Ipswich Town 1-1 Bolton Wanderers - Half-Time
Saturday, 30th Jul 2022 15:56
Aaron Morley’s penalty gave Bolton the lead but Lee Evans’s equaliser sees the Blues and Trotters go in level at the break.
Summer signings Leif Davis, Marcus Harness and Freddie Ladapo were handed their debuts for the Blues, while Greg Leigh and Tyreece John-Jules were on the bench.
Christian Walton was in goal behind a back three of Janoi Donacien, Luke Woolfenden and George Edmundson. Davis, who joined from Leeds for £1 million last week, was at left wing-back with Wes Burns on the right.
In central midfield, skipper Sam Morsy was joined by Evans with Harness and Conor Chaplin behind lone central striker Ladapo.
Aside from Donacien’s 44, rather than the two he wore in his first couple of seasons at Town, the Blues were wearing shirts numbered from one to 11.
For Bolton, on-loan Liverpool right-back Conor Bradley made his debut, while midfielder Kyle Dempsey was absent with a knock.
After the two teams had taken a knee, the game got under way at a very hot and sunny Portman Road.
There was an early stoppage after Bolton defender Gethin Jones suffered a knock as a Wanderers corner came in from the right but after treatment the former Wales U21 international was OK to continue.
The visitors had made the stronger start and in the fifth minute Declan John saw a shot blocked by Janoi Donacien.
On nine, Evans played a long ball forward into space on the Blues’ left for Ladapo to chase which Bolton keeper James Trafford sprinted off his line to intercept and then clear long to Walton at the other end.
Two minutes later, Burns sent over a cross from midway inside the Bolton half on the right which Trotters skipper Ricardo Santos nodded over his own goal ahead of Ladapo.
As the game moved towards the quarter-hour mark, Burns was sent away on the right but his low cross aimed at Harness was cut out.
Bolton had been the better side in the opening 20 minutes or so with the Blues still to get going having looked nervy and with the game having been somewhat stop-start, but with neither side having had a serious chance.
But in the 23rd minute the visitors were awarded a penalty when debutant Davis tripped Bradley as he took the ball into the area on the right. Referee Samuel Barrott pointed straight to the spot and despite Town protests it looked the right decision.
Aaron Morley took the kick and hit it low into the corner of the net to Walton’s right to give Wanderers the lead.
Bolton’s John was shown the game’s first yellow card in the 33rd minute for a foul on Evans as the Welshman broke forward having picked up a loose pass just inside the Town half.
Following the free-kick, Harness allowed a ball in from the left across him and Chaplin struck a powerful shot which George Johnston did well to block.
As the half moved into its final 10 minutes, the Blues began to look more threatening. On 37, Ladapo and Morsy exchanged passes and the former Rotherham man struck a shot which deflected behind.
And from the resultant corner, Town levelled. Chaplin played a low ball to Evans, who struck a first-time shot from around the penalty spot distance in line with the near post through the crowd of players and into the net.
The well-worked goal was the first straight from a corner since Kieran McKenna took charge in mid-December and Evans’s first since he scored a hat-trick against Doncaster in September, his only previous goals for the club.
The goal gave the Blues confidence and they began to look a different side, taking the rest of the half to the visitors.
On 42, a neatly worked move on the right of the box involving Burns and Morsy ended with Ladapo finding some space but the striker’s shot was blocked. Moments later, Davis was booked for a foul on Bradley.
Neither side threatened again before the break with Town having finished the stronger having scored their equaliser.
The Blues had started nervously with Bolton having had the better of it and deserving to take the lead on the balance of the opening 20 minutes.
Town will be looking to maintain the momentum they were building in the latter stages in the second half.
Town: Walton, Donacien, Woolfenden, Edmundson, Burns, Morsy (c), Evans, Davis, Chaplin, Harness, Ladapo. Subs: Hladky, Burgess, Leigh, Harper, Aluko, John-Jules, Jackson.
Bolton: Trafford, Jones, John, Williams, Santos (c), Johnston, Charles, Morley, Afolayan, Lee, Bradley. Subs: Sadlier, Dadi Bodvarsson, Bakayoko, Iredale, Aimson, Kachunga, Thomason. Referee: Samuel Barrott (West Riding).
Photo: Matchday Images
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