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Ipswich Town 2-2 Wigan Athletic - Match Report
Tuesday, 19th Apr 2022 21:50

Former Town striker Will Keane netted an equaliser four minutes from time as leaders Wigan Athletic grabbed a 2-2 draw with the Blues at Portman Road. Keane gave the Latics the lead just before half-time but goals from Conor Chaplin and ex-Wigan skipper Sam Morsy had given the Blues a deserved lead before Keane’s second of the evening saw the points shared.

Chaplin, Cameron Burgess, Matt Penney and Macauley Bonne returned as manager Kieran McKenna made four changes from the side which lost 1-0 at Rotherham on Saturday.

Penney came in at left wing-back for Dominic Thompson, who dropped to the bench, with Burgess returning to the left of the back three following his one-match suspension with Elkan Baggott also among the subs.

Chaplin started as one of the number 10s with Sone Aluko missing out having suffered an injury at Rotherham on Saturday and Bonne was the out-and-out striker with James Norwood on the bench.

Janoi Donacien was OK to take his place on the right of the defence having been a doubt with a knock.

Wigan made three changes from the tea which lost 2-1 at home to Cambridge at the weekend with Jason Kerr, Joe Bennett and Stephen Humphrys coming into the XI. Former Blues striker Keane started and ex-winger Gwion Edwards was among the subs.

After the two teams had taken a knee to applause, Wigan started on the front foot with skipper Tendayi Darikwa hitting a low shot from the right of the box through to Town keeper Christian Walton in the second minute.

However, Town quickly got on top, passing the ball around confidently and in the seventh minute, after a lengthy spell of possession, Chaplin sent Donacien away on the right but the defender’s low cross was turned behind by Kerr.

Wes Burns broke quickly into the visitors’ half following a Wigan ball into the Blues’ box in the 12th minute before feeding Bonne, who moved it on to Penney to his left from where the wing-back struck a shot past the angle of bar and post.

On 16, Chaplin misread Bonne’s run with the Blues in a promising position in the final third, the striker going one way and the pass the other.

Moments later, Chaplin fed in Bersant Celina to his right and the Kosovan international struck a low effort from the edge of the box which was too close to Latics keeper Ben Amos.

The Blues continued to take the game to the Lancastrians and in the 18th minute Celina floated a ball towards Bonne from the left but just too far in front of the on-loan QPR man.

Two minutes later, skipper Morsy took a pot shot from just outside the area - something Town seemed to be making a point of doing more frequently than in previous games - which Amos couldn’t hold onto and it was eventually bundled away ahead of the lurking Bonne.

Town maintained their dominance, passing the ball around confidently and controlling the game with Wigan unable to get a foothold.

On 26 Kell Watts was shown the game’s first yellow card for a foul on Chaplin on the right. Celina looped the ball in and it dropped loose before being cleared. It was subsequently returned and headed out for a corner.

The Blues kept up the pressure and on 33 went close twice. Chaplin’s first effort was blocked and fell to Celina on the edge of the box from where he struck another shot which hit and defender and fell to Bonne, who was in an offside position.

As the half moved into its final five minutes, Morsy was booked for a clash with Joe Bennett as Town prepared to take a corner on the left. The Wigan defender took to the turf holding his face but Morsy had appeared to do nothing other than move his face towards the one-time Cardiff man’s.

When the flag-kick was taken, Bennett held onto Morsy but with referee Will Finnie waving away Town protests for a penalty with the crowd making their annoyance known.

The same happened at a subsequent Town corner from which Wigan broke towards the Blues goal before Luke Woolfenden halted their progress with a foul on Humphrys five yards outside the box, which resulted in the centre-half’s booking.

The free-kick led to a corner from which the Latics went in front, moments before the fourth official raised his board.

Following a short corner on the right, Bennett whipped the ball to the near post and ex-Town striker Keane flicked a header across goal and into the corner of the net.

The Blues were unable to hit back in the remaining minutes and went in behind, somewhat harshly on the overall balance of the half, with referee Finnie booed as he made his way to the tunnel.

Aside from the opening two minutes and the goal, the half had been all Town. The Blues had dominated and had worked themselves a number of opportunities but perhaps no clear-cut chances with Amos worked but not overly tested.

The goal was a typical sucker-punch set-piece goal with Keane cupping his hand to his ear as he celebrated in front of his old fans.

Manager McKenna and skipper Morsy were deep in conversation as they made their way onto the pitch for the second half.

Town were forced into a change with Penney, who had required treatment late in the half following an earlier foul by Darikwa, replaced by Thompson.

The Blues reasserted their dominance following the restart, controlling the game and noticeably trying to get Celina on the ball more often than in the first half.

On 53, Morsy cut a ball back from the right but it went beyond Burns, then the Blues skipper shot over the bar from the edge of the area.

As the game approached the hour mark, Callum Lang was booked for clattering into Chaplin from behind 30 yards out.

And from the set piece, the Blues levelled. Celina’s chipped ball to the far post was somewhat under-hit but Wigan failed to defend it and it ran loose to Chaplin, who worked himself space before burying it in the corner of the net, his 10th goal of the season.

Having got back on terms, Town set about looking for a second, maintaining their control over the game with Wigan rarely able to get out of their own half.

On 67, Thompson crossed from the left and found Chaplin in space just inside the area but his effort deflected off a defender and away to the right.

Two minutes later, Town swapped the busy Bonne, who was warmly applauded as he made his way off, for Norwood.

Moments after the change, Lang failed to control a pass when found in space on the right of the Town area, much to his frustration.

Within a minute, Wigan should have restored their lead following a rare error by Donacien. The centre-half under-powered his chest back to Walton from the edge of the area and Bennett seized upon it, however, the Town keeper stood firm to save as the Latics looked to lift it past him.

A minute later, Burns was very harshly booked after Tom Naylor suffered an injury as he tackled the Welshman. The Town wing-back looked bemused by referee Finnie’s decision to caution him.

But two minutes later, the incident was forgotten as the Blues took the lead. Burns crossed from the right to the far post, Thompson nodded back across goal and one-time Latics skipper Morsy lashed into the roof of the net from five yards to send Portman Road wild.

The Sir Bobby Robson Stand sang ‘Keano, what’s the score?’ as the visitors prepared to restart following Morsy’s third goal for the Blues.

Having gone behind, Wigan started to look forward more than earlier in the half with Town as a result finding more space in their half. On 78 Morsy scuffed through to Amos after Celina had squared it to him from the left.

Wigan made a double change in the 83rd minute with Tom Pearce and former Blue Edwards - who was given a brief booing by the home support - replacing Watts and Kerr.

Max Power smashed a 40-yard free-kick well wide of Walton’s right post soon afterwards, then on 85, Norwood gave the ball away not far inside the Town half and it was played to Keane on the right of the area from where the one-time Manchester United youngster struck a low shot which Walton blocked.

But Keane only had to wait another minute for his second of the afternoon. Following a corner on the right, Power sent in a low ball from the right and the striker turned home from close range.

Having equalised, Wigan seemed less inclined to look forwards with the Blues again encamped in the Latics half as the game moved into five additional minutes.

Tyreeq Bakinson was booked for pulling back Keane as Wigan counter-attacked seconds before the whistle, the Wigan players surrounding referee Finnie for blowing his whistle before they had been allowed to take their free-kick.

Town will probably feel disappointed to have claimed only a point against the league leaders having been much the better side for most of the game.

Having equalised and then gone in front, the Blues looked set to go on to win the game until Keane, a player who impressed at Town only to be beset by injuries, levelled.

Even so, the manner in which the Blues performed against the division’s top team, controlling the game completely for long spells. was a boost of confidence after a few lean weeks and a big step up from the display at Rotherham on Saturday.

Town now only have Saturday’s trip to bottom club Crewe and the final day game at home to Charlton left to play.

Town: Walton, Donacien, Woolfenden, Burgess, Burns, Bakinson, Morsy (c), Penney (Thompson 46), Chaplin, Celina, Bonne (Norwood 69). Unused: Hladky, Baggott, Carroll, El Mizouni, Pigott.

Wigan: Amos, Kerr (Edwards 83), Whatmough, Watts (Pearce 83), Darikwa (c), Power, Naylor, Bennett, Lang, Keane, Humphrys (Cousins 62). Unused: Jones, Shinnie, Aasgaard, Massey. Referee: Will Finnie (Luton). Att: 21,329 (Wigan: 402).

Photo: Matchday Images

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FrankMarshall added 21:52 - Apr 19
Frustrating to draw, but we do play some good football. Roll on next season!

RobsonWark added 21:54 - Apr 19
Can someone at ITFC please explain the offside rule to Macauley Bonne??

blueboy1981 added 21:55 - Apr 19
MUCH to sort Mr McKenna … !!
Will Keane shows what he can do when played to his strengths … !!!
Another ‘flatter to deceive’ performance - as we’ve come to expect … !!

RobsonWark added 21:55 - Apr 19
Freaking Thompson again loses us the points!! The WORST player of the season award has to go to him!!!

DavoIPB added 21:59 - Apr 19
Actually Ipswich were really really good tonight. Can't believe Wigan are top of the league and getting promoted.

Some of the football from Ipswich was class. Really enjoyable to watch.

BromleyBloo added 22:02 - Apr 19
Should’ve won, Wigan not a great team, but, again we didn’t and also could’ve lost but for a lucky equaliser. Played well at times, but as often we promised more than we delivered, with little end result/not many big opportunities. Burgess, Woolfy, Chaplin and Walton good, but a lot of others just huffed and puffed as usual and some just not up to it - need a completely new left side and, obviously, upfront we are at best pedestrian with little threat or creative spark.

So a lot of work/rebuilding still to do for next season with those two as the priority areas.


Bert added 22:07 - Apr 19
A very spirited performance from us against a team that may sit at the top of the league but certainly are not Championship quality.

fizzyblue added 22:11 - Apr 19
A left wing back and 2 capable strikers in the next transfer window should do it

Flamencaman added 22:13 - Apr 19
Lucky goals come sometimes Rotherham on Saturday how lucky was that, you could argue we earned that, sadly missed most of game on a tv but got last 30 minutes,going to be an interesting summer again, my thought all the strikers gone Tom Collins gone possibly Aluko, Bakinson, I’ll pay the Taxi for Thompson, definitely missed Lee Evans,

TimmyH added 22:17 - Apr 19
Well we came back to lead and probably deserved to at least have been on level terms at that point and then the snatching of a draw from the jaws of victory (again)...we might play some pretty stuff with good possession but the fact is we've drawn too many times with clubs around and in the play-offs this season and as for the 'smaller' clubs...

Had a chortle that poor McAuley started this evening and STILL didn't get on the score sheet, the big question now is will we finish 9th 10th or 11th in this despo league? How times have changed.

brassy added 22:22 - Apr 19
well happy how the team is shaping up kieran needs to do his ins n outs over the close season top 2 here we come coybs

yorkieblue62 added 22:23 - Apr 19
What is it about strikers at this club. Murphy the last one to improve and have a good season. Even Parrot has been scoring for MK. Certainly a key area for next season as none of the 4 main strikers look good enough & Simpson & other youngsters untried. But of course it could also be down to the style of play, lack of assists from midfield & wingbacks.

BossMan added 22:39 - Apr 19
Prior to kick off we had scored just 26 goals in our previous 25 games. Only Doncaster, Crewe, AFC Wimbledon, and Gillingham scored less. The same group of players were the divisions highest scorers earlier under the woeful Cook so looks to me that McKenna has successfully shored up the defence by playing too many defensive players especially at home and also away to some of the weaker teams. More ambition required.

KMcBlue added 22:47 - Apr 19
We look really good, right up until the final ball or finish. All loanees back, at least two strikers, a lb and we'll be ok.

blueboy1981 added 22:53 - Apr 19
Bossman - 100% correct - but there are Supporters who will conveniently not want to acknowledge those facts.
It’s called being deluded of reality.
I’ve been heavy marked down for saying ‘much’ still needs to be done - and it does.
Mid Table finish AGAIN tells it’s own story - and to jump from mid table to likely promotion contenders is calling for ‘much’ improvement.
Next season will arguably be more difficult than this - check out the prospects …. !!!

MickMillsTash added 23:08 - Apr 19
McCauley seems to think that you can hide being offside by shouting at teammates or officials, I'm not convinced. His previous strategy of regularly scoring goals seemed a better policy. Maybe not playing for Ipswich next season will be his Third effort at sorting the problem out - he could also try concentrating

I would like too see a tall central midfielder added to our 'NEED' LIST
We have got to add some muscle to the team and plan for MORSY suspensions, injuries etc, I'm assuming Balkinson does not stay and Harper does not come back and be the player we thought he could August.

Umros added 23:09 - Apr 19
How can a team like Wigan more interested in Rugby tactics and outplayed be top? This division is really poor, do we have to stoop to spoiling tactics to get out of it? Are we too nice?
Please can someone that tweaks rules please sort out this drinks break nonsense…the Wigan bench telling the goalkeeper to go down so they could then call the team in for a briefing given they were on the rack, poor gamesmanship and so obvious, should be snuffed out !

bluesman added 23:21 - Apr 19
You shouldn’t put stuff on here if you didn’t see the game. We outplayed Wigan for 85 minutes. Read McKenna's analysis. It is as usual correct.

Bert added 23:22 - Apr 19
Blueboy1981 - of course there is much for KmK to sort out for next season but you have rightly been marked down for your “flatter to deceive” comment. If you were there tonight the team that did flatter to deceive were Wigan, not Town.

cat added 23:52 - Apr 19
Good performance and unfortunate not to win. Some lovely pass and move stuff which was pleasing on the eye. Good to see Thompson putting in a good second half performance with his usual high energy. Played with intensity and pressed them well. Good night out.

Karlosfandangal added 23:58 - Apr 19
It was always going to be a hard season with 26 players leaving and 20 new one arriving.
Well done MR Cook for having the ball to do that and bring in Walton Burns Morsy Edmundson, Chaplin Celina, pity your tactics were poor

Pity the board did not react quicker and got McKenna in a bit sooner we might have had a bit more of a chance.

As long as there is not a huge clear out and some quality signings we have a manager who will take Town places.

Hopefully MCKenna has learnt lots as his first 6 month as a manager and hopefully he will bring the best out of Harper and Edwards as they look to be players who could have a good future here at Town

PhilR added 00:29 - Apr 20
We played some good football tonight against a decent team and dominated for long periods. It just seems that so often in the final third we don't have the ideas and movement to look like scoring - at least, especially with the second goal, we showed that in fact we can. A couple of good strikers, and some quality attacking coaching, and we could be a real force. Great to see the team's determination and commitment this evening.

EssexTractor added 00:34 - Apr 20
Burgess excellent
Wolfenden Donacien maintaining high standards
Chaplin lots of energy deserved a goal because of that but needs coaching on his final pass.
Morsy best when driving forward .
Oh and forwards , strikers , that is , no place for them here next season.
And practice all summer on corners both ends
But on tonight’s showing the better team will not be promoted - this season

RobsonWark added 03:14 - Apr 20
Thompson makes Chambers look good.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 04:17 - Apr 20
That Bennett can get away with his play acting is one of the scourges of modern football. I'd like to see the balance straightened out so that players who roll around in apparent agony for no reason get punished, and players who fall over if a finger is laid on them don't get a free kick for it. Just play on. Anyway, well played Town! Next season will not be easy, but we should be in the mix.

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