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Ipswich Town 2-0 Crewe Alexandra - Half-Time
Sunday, 28th Nov 2021 16:04

A Luke Offord own goal and a brilliant Bersant Celina chip having given the Blues. 2-0 lead over Crewe Alexandra at Portman Road at half-time.

Sone Aluko returned to the Blues’ starting line-up in an otherwise unchanged XI. Aluko, who missed the Rotherham game following his father’s death, started on the right with Lee Evans dropping to the bench.

Scott Fraser moved into the middle of midfield alongside skipper Sam Morsy, while Celina was on the left with Conor Chaplin behind lone striker Macauley Bonne.

Former Town academy youngster Ben Knight was among the Crewe Alexandra substitutes.

After the players taking the knee had been warmly applauded by the chilly but expectant Portman Road crowd, the Blues got off to a brilliant start, scoring in only the third minute.

After Janoi Donacien’s first ball across the area had been blocked, but Aluko tricked his way in from the right along the byline beating two men before his low cross was diverted into the net by Alex defender Offord.

Town maintained the early pressure with Aluko continuing to give Crewe left wing-back Rio Adebisi a tough time.

On eight, a free-kick from the right was nodded out for a corner ahead of Bonne. Following the flag-kick, Celina’s cross got caught under Zac Williams before keeper Dave Richards claimed with Town appeals that the defender had handled falling on deaf ears.

There was a scare for the Blues in the 14th minute when Crewe broke quickly from their own area but Chris Long dallied over his pass and Oliver Finney eventually fell over his own feet when he finally received the ball.

On 16 Celina exchanged passes with Chaplin midway inside the Crewe half but the Kosovan’s through ball for Bonne was cut out by a defender.

Two minutes later, there was another shaky moment for the Blues which resulted in Long smashing a shot from the edge of the area which Christian Walton tipped over the bar.

Donacien spent a spell receiving treatment for what looked like a side injury with Kane Vincent-Young preparing to come on before the Town number 44 indicated he was OK to remain on the field.

With Town’s early game intensity having dropped - although with Aluko in particularl still looking dangerous when breaking - Crewe threatened again on 22 when Finney turned a half-volley over from the edge of the box.

Just after the half hour, Celina was clearly angered with Offord after an off-the-ball clash with the visitors’ defender. Referee James Oldham spoke to the pair but without showing any cards.

Town began to restore their earlier dominance, Bailey Clements making a dangerous run down the left before his cross was cut out, then on 36 Chaplin sent over a ball from the same flank which appeared to catch a Crewe player taking it away from Bonne, although the officials awarded the throw-in to the Railwaymen.

Crewe were next to threaten. Following a break down the right, Porter nodded across goal from the far post and Clements did well to get ahead of Finney and then the hastily retreating Celina was able to finally clear.

On 39 Tom Lowery blazed over from the edge of the area with the Blues again looking unconvincing at the back.

In the 43rd minute, with Town looking dominant again, Aluko played in Donacien on the right of the box and the full-back’s dangerous low ball was cleared from inside the six-yard area.

Town should have been two goals in front following the resultant corner. After the ball was cleared, Morsy struck a powerful shot which Richards saved but couldn’t hold. Chaplin dived at the loose ball and seemed certain to score but the ball arced just the wrong side of the post.

With the game in injury time and the half-time whistle only seconds away, Celina brilliantly took down a George Edmundson long ball 25 yards out before spotting Richards off his line and deftly chipping the keeper, the ball irresistibly dropping just under the bar into the top corner of the net to make it 2-0.

It was a goal up there with any the on-loan Dijon man has scored in either of his spells with the Blues and was his fourth of the season.

That was the final action of a half in which the Blues had started like a house on fire before their performance drifted allowing the opposition back into it, as on a number of other occasions this season, but fortunately without the Railwaymen finding a serious chance from which they might have levelled.

Town got their foot back on the pedal in the latter stages and really ought to have doubled their lead through Chaplin, although it was one of those opportunities where a player throws himself at a loose ball rather than having too much time to think about where it’s going.

But they didn’t have to wait too long for the second via Celina’s moment of brilliance and the game should now be all but won.

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

Crewe: Richards, Offord, Long, Lowery, Porter (c), Finney, Griffiths, Sass-Davies, Williams, Kashket. Subs: Jaaskelainen, Thomas, Knight, Mandron, Gomes, Lundstram, Woodthorpe. Referee: James Oldham (Derbyshire).

Photo: Matchday Images

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Suffolkboy added 16:27 - Nov 28
All but won ? We shall see ,for too often our second half showing has ,to say the least, lacked proper conviction .
Let’s hope there is renewed determination,no sitting back and more goals to come when opportunities present .
Go to it chaps ,have a field day !

runningout added 16:31 - Nov 28
We could show so much more. We are 2 up but holding back is not the way to get (promoted) out of this league

blueboy1981 added 16:35 - Nov 28
One up front again, at Home v Bottom of the League ???
One trick Pony, or What ??
Come on Cook - Promotion like this is a pipe dream !!

multiplescoregasms added 16:40 - Nov 28
This is awful. I have never been so bored watching an ipswich team. Still gelling cook? Or just average players playing below average football? Time to go mate

multiplescoregasms added 17:00 - Nov 28
Thank fluk that is over. What a 5hit show. Cook out.

AlanG296 added 17:24 - Nov 28
Starting to realise why I haven't had a season ticket for years. Managers change, players change, owners change, but on the pitch nothing changes. Lazy players with no ambition who are here for an easy life

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