|Ipswich Town 2 v 1 Accrington Stanley|
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 22nd January 2022 Kick-off 15:00
Ipswich Town 2-1 Accrington Stanley - Match Report
Saturday, 22nd Jan 2022 17:05
Wes Burns and Conor Chaplin were on target as Town came from a goal down to beat Accrington Stanley 2-1 at Portman Road to climb to within eight points of the play-offs. Ethan Hamilton gave the visitors the lead on 15 but Burns hit back from a sublime Bersant Celina pass eight minutes later and Chaplin smashed home the winner in the 65th minute.
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.
Celina, 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.
Just 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.
Blues keeper Walton had to earn his corn soon after the break, McConville hitting a deflected shot which wrong-footed the keeper, who superbly checked himself and saved down to his left.
Town began to take control and on 50 Burns was found in space on the right but hit a first time shot well over. Two minutes later Carroll was booked for a late challenge on Stanley skipper McConville.
Bishop was fortunate not to join him after catching Walton in the midriff with a boot after the keeper had slid in at his feet. The keeper indicated that he felt it had been deliberate.
The have had become scruffy and scrappy with spells of head tennis in midfield and regular stoppages.
On 55 Burns was found on the right of the box by Vincent-Young as he took the ball across field but the Welshman again slammed the ball deep into the Sir Bobby Robson Stand.
Three minutes later, Pell finally found his way into referee Eltringham’s book to loud cheers from the Town support for clipping Chaplin’s heels.
In the 61st minute, Walton punched McConville’s free-kick from the left behind off a Stanley head.
Carroll forced Savin to palm away his 25-yard shot on 63 as the Blues started to gain control of the game.
And two minutes later, Town took the lead. Morsy was fouled on the right and took the free-kick himself quickly, playing the ball to Donacien, who took it into the area and cut back to Chaplin, who touched on to his right foot and smashed into the roof of the net.
The former Barnsley man gleefully celebrated his eighth goal of the season having returned to the side as a child ran from the Cobbold Stand to join in with the celebrations.
Having gone in front, Town began to look a much more confident outfit and on 70 Celina threaded a pass through for Bonne but Savin was quickly off his line to claim at the striker’s feet. At the other end, Hamilton hit a low shot which Walton saved down to his left.
New signing Bakinson was handed his debut in the 72nd minute for Carroll, who made his way off to warm applause from the home support. Accrington switched McConville for Rosaire Longelo.
Four minutes later, Town swapped Bonne for Norwood and Stanley David Morgan for pantomime villain of the day Pell. On 79 Lewis Mansell took over from O’Sullivan for the visitors.
Longelo quickly found his way into referee Eltringham’s book for jumping into Donacien after the Town defender had reached an aerial ball first.
The game was petering out with the substitutions having stalled any momentum Town had previously had.
On 88 George Edmundson was adjudged to have fouled Hamilton just outside the area and was booked, the centre-half vehemently protesting that he had won the ball, which looked to have been the case. Stanley’s earlier scorer took the free-kick himself and curled it only just past Walton’s right post.
A minute later, Celina was booked for protests of his own after the ball had been won from a dallying Hamilton midway inside the Accrington half and with the Kosovan in a good position to break towards goal.
Kayden Jackson replaced Chaplin as the game moved into four minutes of injury time in which neither side threatened to change the scoreline.
Town deserved the three points from a hard-fought game against a determined Accrington side.
The Blues weren’t always at their dominant best in a stop-start often niggly game but eventually made their superiority tell with Morsy’s quick thinking from the free-kick leading to Donacien’s cut-back and Chaplin’s typically sharp finish.
The win sees Town climb to ninth, now only eight points from sixth ahead of a visit to sixth-bottom AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday.
Town: Walton, Donacien, Woolfenden, Edmundson, Burns, Celina, Carroll (Bakinson 73), Morsy (c), Vincent-Young, Bonne (Norwood 76), Chaplin (Jackson 90). Unused: Holy, Burgess, Edwards, Pigott.
Accrington: Savin, Rich-Baghuelou, Hamilton, Butcher, O’Sullivan (Mansell 79), Pell (Morgan 76), Bishop, McConville (Longelo 73) (c), Nottingham, Clark, Amankwah. Unused: Isherwood, Rodgers, Procter, Nolan. Referee: Geoff Eltringham (County Durham). Att: 20,126 (Accrington: 131).
Photo: Matchday Images
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