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Crewe Alexandra 1-1 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 23rd Apr 2022 17:02

Tom Lowery’s goal four minutes from time saw already-relegated Crewe Alexandra to a 1-1 draw with the Blues at Gresty Road. Conor Chaplin’s goal just before the break had given Town a 1-0 half-time lead but the Blues were unable to find a second and Lowery’s fine late strike gave the Railwaymen a share of the points from an end-of-season dead rubber.

Town boss Kieran McKenna made four changes with Kane Vincent-Young, Joe Pigott, James Norwood and Dominic Thompson coming into the team, while a number of youngsters were included among the subs.

Wing-backs Wes Burns and Matt Penney missed out with knocks, while Pigott and Norwood came into the front three for Bersant Celina and Macauley Bonne, who dropped to the bench. Pigott was down the middle with Norwood behind him to his left and Chaplin to the right.

Keeper Nick Hayes, who rejoined the club in January, was in the 18 for the first time and is joined by midfielder Cameron Humphreys and forward Tawanda Chirewa, as well Elkan Baggott, who has been a regular in the squad in recent weeks.

Hayes, 23, has previously made one EFL Trophy appearance for Salford, while 18-year-old Humphreys has made one Carabao Cup start for the Blues plus two sub appearances, one in League One.

Chirewa, 18, has made one EFL Trophy sub appearance at Colchester in November 2019 when aged 16.

In windy conditions with patches of the pitch boggy due to overwatering ahead of kick-off, the Blues began on the front foot and created their first chance in the sixth minute.

Pigott cleverly turned into Chaplin’s path on the right of the box and the former Barnsley man crossed for Norwood at the near post but Billy Sass-Davies got his toe in to put it behind.

On 13, Tariq Umwakwe floated over a cross from the right towards Chris Long at the far post but Janoi Donacien headed it away.

Norwood was shown the game’s first yellow card a minute later for a late tackle on Luke Offord in the centre circle, although the Town striker appeared to make little if any contact.

Crewe came more into a game not played at the highest tempo, as might have been expected given it had nothing riding on it for either team, with the Blues having had sloppy moments when the ball was needlessly given away, however, with the home side looking little threat.

On 28, a poor clearance from Alex keeper David Richards fell to Tyreeq Bakinson, who quickly got it forward to Pigott in space outside the area but the former AFC Wimbledon man blazed over when he will feel he ought to have done better.

Three minutes later, Norwood tapped back to skipper Sam Morsy on the edge of the box and after working himself space, the Egyptian international struck a shot which deflected wide.

Vincent-Young was played in on the left of the box in the 32nd minute and cut the ball back but the danger was cleared. Moments later, Bakinson was booked for pulling back Ryan Alebiousu on the Crewe right.

Callum Ainley curled a shot straight at Christian Walton at one end, then at the other Bakinson played a ball forward for Norwood to chase. The striker reached it but was unable to put it past advancing keeper Richards, who blocked.

In the 37th minute, Offord got ahead of Norwood as the frontman sought to get on the end of a floated cross from the left, then for Crewe, Luke Murphy’s pass found Long in space on the left from where the forward shot into the empty seats in the stand behind the goal. It was an opportunity worthy of a better finish. Soon after, Thompson was booked for a foul on Uwakwe.

Bakinson hit a bouncing ball onto the front of the roof of the stand at the opposite end in the 42nd minute following Town’s sixth corner of the half.

As the half moved into one minute of added time, Long struck a shot on the turn which flew past Walton’s left post.

Moments before the whistle, Town took the lead. Luke Woolfenden played a ball over the top to the right, Vincent-Young used his pace to keep it in and cut it back towards the penalty spot for Chaplin, who shot across Richards - perhaps not catching it as cleanly as he might have done - and into the corner of the net, the forward’s 11th goal of the season and his second in two matches.

The Blues deserved their lead at the break having been the better side and having created most of the chances in a half which wasn’t always the most enthralling or played with the greatest intensity with the strong wind also having an impact.

Clear-cut opportunities had been rare but Vincent-Young had been a threat down the right throughout the half and did well to get the ball across to Chaplin, who once again showed how clinical he is when a chance falls to him inside the area.

Five minutes after the restart, Pigott nodded a Thompson cross from the left straight at Richards, Town having started the half the stronger.

Two minutes later, Chaplin found himself space 25 yards out before lashing a shot just over Richards’s cross-bar. Moments later, Crewe swapped Alebiosu for Oli Finney.

On 57, Town broke and Chaplin fed in Vincent-Young on the right of the box from where the former Colchester man hit a shot which was too close to Richards.

Almost immediately, Crewe would have levelled but for a brilliant Walton save. Long burst down the left past Chaplin and crossed for Mikael Mandron, whose header at the far post looked certain to be a goal until Walton somehow got across to his left to save it. Mandron’s rebound from a tight angle was hooked over.

As the game reached the hour mark, Tom Lowery was booked for a foul on Morsy on halfway, then the Railwaymen switched Murphy for Regan Griffiths.

Town weren’t too far away from a second when Chaplin sent a free-kick in from deep on the right to the far post from where Cameron Burgess knocked it across the box but too far in front of his team-mates.

Griffiths, who had only just come on and may well not have touched the ball, was yellow-carded for a foul on Pigott in the 65th minute.

The Blues made a double change on 70 with Celina and Idris El Mizouni replacing Pigott, who had made a lively start to the first half before drifting out of the game before having more impact again in the second, and Vincent-Young, who had shown glimpses of the player from his early days at the club.

El Mizouni took over at right wing-back, having been a full-back as an academy player, while Norwood moved into the number nine role.

On 73 Mandron was found in space in a promising area just inside the box but El Mizouni blocked his shot and his follow-up trundled well wide.

Two minutes later, following a long spell of Blues possession, Chaplin played in Norwood inside the area to the right but Richards stopped the former Tranmere frontman’s shot with his legs.

The game was an increasingly end-to-end affair with both sides having opportunities. On 78 Morsy struck a weak effort through to Richards, then four minutes later Long headed a cross from the right into the ground and to Walton. Zac Williams was injured in the incident and replaced by Bassala Sambou.

With four minutes left on the clock, the home side levelled. Woolfenden made a strong challenge on the right of the box but the ball ran out to Lowery 25 yards out from where the midfielder smashed a powerful shot which gave Walton no chance.

Crewe had had chances since the break with the Blues looking less solid at the back than has generally been the case.

Both sides went looking for a winner in five minutes of injury time, Bonne taking over from Chaplin for the final moments.

Seconds before the whistle, Sass-Davies flew into Celina’s shins just outside the area. The Kosovan’s free-kick struck the wall and Norwood was flagged offside after the on-loan Dijon man had nodded it back in.

A draw, Town’s eighth in their last 14 games, was probably a fair result on the balance of the second half.

While the Blues created chances, Crewe had had the better opportunities even prior to their well-taken goal with Walton’s save from Mandron as good as they come.

Once again Town were guilty of not killing off a game once they had secured a lead, something which manager McKenna is all too aware is something which will need to be rectified before next season.

The Blues, who have won one of their last seven, stay 11th with Charlton visiting Portman Road for the season’s final game next Saturday.

Crewe: Richards, Alebiosu (Finney 53), Offord, Long, Lowery, Ainley, Mandron, Murphy (c) (Griffiths 63), Sass-Davies, Williams (Sambou 85), Uwakwe. Unused: Jaaskelainen, O'Riordan, Tabiner, Kashket.

Town: Walton, Donacien, Woolfenden, Burgess, Vincent-Young (El Mizouni 70), Bakinson, Morsy (c), Thompson, Chaplin (Bonne 90), Norwood, Pigott (Celina 70). Unused: Hayes, Baggott, Humphreys, Chirewa. Referee: Simon Mather (Manchester). Att: 4,986 (Town: 1,280).

Photo: Pagepix

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TimmyH added 17:05 - Apr 23
Dear me...another game which we fail to hold onto a win and the same old same of not being able to grab a game by the scruff of the neck a side like Crewe!. Season fizzling out fast (AGAIN).

BromleyBloo added 17:06 - Apr 23
Sloppy, half-hearted, lackadaisical, on holiday……………………..

……………and still behind last season’s points total - needs to be much better next year.


bixleyboy added 17:06 - Apr 23
Wasn’t at the game but sickening all these 80+ minute goals, I expect us to concede now at this time! We really need at 25+ goal centre forward in the summer to create two goal leads and put the easier games to bed.

jas0999 added 17:09 - Apr 23
This may have been a dead rubber, but against a team already relegated, it’s yet another poor result. Really, it’s same old … took lead. Didn’t take chances. Controlled the possession. Conceded late. Not good enough. I’m sure KM will address in the summer. An overhaul of the strike force is clearly required.

blueboy1981 added 17:10 - Apr 23
To all my ‘down markers’ last week - Now do you believe me that there is MUCH for McKenna to do before August … ???
One Goal again, and concede again in the dying minutes - how many times now is that … ???
Another poor show - unfortunately against an undeniably poor team … !!!

WhoisJimmyJuan added 17:13 - Apr 23
Any confidence I had in next season is slipping away. Whoever is in charge, whoever owns us, its still that same old soft underbelly. Why can other clubs get results and get promotions and we just drift? Sick of it. Rant over, just sounding off so please forgive my negativity. Just the difference in how I'd have felt had we at least hung on for a 1-0 and this is happening week after week. Grrr.

happybeingblue added 17:17 - Apr 23
my word that was awful against a team who have lost 29 games we scored from a route 1 type goal and that was it nothing barely created bit worrying some of the first touches first half and ill discipline creeping in again...not good!

Bert added 17:19 - Apr 23
Eight drawn games in the last 14, goals dried up, no goals from set plays and late goals conceded. KMcK knows what needs addressing and so do all Ipswich supporters. That said, the management on and off the field and the team itself has recreated our club into something we can buy into and look forward to with investment yet to come helped by the promise of brilliant support.

DaGremloid added 17:20 - Apr 23
This season is petering out in a very disappointing way. With squad places surely up for grabs next season there don’t seem to be many players putting their hands up. Many of us have said that McKenna has a lot of work to do in the off season but even his performance over these last few games seems to have fallen away a little. Of course it’s too early to lay blame on him – this isn’t his squad and he was left a great deal of mediocrity to work with – but I can’t help feeling that once the dust settles on this campaign, all we’ve achieved over this past 12 months after so much hope is to stand still. We may even finish lower yet than last season’s 9th and I doubt there’s many on here who would have thought that this time last year.

Personally I think there is way more repair work required than we think, which is sad because there is so much in place at the club now – good ownership, plans for upgrades to the stadium, fantastic (as always) support, and a promising new manager at the helm. All we need is a team. Unfortunately that’s the most important aspect of the lot and as things stand I don’t share the same positivity as some who still claim we’re going to ‘rip this league up’ next season. Hopefully, of course, I’m wrong.

Let’s hope the team really tries to go out with a bang next week at PR and send us into the off season with at least some optimism.

dirtydingusmagee added 17:21 - Apr 23
just another poor episode in a long running series. Absolutely no doubt we need to rid the club of lightweights, we need to have a team stronger physically, and mentally, i still think KM can get us somewhere but half the team are certainly NOT good enough. Our current strikers need to be gone, [Norwood, Bonne, Pigott ] they are toothless .and really not up to the standard needed, no point in giving them another season in hope of improvement. Some fans clung on to the thought we would make playoffs, but to be blunt it was a lost cause long ago. There really is a hell of a lot to do still if we are ever to get out of this league.

BlueNomad added 17:23 - Apr 23
Today’s result / performance has no bearing on next season. Stop predicting another poor one which doesn’t start until August.

surgery added 17:26 - Apr 23
I’m not for one minute saying that he won’t, but why are we all so confident that KM will have this sorted come next August?

After all, he’s had all of PC’s “awesome” signings (best squad in the league and all that) at his disposal since he arrived, but what has he really achieved? We’re no better placed than we were 12 months ago.

Suffolkboy added 17:26 - Apr 23
Disappointing ,sadly ,even if it’s the end of the season : don’t our chaps know how to capitalise on all their training and learning ? Can they not bring themselves to put the round balloon- like thing into an orbit to find the back of a net ?
We cannot yet talk of a strike- force ,for too often the manner of the final delivery lacks conviction and dynamism , so doesn’t beat anything or any one .
Once again there will be something of a clearing of the decks . It’s going to be of great interest ,and build on the good work already by K M and Co ; we look forward to next season with enthusiasm ,and to seeing a start on all the improvements planned at Portman Rd , at Playford Rd and in the squad .

d77sgw added 17:32 - Apr 23
That’s 4 games in 7 we’ve conceded an equaliser in the last 5 minutes. This is endemic. That’s 11 games this season we’ve failed to hold onto a lead - that’s the difference between midtable and promotion. Clear that set-pieces and mentality need work.

ShropshireBluenago09 added 17:33 - Apr 23
That was awful. We couldn’t handle Crewe closing us down quickly. We looked on the beach, which was an insult to the 1200 town fans who were excellent throughout. Chaplin was only player to come out with any credit

martin587 added 17:36 - Apr 23
Once again we control a game and then let the opposition off the hook.When Will we learn.Games like this have lost us the chance of play-offs again.The gaffer obviously knows where he needs to improve so the summer is going to be very interesting.Surely a quality striker is the number one target.Big clear out once again and then let’s hope this will be the last time.Not much else to add really.

OliveR16 added 17:39 - Apr 23
I suppose in the context of Crewe 'On the Platform' is more appropriate than 'On the Beach'. Either way up to half this team is not heading anywhere.

barrystedmunds added 17:41 - Apr 23
Trying to make some sense of this draws me to the conclusion that rightly or wrongly this was a meaningless game for both teams in regards of the result and final positions. So in that regard, i get it. As a Town supporter, i expect better, so I don't get it. I take some comfort from the fact that this is still very much Cooks team so KMcK has not had his chance to make the changes he clearly sees needs to be addressed. Another season in this god awful league is not something i relish.

terryf added 17:56 - Apr 23
What do they say is a sign of madness....if you keep doing the same thing. So why oh why does McKenna persist with Norwood who in my opinion is just not good enough and always wants to get involved in confrontation. Thompson is a guy who is a full back trying to play as a wingback which completely unbalances the Team. Cambridge was a good example. They shut off Burns and were quite happy for us to come down the left knowing that Thompson doesn't deliver as a wing back. Bakinson blows hot and cold so I'm not sure he is the answer in midfield. We've certainly missed Evans alongside Morsy. McKenna is going to be judged upon his recruitment in the summer and we need probably at least four new players to help us kick on. Lets just hope they bring in the right players to help us kick on!

RobsonWark added 17:57 - Apr 23
I wasn't at the game today but in my opinion McKenna had the team playing so well and quick passing and movement looking for the ball then Town signed Bakinson and Thompson on loan in January and we have not looked the same since. Bakinson is not a midfield general. He never looked interested in the first few games he played. Never wanted the ball and when he got it he played it backwards. Thompson has been a total disaster. He is not an attacking player despite putting his hand up and shouting for the ball when it is 50-60 yards away on the other side of the pitch. His thrown-ins that he is always so keen to take are always backwards to defence. Plus he has a childish hot temper when things don't go his way.

Monkey_Blue added 17:59 - Apr 23
Imagine without Bonne’s early season form? I know Jackson shone for a period but honestly, would you keep any of Pigott, Norwood and Bonne? On the plus side Bonne’s potential fee has shrunk considerably. On the plus side we are far more consistent and I’m not for a second losing confidence in KM.

Goalkeepers- Walton of course but not sure about the back up.
RWB- Burns and KVY mean we are sorted there
LWB- Thompson hasn’t done enough for us to try to prise him( expensively) from Brentford and Penney is possibly the back up but no better.
CB- We are sorted. The first choice three plus Burgess, Baggot and possibly Ndaba. Maybe bring one in to allow Baggott to go on loan.
CM- Morsy…… Evans is good enough at this level and Humphrey’s might be but suspect we’ll be adding here and letting Carroll go.
AM- Chaplin, Aluko and Celina are top class at this level.. but the last two need to supply more goals. One added who may be seen as a banged on starter.
STR- Wouldn’t be depressed to to all 4 changed but 100% get rid of big time Charlie. Pigott has never had a proper run, Bonne lost something and Jackson seems to suit what KM wants.

brassy added 18:05 - Apr 23
for me norwood is not the kind of player we need at town 2 drink drive convictions getting booked for niggly fouls and retaliation losing his cool we can do better coybs

Help added 18:06 - Apr 23
These mck games are getting a bit samey aren't they. Score in the first half and try and hold on. How many of these games have had nothing second half from us.

runningout added 18:07 - Apr 23
think we all know our issues. Realise it won’t be much of a forum but it’s been obvious most of this season and for a few years.

Phil1969 added 18:08 - Apr 23
The Yanks must be shixxing it the pension fund needs to take a further hit. Lol
We are so far adrift from top two even in the McKenna era serious spend is necessary, with better teams remaining in the play offs after the one that goes up and the likes of Derby and Peterborough coming down.
Not to worry we will have a nice new plasma tv and fancy dug outs to wonder over!

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