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Ipswich Town 1-1 Accrington Stanley - Half-Time
Saturday, 22nd Jan 2022 16:01

Town’s game against Accrington Stanley is level at 1-1 at the break, Wes Burns having equalised Ethan Hamilton’s opener for the visitors.

Bersant Celina, Conor Chaplin and Kane Vincent-Young returned to the starting line-up XI with James Norwood dropping to the bench and Sone Aluko and Matt Penney dropping out of the 18.

Vincent-Young was at left wing-back, having replaced Penney in the second half at Bolton last week, with Celina and Chaplin behind and just behind central striker Macauley Bonne to the left and right respectively.

Lee Evans suffered a knock in the warm-up and so was replaced in the centre of the midfield by Tom Carroll.

Vaclav Hladky was missing from the bench with Tomas Holy, a target of Bradford and a number of other clubs, the substitute keeper.

Accrington made one enforced change with Jay Rich-Baghuelou replacing Ross Sykes, who was sent off in last week’s 1-1 home draw with Sunderland.

After a minute’s applause in tribute to the fans, former players and staff who died in 2021, both teams took a knee.

Accrington won two early corners and started the brighter of the two teams but without threatening Christian Walton, who joined the Blues on a permanent basis on Wednesday.

On eight, Michael Nottingham became the first player to get his name in referee Geoff Eltringham’s book for a foul on Samy Morsy just inside the Town half as the Town skipper sought to break away into the Accrington half with plenty of space in front of him.

Two minutes later, Rich-Baghuelou looped a header well wide from a Sean McConville cross following a corner.

In the 11th minute, as Town began to get their passing going after a slow start, Celina played in Vincent-Young on the left and the former Colchester man crossed for Bonne, who was unable to get any power on his header.

The Blues were starting to take control, but in the 15th minute the visitors went ahead. Following a long throw on the right, Harry Pell teed up Ethan Hamilton on the edge of the box from where the midfielder hit a low shot beyond Walton to his left and into the corner of the net.

Town had looked as if they were getting going just prior to the goal but they returned to their earlier sloppier selves having gone behind, although while finding space to break in the Stanley half.

On 20, Chaplin won a free-kick 25 yards out which Celina curled only just past visitors’ keeper Toby Savin’s right post.

Stanley might have been two in front in the 22nd minute when Matt Butcher hit a shot from inside the area which took a deflection and looped up on to the bar, Walton appearing to have got a touch on it.

And within seconds of almost being 2-0 behind, the Blues levelled. As Town broke forward, Celina checked, then played a superb pass into the path of Wes Burns bursting forward on the right and the Welshman deftly lifted the ball past Savin as the keeper advanced to claim his sixth goal of the season.

After a couple of stoppages for Accrington players going to ground and protests to the referee, Hamilton in particular making a meal out of what appeared to be an accidental collision with Morsy, Town started to dominate.

Just before the half hour, Celina crossed from the left and Chaplin looped a header over the bar.

John O’Sullivan scraped a shot well wide from the edge of the area in the 31st minute as the game continued in a stop-start manner with Accrington doing their best to keep it that way.

Shortly after Pell had left Carroll in a heap in midfield and had been lucky to avoid a yellow card, Nottingham headed over for Stanley from a McConville cross following a corner on the left.

On 41, the Stanley defender did much the same again from another flag-kick on the left with the Blues fortunate not to have conceded from at least one of them.

Shortly before the whistle, Celina worked himself space before hitting a low 30-yard effort which Savin bundled away.

Town had started the game very slowly but had started to get on top when Accrington scored their goal.

The Blues were fortunate not to find themselves two behind in the spell following Stanley’s goal but then created a superb leveller, Celina playing an inch-perfect pass for Burns to finish clinically.

From there, Town had spells where they played the football which has started to become their trademark since manager McKenna took charge but only fleetingly and the visitors might well have gone in front via their two late set pieces. The half had developed into a niggly affair with Accrington players spending an awful lot of time on the turf.

Town: Walton, Donacien, Woolfenden, Edmundson, Burns, Celina, Carroll, Morsy (c), Vincent-Young, Bonne, Chaplin. Unused: Holy, Burgess, Bakinson, Edwards, Jackson, Norwood, Pigott.

Accrington: Savin, Rich-Baghuelou, Hamilton, Butcher, O'Sullivan, Pell, Bishop, McConville (c), Nottingham, Clark, Amankwah. Subs: Isherwood, Rodgers, Procter, Mansell, Longelo, Nolan, Morgan. Referee: Geoff Eltringham (County Durham).

Photo: Matchday Images

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blueboy1981 added 16:27 - Jan 22
What did I say a few weeks back ?? - and got marked down by a few of the ‘hissy fit brigade’ talking about the ‘P’ word being nailed on after McKenna being appointed.
Much to br done - we should be beating these teams with some ease - but we are way off being good enough to do so is the REALITY folks.

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