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Doncaster Rovers 0-1 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Tuesday, 8th Feb 2022 21:48

Tyreeq Bakinson’s first goal for Town saw the Blues to a 1-0 victory over bottom side Doncaster Rovers at the Eco-Power Stadium and to within six points of the play-offs. Bakinson tapped in from close range on 39 after Macauley Bonne’s header had been palmed out by home keeper Jonathan Mitchell as Town dominated from start to finish without being able to add to their lead.

Boss Kieran McKenna made three changes from the team which beat Gillingham 1-0 on Saturday.

Bonne started as the out-and-out striker with Joe Pigott left out of the 18, while Bersant Celina came in for James Norwood, who was among the subs, playing behind the on-loan QPR man along with Conor Chaplin.

Bakinson returned to the centre of the midfield for Tom Carroll, who was also not in the squad. Sone Aluko and Idris El Mizouni were back on the bench having been left out of the 18 at the weekend.

Doncaster named the same side that beat Sunderland 2-1 at the weekend with Reo Griffiths and Ben Jackson making their home debuts.

Boss McKenna’s former Manchester United colleagues Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Michael Carrick were watching from the stands.

Town, in their white and black away kit, took a knee prior to kick-off as the Rovers players linked arms on the edge of the centre circle in a similar anti-racism gesture applause from both sets of fans.

The Blues should have gone in front in the second minute. Celina crossed from the right and Bonne got ahead of his man but the ball flicked off his head and flew wide, the strong wind perhaps having brought it onto him quicker than he was anticipating.

Town dominated possession in the early stages and, following a long spell of passing, Chaplin hit a shot through to Mitchell in the sixth minute.

As was the case on Saturday, the Blues had a sloppy spell in which a number of passes went astray and Doncaster created their first opening in the 13th minute.

Charlie Seaman broke away down the right and sent in a low cross for Griffiths, who shot behind with George Edmundson, stand-in skipper for the last time before Sam Morsy returns, and Luke Woolfenden both slid in to block.

But Town quickly regained their composure and started creating chances frequently. First, Bakinson’s first touch let him down after he was found in the box by Burns, then the on-loan Bristol City man teed-up Chaplin but his low shot was gathered by Mitchell at the second attempt.

Almost immediately, Celina chased a ball down the left and cut it back to Burns, but a defender got across to thwart the Blues wing-back.

On 22, a long spell of Town possession ended with Dominic Thompson sending over a ball from the left which Bonne nodded over when he will feel he should have hit the target. Two minutes later, Bakinson was booked for a foul on Josh Martin.

Woolfenden headed over under pressure at the far post from an Evans corner in the 27th minute.

A minute later, Edmundson played a great ball from the back which saw Chaplin in on goal but the forward inadvertently played it on to his hand as he took it down.

Town were continuing to dominate and in the 32nd minute Thompson superbly kept the ball in on the left and found Celina, who crossed low for Chaplin, who couldn’t find room to shoot and was forced out wide to the left.

Doncaster had rarely had the ball let along a shot at goal but in the 35th minute Edmundson fouled Martin 25 yards out. Martin took the free-kick himself but it struck the Town wall and looped over.

But the half had been almost all Town and in the 39th minute they finally got their noses in front.

Following yet another long spell of possession, Thompson crossed from the left, Chaplin flicked on to the far post from where Bonne nodded back towards the corner of the net, keeper Mitchell got a hand to it and Bakinson added the final touch from close range to claim his first goal for the club.

Soon after the goal, Bonne was flagged offside as he broke towards goal from the left and there were no other chances before referee Ollie Yates blew the half-time whistle.

Town had dominated the first half and really ought to have scored prior to Bakinson’s goal with Bonne having had two headed chances the striker will feel he should have taken.

Doncaster made two changes ahead of the second half with Dan Gardner and Kyle Knoyle replacing skipper Tommy Rowe, the brother of former Blues winger Danny, and Ro-Shaun Williams.

Woolfenden headed the half’s first chance over the bar from a corner on the right in the 50th minute with the Blues quickly gaining the control they had in the first half.

On 54, Celina beat his man and broke into the Rovers half before laying off to Bonne. The striker’s cross was overhit but Burns managed to get it back from beyond the far post but Chaplin was crowded out.

Just after the hour, Celina feinted away from his man on the left before sending over a brilliant cross for Bonne but Mitchell tipped his header over. From the resultant corner, Bonne stabbed the ball out to Thompson but the Brentford loanee’s shot was blocked.

Town continued to have all the ball and prod and probe for a second. In the 63rd minute Chaplin tried an over-head kick which was blocked and Bonne was flagged offside as he tried to get on to the loose ball.

Janoi Donacien wasn’t far away from the second in the 69th minute when he looped a header over and on to the roof of the net after Thompson had hooked back in a corner from the right which had been overhit.

Doncaster had hardly threatened at all in the second half but in the 70th minute they won a corner from which the Blues saw Joseph Olowu’s header out for a goal-kick after not looking entirely comfortable.

Town swapped goalscorer Bakinson for El Mizouni, who had been waiting on the sidelines for the change for several minutes with the ball not having gone out of play for a long spell, in the 76th minute. Two minutes later, Bonne was replaced by Norwood.

Donacien was booked for kicking the ball away having been flagged offside in the 83rd minute.

A minute later, the Blues broke quickly after winning the ball on halfway and Celina fed Norwood breaking to his left but the striker scuffed his shot into the side-netting.

Doncaster swapped Seaman for Aidan Barlow in the 84th minute, then three minutes later Town swapped Chaplin for Aluko.

Soon after, Walton, who hadn’t been forced to make a save all evening, was quickly off his line to claim ahead of Mipo Odubeko.

Deep in four minutes of injury time, Burns was sent away on the right. His shot was blocked, as was Aluko’s follow-up.

Town saw out the remaining minutes of added-on time - in the final moments of which home keeper Mitchell came up for a corner - to record manager McKenna’s sixth win in his eight games in charge and the fifth clean sheet in that time.

The Blues dominated from beginning to end against a poor if determined Doncaster side with the three points never really looking in any doubt, although the margin of victory should have been much more comfortable.

Town, still ninth but now six points from the play-offs, next face a much stiffer test when they travel to face MK Dons, who were held to a 1-1 draw at Fleetwood this evening, on Saturday.

Doncaster: Mitchell, Younger, Olowu, Williams (Knoyle 46), Rowe (c) (Gardner 46), Jackson, Smith, Seaman (Barlow 84), Martin, Odubeko, Griffiths. Unused: Jones, Clayton, Dodoo, Agard.

Town: Walton, Donacien, Woolfenden, Edmundson (c), Burns, Evans, Bakinson (El Mizouni 76), Thompson, Celina, Chaplin (Aluko 87), Bonne (Norwood 78). Unused: Hladky, Burgess, Vincent-Young, Jackson. Referee: Ollie Yates (Staffordshire). Att: 6,383 (Town: 1,026).

Photo: Pagepix

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cat added 21:49 - Feb 8
Good win and 3 points on the road. League tables looking healthier so can’t complain too much. Need our front men to start hitting the net, then we are in with a decent chance of top 6. Credit to McK, can’t knock his win rate.

OwainG1992 added 21:49 - Feb 8
Fantastic stuff!
Really happy with what I felt was a banana skin waiting to happen.
Also Oxford, MK Don's dropping points etc.
Just what you wanna see!
6 wins in 8.
The pessimistic side to me wants to pour Cold water on it but come on we can do it guys!

chopra777 added 21:51 - Feb 8
3 points from a possible banana skin. Keep on going. Good effort shame about the lack of goals.

TractorFrog added 21:51 - Feb 8
A poor performance, but all season we have struggled without Sam Morsy, and from the next game he will be back. Nine points from twelve is a good result without our skipper, and we got the job done today. With so many results going our way, it’s just six points now.

BromleyBloo added 21:52 - Feb 8
Another 3 points and we controlled the game, dominating a poor Donny side from start to finish. Much better than Sat, but still not great and we made hard work of it as we again struggled to create many outright scoring opportunities or make the final pass tell. We should’ve won comfortably, by 3 or 4.

So no real standouts, just a solid team performance and we avoided a mistake at the back……………….just. Walton quality though, Chaplin busy and Celina promised - just give him the ball more!

Other results good also, so 6 points off 5th and all to play for!!!


LimerickTractorBoy added 21:53 - Feb 8
Massive 3 pts, should have been more comfortable but hopefully we might take our chances Saturday.
I'd take a draw v MK Don's and the 6 games after that are all winnable... the kind of run we need.
Well done tonight boys.

ButchersBrokenNose added 21:53 - Feb 8
Another unconvincing performance against a poor Doncaster side who showed no interest in winning. Unfortunately, it’s the same old story for us: pretty, passing football at times but no penetration; dominating possession but unable to put a game to bed; too many stray passes and lost 50-50s which better teams would punish us for.

Bonne missed two sitters which he would have buried a couple of months ago. Time to give him a break and see if he can find his shooting boots on the training pitch. Thompson and Bakinson (I know he scored, but who couldn't from there?) still haven’t impressed me. I fail to see why they have gone straight into the team.

Once again, numerous corners without a shot on target. Sometimes the delivery is poor, but too often we don’t attack the ball and allow the opposition to clear it easily. This is infuriating for me, so what must Mr. McKenna be thinking?

I want to be optimistic and say we’ll make the play-offs, but I just don’t see us having the quality and consistency to do it. And, even if we get there, what chance would we have against one of the teams above us?

TimmyH added 21:55 - Feb 8
Well happy we won and got another 3 points considering my pre-match feelings about this but this Doncaster side will be relegated playing like that, as for us largely controlled the game and although expectedly creating a few more chances compared to recent games our strikers are firing complete blanks which is worrying!...if we carry on like this we'll have to rely on the midfield for goals if we are to get anywhere near the play-offs.
Walton assured again, Chaplin busy and Celina sharp in patches the highlights.

Hopefully with the return of Morsy and maybe Aluko into midfield we'll have a bit more punch but upfront needs improving fivefold.

Buryblue78 added 21:55 - Feb 8
Good win against very poor side
New manager has stiffened them up defensively so cramped us up a little in final third
If finishing had been better would have been 4-0 and should have been
Bonne and Norwood need showing where the goal is
How the hell did they beat Sunderland????

BlueRuin69 added 21:56 - Feb 8

tobymeadz91 added 21:56 - Feb 8
Another solid performance, keep this up and we are going to Wembley !!!!

Walton / Edmunson / Woolfy / Donacian - got things sorted at the back

Burns - needs to play further up the field

Thompson - best game so far, growing in confidence

Evans / Bakinson - not overly impressed to be fair

Celina / Chaplin - both had good games tonight

Bonne / Norwood - the attacking sequences looked lost tonight and how many times off-side!!

Overall not complaining but need to raise our game for the MK COYB!!!

Saxonblue74 added 21:57 - Feb 8
Great to get 3 points, but concerned about levels of performance Saturday and tonight. Donny are really poor, should be winning convincingly. With the exception of MK Dons we've a run of "easy" fixtures, good thing if we're going to continue this form! Celina looked good but shot shy, apart from that I can't really pick anybody out. Wolfenden gave the ball away more times than I can remember and would undoubtedly have been punished against better opposition. Must do better in my opinion, but grateful for the points!

ShropshireBluenago09 added 21:59 - Feb 8
It’s all about results and that’s what we’re getting with McKenna. Donny were awful and we only just did enough. Just fear our strikers are hitting a barron run at the wrong end of the season.

Europablue added 22:02 - Feb 8
We keep on winning, but I still can't escape the fact that we are still six points behind and the other teams have two games in hand. KM has an excellent record, and still we are so far away. It's not over yet, but I haven't seen enough from us when we play the top teams, so it will take a great performance against MK Dons to make me believe that the playoffs are on.

Saxonblue74 added 22:06 - Feb 8
I was called an "idiot" on the live chatroom for suggesting that was a poor performance!🤣 Funny how people see games so differently.

Runner added 22:07 - Feb 8
It didn't seem like we got out of 2nd gear to me hard watch.
We should have been running at their defence every chance we got.
3 points so onwards & hopefully upwards.

oioihardy added 22:07 - Feb 8
This will probably get hate ... but thought bakinson had a really good game ..... he was strong in Middle . Didnt get bullied off the ball and done what he had to really well !!
Thompson was quality so attacking and celina had a good game ....
We didnt look overly calm at the back and definitely should of scored more .... but a wins a win !! Coyb

Suffolkboy added 22:07 - Feb 8
When we dominate possession, show good qualities going forward WHY is it we reportedly do not/ cannot deliver the final pass with greater accuracy/ timing ? If we’ve players capable of beating/ deceiving their markers then ,as always, delivery is crucial : and it’s a pity to read we still are not attacking the ball and opportunities with the hunger and devilment the game needs and demands .
Are we short on thought ,short on action or short on fitness and confidence ?
WHATEVER it is ,they and it need sorting out ; no excuses whatsoever !

blueboy1981 added 22:07 - Feb 8
A Win is a Win - but far from being a Promotion challenging side in a relatively poor League 1.
68% Possession with little to show for it proves the point.
Why are we so impotent in the final third, and in creating chances with that kind of stats ?? - I’ll tell you, an age old trait of far too many square and back passes.
Another welcome three points - but lets hope for more Fire Power soon, if there is a chance left of anything this season.

ringwoodblue added 22:09 - Feb 8
The best teams are built on a solid defence and Walton and the back three are looking very solid.

If we can get Morsy back and our strikers start taking their chances then we will be in with a real shout of gatecrashing the playoffs but that’s a big IF.

McKenna and Pert deserve a lot of credit for turning us into a team who can see out narrow victories but the reality is we shouldn’t be in that position, we should be winning much more comfortably so there is a lot of work still to do.


Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 22:10 - Feb 8
I don't think you can simply divide games into "easy" and "difficult." All games have to be won and we did that tonight. Even "poor" teams generally have some say in a match, the unpredictable can always occur, yet Donny hardly threatened us. Pretty happy with our performance all round, which was more positive than against Gillingham, although I do admit some games to come will be more of a challenge. But we saw the game out and we move on.

DifferentGravy added 22:10 - Feb 8
Slightly better, missed 3/4 chances to extend lead. Dont have a problem with starting 4-5-1 away and, once we went ahead, we never looked liked giving up 3 points (except from a corner). Bakinson came in and was more forward thinking than Carroll. Walton and defence solid. Evans good range of passing. Celina looked like our biggest threat.

Will need to up it versus MK Dons and hoping Morsey is good to start. Likely 4-5-1 away long as McK changes it if/when required.

Well done lads. Great travelling support. COYB

Cloddyseedbed added 22:10 - Feb 8
Good result, plenty of possession but final ball and fluffed chances spoilt what could have been a convincing result. If we had a good centre forward we'd be dangerous. Bonne can't header to save his life. He should have had 2 headed goals for sure, very poor finishing. Celina I thought had his best game for a long time, I have been his fiercest critic of late for his lack of effort, but he was up for it all game and positive with his runs and work rate. Midfield will benefit from having Morsy back but likely it will take him a match or 2 to get up to the pace of things again. We beat who was against us, we move on.

Linkboy13 added 22:17 - Feb 8
Yes it was a win against a very poor team. I thought for a while now that we were lacking a striker with pace and was surprised we didn't get someone in the transfer window. McKenna has made us a more solid looking team that under Cook looked like conceding at any time mainly due to having a keeper that the defence has confidence in. Remember this is still largely Cook's team and expect changes in the summer.

Fat_Boy_Tim added 22:19 - Feb 8
Don't know what game Mathie was at (I was watching and listening on Ifollow) but we dominated that game 70% possession, created 6 good chances to score and Walton didn't have a save to make all game. This was away from home. His suggestion to bring on Aluko for Backinson when they were launching balls forward was laughable. This was a regulation win, professional job done.

We've conceded 4 goals in McK's 8 games in charge. We are top of the form table in that time. Also in that time, despite losing to Shef Wed we have gained 3 points on them. We've put 5 on Plymouth, 7 on Wycombe and Oxford, 10 on Sunderland, 1 on MK Dons, 3 on Wigan and have matched Rotherham. That's in 8 games and there are 15 to go.

This is what good form looks like, you win a few in style, you grind out a few and you have a few regulation wins like today while earning 2.25 PPG. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Last point, I've never heard such a disappointed description of a goal as that by Brenner Wolley today. So obvious he only wants to describe the disasters of previous ITFC teams. It's embarrassing as a town fan to listen to him pretend he wants us to do well, just listen back to it.

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