't look like going anywhere in particular this season. Time for a re-think? Maybe not just yet - but soon if this continues.

blue86 added 21:59 - Nov 23
Disappointing, thing is I get that 4231 is Cooks preferred system. But it's not working, we need to try something else, maybe a 352/442. He wont though, goals have dried up now, and is anyone confident we wont be in league 1 next season?........ I'm not. We have so many false Dawn's and it does get tiring, trying to keep the faith but it's hard at the moment. Other teams with smaller squads, less money etc etc are putting us to shame.

Taricco_Fan added 22:00 - Nov 23
I'm very much judging Cook now. The signs aren't good.

chopra777 added 22:00 - Nov 23
Tactically naive tonight, out played by a better team. Decent build up but no guts to shoot on goal. Peter Reid does not appear to have help the side yet. Our forwards are basically strangers. Jury is still out on Cook and his coaches. Disappointing tonight.

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