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Port Vale 2-3 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Tuesday, 25th Oct 2022 21:57

Freddie Ladapo scored twice and Cameron Humphreys a brilliant strike on his full league debut as Town won 3-2 at Port Vale, their sixth away win of the season. Ladapo gave the Blues the lead on 34, then Humphreys lashed in a second four minutes later, however, Gavin Massey and Nathan Smith levelled for Vale either side of half-time but four minutes later on 51 Ladapo won it from a Humphreys cross.

Humphreys was handed his first league start, one of five changes from the team which beat Derby 1-0 at Portman Road on Friday.

The 18-year-old started in central midfield alongside Dominic Ball with skipper Sam Morsy suspended for one match after being booked on Friday and Lee Evans absent having suffered a knee injury against the Rams.

Keeper Christian Walton was in goal behind Janoi Donacien, Luke Woolfenden and George Edmundson, while Wes Burns and Leif Davis continued in the wide roles.

Kieran McKenna switched his three forward players with Conor Chaplin and Kyle Edwards behind Freddie Ladapo, while Marcus Harness, Kayden Jackson and Tyreece John-Jules dropped to the bench.

Centre-half Cameron Burgess was also among the subs for the first time since suffering his facial injury against Bristol Rovers and Panutche Camara was in the 18 for the first time in the league.

For Port Vale, ex-Town striker Ellis Harrison started up front, one of four changes from the team which won 1-0 at Cambridge on Saturday.

The home side clearly tried to make an early impression on full league debutant Humphreys, who was clattered late in the opening minute but with referee Andrew Kitchen and his assistant both failing to spot it, much to the frustration of the Town players.

The Blues struck their first shot in the third minute, Ladapo forcing Aiden Stone, Vale’s second-choice in for Jack Stevens who suffered a knock at the weekend, into a save down to his left from the edge of the box. The loose ball ran to Dan Jones, who was battled into conceding a throw-in by Wes Burns.

Within a minute, Vale went closer to opening the scoring when David Worrall sent a teasing ball over from the right to the far post but Harrison headed just wide as he broke into the area at pace and under pressure from Burns, who suffered a knock in doing so but was OK to continue after treatment.

Burns was down again in the 12th minute having been caught late by Jones with Vale clearly looking to upset Town’s rhythm with a robust approach, and it was paying dividends with the Blues still to get going.

Port Vale, who were on top, claimed a penalty in the 20th minute when Worrall’s low cross from the right was chested back to Walton by Burns. However, referee Kitchen wasn’t interested, probably rightly.

Having been kept in their own half for a lengthy spell, the Blues worked an opening in the 26th minute, Chaplin hitting a shot which was deflected behind for a corner from a Ladapo lay-off after a slick interchange. From the flag-kick, Ball struck an effort which was again diverted behind by a defender. And following that corner, Edwards cut in and hit a low cross-shot which was blocked.

Town were starting to get their passing going with Humphreys beginning to see more of the ball.

And in the 34th minute, they went in front. Janoi Donacien, skipper in Morsy’s absence, fed Ball to his left and the midfielder turned it on to Edwards, who brought it forward, then played a perfect ball across to the left for the breaking Davis, who fizzed a low ball across the six-yard box for Ladapo, who made up ground to slide in at the far post.

The striker’s fifth goal of the season was celebrated with a group hug among the players, while the 1,700 Town fans at the other end went wild.

Three minutes after going in front, Burns robbed Connor Hall on the Blues’ right, brought the ball forward and struck a powerful effort which Stone palmed over.

And following the resultant corner, Town doubled their lead and what a strike it was. Davis’s low corner reached Ball, who stabbed it out to Humphreys, and the youngster struck the ball as cleanly as he ever will, the ball flashing low past Stone and into the net for a debut goal few present will ever forget.

Town tails were firmly up having gone into a two-goal lead and the Blues went looking for a third. In the 43rd minute Burns chased a ball into the area and Stone came out to save at the Welshman’s feet, claiming the ball.

The incident appeared innocuous until Burns frantically waved medical staff over with the keeper lying still, apparently knocked out.

Eventually Stone sat up while still looking very groggy but continued, perhaps surprisingly given current protocols, although maybe less so given Vale’s lack of a keeper on the bench.

Deep in first half injury time, with the Blues not having got going again since the stoppage, the home side pulled a goal back.

Jones crossed from the left, Worrall won the ball in the air at the far post, Ball missed his header and it fell to Massey, who shot across Walton and into the net.

There was no time for Town to hit back and Vale would have gone in much happier with their lot at the break having pulled a goal back, one with which the Blues will be very disappointed to have conceded.

In truth, 2-0 would have flattered Town, who had been under par for the most part with the two goals - with Humphreys’ strike as good as anything Town have netted this season - having come in a bright spell in a half in which they had otherwise shown little going forward.

The late goal gave Vale something to build on in the second half and build on it they did. Two minutes after the restart, Town failed to clear a James Wilson corner from the left and Smith rifled into the roof of the net.

However, just four minutes later, the Blues got their noses back in front. Edwards played to Davis, who fed in Humphreys on the overlap on the left and the youngster just reached it on the byline. His low cross hit keeper Stone and Hall before falling to Ladapo, who bundled home his second of the game and sixth of the season from a couple of feet in front of the Town support.

The third goal gave the Blues renewed confidence and in the 56th minute Burns whipped a ball over from the right which reached Davis, who smashed a shot across the face and out from the other flank.

Town again found themselves unable to get out of their half as the hour mark approached with Ben Garrity shooting not far over on the volley from a long throw.

Ladapo scuffed a weak effort to Stone with the keeper having initially been out of his ground, before the striker required treatment for a knock but carried on.

Edwards and Ladapo combined well on 63 on the left with Ball eventually seeing a goal-bound shot deflected over for a corner.

Two minutes later, Town made their first two changes, Harness and John-Jules replacing Chaplin and Ladapo. On 68, Vale made a triple switch, Mal Benning, Dennis Politic and Mipo Odubeko replacing Hall, Massey and Wilson.

Vale were threatening again and Harness did well to turn a cross following a corner out for another flag-kick, which Walton claimed confidently.

On 71, Edwards cleverly twisted and turned his way into the area at pace before hitting a shot which was blocked.

That was Edwards’s last involvement of a lively night with Kayden Jackson replacing the winger on 75, while Edmundson was swapped for Richard Keogh as the Blues looked to see out a hard-fought victory.

Four minutes later, Port Vale again claimed a penalty when former teammates Donacien and Harrison tangled, the Welshman indicating his shirt had been pulled. It looked six of one and half-a-dozen of the other and referee Kitchen waved the protests away.

Vale won a very harsh free-kick against Davis on the right and then a corner, Keogh showing why he’d been introduced by twice winning the ball in the air.

The home side, still far from out of it, made a double change on 83 as they looked for an equaliser in the closing stages. Danny Butterworth and Sammy Robinson taking over from Smith and Worrall.

With Town continuing to keep the home side at bay, the fourth official indicated six additional minutes.

The Blues swapped Burns for Burgess, who was wearing a mask, as they sought to see out time.

Deep in injury time, Harrison scuffed well wide when in a promising position from a long ball forward.

At the whistle the Town players and staff celebrated the victory in front of their fans behind the goal with Humphreys the centre of the attention.

Three vital points from a very tough evening for the Blues, who missed the presence of skipper Morsy’s influence in the middle of the field against Port Vale, who will feel their display deserved to take something from the match.

Town had decent spells throughout but overall were patchy. The 2-0 lead flattered them in the first half with Vale having had the better of it at that stage.

Both Vale goals will have disappointed manager Kieran McKenna but the Blues again showed character to get back in front so soon after being pegged back.

Full debutant Humphreys had a game to remember, not just for his goal and assist but for his overall performance with the youngster still going and in the thick of it at the whistle.

The victory, Town’s sixth on the road this season, sees the Blues stay second, two points behind Plymouth with the Pilgrims having come from a goal down to win 2-1 at home to Shrewsbury.

Town are next in action at Charlton on Saturday, the Addicks having lost 2-0 at home to MK Dons this evening having had Ryan Inniss red-carded.

Port Vale: Stone, Jones, Hall (Benning 68), Smith (Butterworth 83), Worrall (Robinson 83), Garrity, Wilson (Wilson 68), Conlon (c), Forrester, Massey (Politic 68), Harrison. Unused: Cass, Pett.

Town: Walton, Donacien (c), Woolfenden, Edmundson (Keogh 75), Burns (Burgess 90), Ball, Humphreys, Davis, Chaplin (Harness 65), Edwards (Jackson 75), Ladapo (John-Jules 65). Unused: Hladky, Camara. Referee: Andrew Kitchen (Durham). Att: 7,928 (Town: 1,725).

Photo: Pagepix

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CustardCream added 21:57 - Oct 25
This is the kind of game we would have lost or drawn last season after giving up a 2-0 lead. Once again not the most convincing, but a win is a win especially given we had no morsy or evans. Shame Plymouth turned it round too. Great to see Humphreys get his goal.

The one gripe I have is with John-Jules. The guy doesn't seem arsed half the time. Jackson and Harness were chasing everything down but TJJ just ambling around, maybe jumping to conclusions here but I sometimes get the feeling he thinks he's a bit too good to be a rotation option in league 1.

Either way a good evening for us and we move onto the next

ImAbeliever added 21:58 - Oct 25
Anyone who knows the game, it's not over til the final whistle. Brilliant result.

ipswichboi added 22:00 - Oct 25
Freddie took his goals well but Cameron Humphreys and Leif Davis the stars of the show, incredible performances from the youngers

Nomore4 added 22:00 - Oct 25
An expected 3 points. On to the next.

DifferentGravy added 22:00 - Oct 25
Get in! Some silly defending nearly ruined a very good night. But in the end the hard work and quality paid dividends. Humphreys...what a goal and what a debut. Davis was quality and Edwards grew into the game. Ladapo in the right place when it mattered and Jackson ran his wotsits off when he came on, closing down their defenders.

Superb 3 points! Enjoy your evenings. COYB

Gforce added 22:00 - Oct 25
Ipswich away win
Budgies away defeat (again)
Perfect, just perfect.
So perfect, I might have a condor moment.(one for the older fans )
(Younger fans ,Google it ! )

ShropshireBluenago09 added 22:01 - Oct 25
Great away performance against a decent vale side. Edwards man of match closely followed by Humphreys and Davies.

TimmyH added 22:02 - Oct 25
Wow what a strange game that was that ebbed and flowed...they started well and finished the better but our positives obviously out did our negatives. MoM Leif Davis great game but Humphreys was good in midfield (what technique for his goal) and Ladapo and Edwards also good, defending though at times unconvincing!

Would have taken the 3 points before the game and just did enough tonight! Well done lads!

ipswichboi added 22:02 - Oct 25
Edwards also very good tonight

tobymeadz91 added 22:05 - Oct 25
Winning games with this amount of rotation shows we will be there or there abouts…

So pleased for Humphrey's, Lapado and thought Edwards looked good too…

Get burgess back in and we will be more solid.. still think edmundson / Woolfy have a mistake in them.

Nice to see us time waste tonight instead of every opposition 🤣

tobymeadz91 added 22:05 - Oct 25
Winning games with this amount of rotation shows we will be there or there abouts…

So pleased for Humphrey's, Lapado and thought Edwards looked good too…

Get burgess back in and we will be more solid.. still think edmundson / Woolfy have a mistake in them.

Nice to see us time waste tonight instead of every opposition 🤣

RobsonWark added 22:05 - Oct 25
Great strike by Humpreys! He showed how to get your head over the ball before striking it to keep the shot down. The rest of our players could learn basic stuff like that from him - especially Burns!

RobsonWark added 22:07 - Oct 25
Dom Ball is a big disappointment. For such a big guy he is such a lightweight. He is definitely not in Morsy or Evans league. He just doesn't cover the ground like those two do. Also, it would be nice to see him make a tackle in a match. But then again he needs to run across the pitch to do that. He spends most of the time ball watching.

martin587 added 22:07 - Oct 25
Well done lads.3 Points is all we ask. Roll on Saturday.Horrid drive home but happy anyway.Oh and great support from us travelers as usual.

RobsonWark added 22:08 - Oct 25
Ladapo's goals were typical strikers goals. Its so easy when you have intelligent players who look up before crossing the ball in to pick put a player rather than Jackson with
his head down and crosses the ball and hopes someone will get on the end of it.

ArnieM added 22:08 - Oct 25
That was a real test of this squad with some influential players out, and they've passed that test. Gave me heart palpitations with two soft goals given away , but we've survived . Well played guys … onwards and hopefully up!


RobsonWark added 22:09 - Oct 25
I don't understand Edwards coming off for Jackson. Edwards looked an attacking threat whenever he got the ball. Jackson was just running around doing nothing as usual.

blueboy1981 added 22:11 - Oct 25
A Win is a Win. Not much more can be said about that.
That's one for the Knocking Doubters from Freddie - think twice you fools, or learn to recognise a really Good Player … !!
The Defence has to be improved - let's hope Burgess is back soon.
A Grateful 3 Points.
Humphreys, as Kieron says, is a STAR and needs to play.

RobsonWark added 22:11 - Oct 25
Leif Davis MOM for me tonight. His attacking play was excellent. He had so much vision going forward and he defended well too.

TimmyH added 22:12 - Oct 25
@RobsonWark...he's no athlete on the showing of that game, very mixed some good passing plays and at other times really poor passes to the opposition, but lets contemplate on the good tonight.

Jugsy added 22:12 - Oct 25
Hilarious comment Timmy H, that you would have taken 3 pts before the game….

Kickingblock added 22:12 - Oct 25
Credit to the home team, they fought well and never gave up.

Bert added 22:12 - Oct 25
Great to get three points but we must start defending balls in the box. Some really sloppy defending but credit to Port Vale, they made it very uncomfortable for us at times. Need a whisky now.

RobsonWark added 22:12 - Oct 25
Why are we so rubbish at defending corners. I always fear when we concede a corner and I never get excited when we get a corner because we have no one who can head the ball.

Saxonblue74 added 22:13 - Oct 25
Two silly moments put pressure on ourselves, they were Vales only shots on target. Apart from that a good show. As others have said, Humphreys, Edwards, Davis and Ladapo had a great night. Ball looked off the pace and uncharacteristically was misplacing passes,missed Morsy as a result and need him back! All in all a good night though, shame about the Plymouth comeback but I do expect them to run out of steam soon. Hope we don't suffer a backlash from a poor result for Charlton!

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