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Fleetwood Town 0-2 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 5th Mar 2022 17:00

Sam Morsy and Kayden Jackson scored second-half goals as the Blues gave their play-off hopes a boost by beating Fleetwood 2-0 at Highbury. After a dominant but frustrating first half, Morsy stroked home his first goal for Town in the 72nd minute, then Jackson added the second nine minutes later to secure a vital three points for the Blues.

Town boss Kieran McKenna made four changes with Jackson, Bersant Celina, Conor Chaplin and Joe Pigott coming into the team.

Pigott started as the central striker with Jackson and Chaplin behind him to the left and right respectively and Celina alongside skipper Morsy.

James Norwood, Macauley Bonne, Tyreeq Bakinson and Sone Aluko all dropped to the bench.

For Fleetwood, former Blues Toto Nsiala and Ellis Harrison both started, while Joe Garner was suspended having been sent off in midweek.

After a minute’s applause in support of the people of Ukraine and the players taking a knee, the Blues, with manager Kieran McKenna’s former Manchester United colleague Michael Carrick watching from the stand, began strongly on a patchy and boggy pitch, although less bumpy than the surface at Morecambe last week.

In the sixth minute, George Edmundson rose highest at a corner played to the near post but headed wide.

Three minutes later, Pigott sent Chaplin away on the right following a swift interchange of passes and the former Barnsley man cut in and shot low to home keeper Alex Cairns.

On 14 Celina played a clever pass through to Jackson on the edge of the box but the ball skidded off the pitch away from the striker.

Three minutes later, Morsy chipped a ball to the far post but Wes Burns, facing his old club, was just unable to get anything on it and in any case the linesman flagged that the Welshman was offside.

Soon after, Burns hit a low effort out of the mud from the edge of the area which Cairns grabbed at the second attempt.

Keeper Cairns made an injudicious rush off his line to clear a long ball forward in the 28th minute, his headed clearance finding Pigott midway inside the Fleetwood half. The former AFC Wimbledon man’s chip towards the empty goal under pressure floated over the bar.

In the 34th minute Pigott curled a shot wide off a defender after the Blues had worked their way to the edge of the area. From the resultant corner, Janoi Donacien was just unable to get a touch as the ball flashed across the edge of the six-yard box.

Four minutes later, Luke Woolfenden brought the ball to the edge of the area before it was taken away from him to Jackson, who was again thwarted as he sought to get in a shot and Cairns pounced on the loose ball.

As the fourth official raised his board, Pigott seized on some hesitant defending on the right of the box and hit a shot across Cairns which hit the outside of the post and bounced away for a throw.

There was a feeling of déjà vu for Town fans as their team made their way off at the break. As at Morecambe a week ago and at home to Cheltenham a few days earlier, the Blues had dominated but without being able to find a goal.

Pigott’s late effort off the post was the best opportunity, while Cairns probably hadn’t been tested enough from earlier efforts.

Fleetwood had rarely threatened with their most dangerous moments having come in the wake of Town players being caught out by the deteriorating pitch.

The second half got off to a slow start but on 52 the Cod Army forced Christian Walton into his first save of the afternoon. Tom Clarke curled a shot towards the corner of the net from the edge of the area but Walton got across superbly to tip wide, although the ball may well have been going just wide in any case.

Just before the hour, the game was halted after Edmundson and Burns were both caught by late tackles, the challenge on the centre-half breaking his shin pad. Referee Andrew Kitchen, who had been very lenient with both sides all afternoon, felt neither tackle warranted a free-kick let alone a caution.

However, in the 63rd minute Anthony Pilkington, a Town target in Paul Lambert’s time in charge, was booked for his protests having fouled Donacien.

Two minutes later, Jackson just overhit a through ball for Chaplin as the Blues broke forward at pace. Soon after, Bakinson replaced Pigott, the on-loan Bristol City man joining Morsy in the centre of midfield with Celina moving to the left and Jackson into the centre. Fleetwood swapped Pilkington for Cian Hayes.

Town’s second half display had been flat and lacking in tempo with Fleetwood more involved from an attacking perspective than they had been before the break.

Woolfenden was yellow-carded for a foul on former team-mate Harrison in the 69th minute and three minutes later the Blues finally found the net.

Chaplin injected the previously lacking tempo by quickly taking a free-kick he had won just inside the Fleetwood half to Celina, who brought it forward and played it to Burns to the right. The Welshman flashed a ball across the area and captain Morsy stroked home his first goal for the club and a very important one in the Blues’ play-off push.

Having scored his goal and put his side in front, the Egyptian international was booked a minute later for a foul on Zak Jules in the centre circle.

There was a scare for the Blues on 80 when Harrison and Dan Butterworth, who had just replaced Lane, burst way towards goal but the sub was crowded out on the left of the box.

A minute later, Town’s nerves and the game were settled when the Blues scored their second. Morsy played a simple ball to Celina, who played in Jackson on the left of the box from where the striker confidently slipped the ball past the advancing Cairns.

Two minutes after scoring his fourth goal of the season - his second in the league - Jackson was replaced by Bonne.

As the match moved into five minutes of additional time in which the Blues saw the game out confidently, Celina was replaced by Norwood.

Having dominated the first half but without finding the net, the Blues laboured in the early stages of the second half until Chaplin and Celina injected a bit more pace to the game from the free-kick which led to Morsy’s goal. The second goal made the result certain and the Blues were worthy winners.

The three points sees Town stay ninth, five points from the top six, one nearer than they were at kick-off, ahead of Tuesday’s home game against Lincoln, who beat Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 today.

Fleetwood: Cairns, Andrew (c), Jules, Clarke, Harrison (Morris 88), Camps, Pilkington (Hayes 67), Johnson, Lane (Butterworth 80), Nsiala, Johnston. Unused: O’Hara, G Garner, Biggins, Boyle.

Town: Walton, Donacien, Woolfenden, Edmundson, Thompson, Morsy (c), Celina ( Norwood 90), Burns, Chaplin, Jackson (Bonne 83), Pigott (Bakinson 66). Unused: Hladky, Penney, Aluko, Burgess. Referee: Andrew Kitchen (Durham).

Photo: Pagepix

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cat added 17:03 - Mar 5
Sweet. Game on again and awesome to see Morsy hit the target. Another clean sheet, 3 point, gap closing to top six, so time to start believing again

Global_Blue added 17:05 - Mar 5
Great result. But that pitch looked awful. The sooner we get out of this league and back to decent pitches the better.

jas0999 added 17:06 - Mar 5
A very important win, with back to back home games in the next week. Great to score two goals and yet another clean sheet, so overall a good day. Well done all!

johnwarksshorts added 17:08 - Mar 5
Inspired substitution from KmK, bringing on Bakinson and pushing Santy further up field. Great result.

TimmyH added 17:09 - Mar 5
Glad we won but was looking very similar to the last 2 games up until Morsy got his first goal for the happy but also relieved. A shame a majority of the other sides above us keep winning.

Some tougher looking games coming up now, I reckon we'll need 10 points out of the next 12 to still be in the hunt. Well done all tonight!

Edmundo added 17:18 - Mar 5
2 points per game, but need another win on Tuesday to make up for those recent draws... we can do this!!!

warwickblue added 17:24 - Mar 5
Win the next four and we're properly in business! But all four going to be tough.

martin587 added 17:25 - Mar 5
Very good tree points and a clean sheet with the back three once again solid.Great substitution and tactically brilliant.Nothing more to add apart from a very happy drive back to the CITY.Roll on Tuesday.

yorkieblue62 added 17:37 - Mar 5
9 games in 9th. How many more?! Shows how far behind we were before McK came in

Nobbysnuts added 17:41 - Mar 5
Good win but we have to back it up against good having a 75% possession 0-0 draw.....been there done that far to often.

Rimsy added 17:47 - Mar 5
Dominated from start to finish, but never really looked like scoring. The we get 2:). Jackson took his goal well but up til then was largely redundant as usual, was about to be subbed when he scored. No way is he the answer to our goalscoring woes. Celina and Morsy run the show and great to see the skipper get his goal.

Suffolkboy added 17:49 - Mar 5
Knowledgeable experienced coaching and great man- management has instilled discipline and confidence into defence , brought out the best in several( including LF) and seen a new rhythm in our side .
Mutual respect has enabled our players to thrive , develop and co- ordinate , now only needing to show more of a killer instinct in the opposition area where , unfortunately, goals are still very hard come by .
On all surfaces , in all conditions , and in all surroundings we are seeing a much more solid unit representing ITFC ,and some of the football and teamwork is a real delight to the eye !
Congratulations to each and everyone , not least to K McK and all his Management and coaching team !

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 17:50 - Mar 5
Solid but not spectacular. But I’ll take the three points!

Gilesy added 18:18 - Mar 5
Very comfortable if a bit frustrating until we scored.

The treatment of Nsiala by some of the Ipswich fans was vile, disgraceful and pathetic.

therein61 added 18:21 - Mar 5
3 points at this stage is all that matters keep it up you blues we have shown so much fighting spirit since the managerial change(long overdue) but domination and pretty football(while good to watch) is second to the points at squeaky bum time. C.O.Y.B

Reuser_Who added 18:21 - Mar 5
It's refreshing to see a solid unit compared to the erratic performances under Cook. There is still a slim chance of making the play-offs. We need to win consecutively in the upcoming games against teams in-and-around us. Achieving this would have been unimaginable with previous Ipswich teams. I feel there is a glimmer of hope with this team and the style McKenna is implementing

terryf added 18:24 - Mar 5
McKenna's style of football is very easy on the eye and certainly suits the players who at last seem to understand the game plan.

One match down and 3 points but I'm guessing we'll have to maintain a winning streak to reach the playoffs, particularly as the Teams around us with games in hand keep winning. Eight wins is achievable and surely would be enough??

blueboy1981 added 18:26 - Mar 5
Good and important win this - can see the logic in rotation IF - and as long - as it works.
Just cannot see a longer term success story for it though at this level.
The quality spread of player, is just not there.
But - McK should know better than any of us - that being the reason he’s the Manager !!
Well Done All - an away Win anywhere, is always a good Win.

ImAbeliever added 19:27 - Mar 5

blueboy1981 added 19:41 - Mar 5
Gilesy - Nsiala always did his best for us - there is no excuse for abuse from such numbheads, who in doing so speak volumes about themselves, and not others.
True Blue Supporters have RESPECT for all ex players - a trait the Club Supporters have always been renown for,

blueboy1981 added 19:48 - Mar 5
Hope is Eternal I guess - but people are being more than realistic in still expecting to reach the Play Off places.
Work is in progress, and progress being made, but still too many failings up front to really do well, even if we did manage it.
Best to look to next season now, in realistic terms - and work on the shortfalls.

BeethorpeAndy added 20:14 - Mar 5
Good win.Must repeat on Tuesday and Saturday! Both winnable. 4,000 there today, how many blues went? Big ask after previous long trip to Morcombe. We have a manager now. If we miss out this season then 100% chance the next! COYB.

IpswichT62OldBoy added 20:44 - Mar 5
Not many comments
That was a vital win, and the next three games need to be wins.
Excitingly possible.

KiwiTractor added 20:50 - Mar 5
Good result

barrystedmunds added 21:14 - Mar 5
Its anyone's guess how this season is going to pan out, but whatever league we're in next season (and like everyone on here, hopefully not this one) we need to sort our striking options as a matter of some urgency. I have every faith that it is a high priority for the manager 'cos at the moment it just aint working!! Great three points. COYB

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