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Southampton 0-1 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Tuesday, 19th Sep 2023 21:55

Omari Hutchinson’s first goal for the Blues on his full league debut saw Town to a 1-0 victory over Southampton at St Mary’s and back up to second in the Championship. On-loan Chelsea man Hutchinson struck on the half hour as the Blues maintained their brilliant start to the season.

Boss Kieran McKenna made four changes from the team which beat Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 at the weekend with Brandon Williams, Jack Taylor and Hutchinson making their full league debuts for the Blues - the latter his full league debut full stop - and George Hirst coming back into the XI.

Wes Burns was OK to continue in his wide right role despite feeling his hamstring at Hillsborough, while Nathan Broadhead, Massimo Luongo and Freddie Ladapo dropped to the bench.

As expected, Leif Davis missed out with the ankle problem he suffered on Saturday, while Kayden Jackson was also absent from the 20-man squad.

For the Saints, former Blues midfielder Flynn Downes wasn’t included having picked up a knock in Friday’s 4-1 home defeat to Leicester and was replaced by Joe Aribo.

Former Town loanee Ryan Fraser started, while Alex McCarthy and James Bree were among the home side’s subs.

With rain swirling in the wind, the Saints started on top with the Blues giving the ball away all too easily whenever they got hold of it.

On five, Southampton skipper Adam Armstrong shot from the edge of the box into the side-netting with some home fans initially believing it had gone the other side of the post.

Two minutes later, Town had the ball in the net from a corner but referee Josh Smith ruled it out for a foul. Hutchinson’s flag-kick appeared to divert into the roof of the net off Saints striker Che Adams but Smith blew for a foul, perhaps on keeper Gavin Bazunu, although there seemed nothing untoward.

The Blues began to see more of the ball and won another corner, then on 12 Hutchinson crossed from the left for Hirst but the striker was unable to get enough power on his header under pressure.

Three minutes later, Hutchinson was found unmarked midway inside the Southampton half by a long throw and took the ball on before hitting a shot which deflected up in the air through to Bazunu.

In the 17th minute, Kyle Walker-Peters fed in Adams on the right of the box but Luke Woolfenden was able to divert his effort wide.

Four minutes later, Town struggled to get the ball out of their box following a looping Adams ball from the right.

The Saints were looking a threat when in and around the Town area and on 27 Shea Charles flicked a header just wide of Vaclav Hladky’s right post.

The Blues were largely in control, however, and were taking the game to the relegated former Premier League side.

On 29, Burns crossed from the right and Williams looped a header over from the penalty spot with the on-loan Manchester United man clearly felt he should have done better.

And a minute later the Blues went in front. Hutchinson slid in to dispossess the dawdling Charles midway inside the Saints half, Chaplin picked up the loose ball and fed in the Chelsea loan forward, who shot across Bazunu and into the net off the inside of the post.

Hutchinson celebrated his first goal for the Blues - and first in senior football aside from goals for U23s sides in the Papa Johns Trophy - with a impressive somersault.

Town went about looking for a second goal and on 33 Hutchinson, full of confidence after his goal, brought the ball forward down the middle before Williams’s dangerous cross was headed behind by Taylor Harwood-Bellis.

The Blues went within a whisker of going 2-0 up in the 36th minute when Aribo was caught in possession midway inside his side’s half by Chaplin and the Blues’ forward chipped Bazunu only for the ball to bounce back off the bar. Hirst was first to the rebound but Harwood-Bellis was somehow able to squeeze his goalbound effort wide.

Two minutes later, Williams was shown the game’s first yellow card for a late challenge on Adams.

Town continued to control the game with the Saints looking ever more nervous at the back, keeper Bazunu finding touch with a pass to Walker-Peters, much to the frustration of the home support and amusement of the travelling fans.

The Blues again went close to a second goal in the 40th minute when Hutchinson broke from the centre circle and fed Burns on the right. The Wales international cut inside before hitting a right-foot shot just past Bazunu’s right post.

Despite Town being on top, Southampton were still having dangerous moments, former Blues loan winger Fraser forcing Harry Clarke into a sliding block. Following the resultant corner, Sam Edozie’s dive fooled no one, least of all referee Smith.

The Saints saw most of the ball in two minutes of added-on time but without further threatening and boos rang around St Mary’s at the whistle.

Town could be more than happy with their first 45 minutes and the lead. The Saints had started the stronger but the Blues had grown into the game and made the most of Southampton sloppiness in their own half, which was hardly a rare occurrence.

In fact, Town will feel they probably should have been at least another goal in front Chaplin having hit the woodwork following another Southampton error, while the early own goal didn’t appear to have too much wrong with it.

The home side had had threatening moments but without managing a shot on target.

The second half began much as the first had ended with Southampton continuing to have scruffy moments. On 47 Hutchinson skipped away on the right but his cross was too deep.

Two minutes later, Hladky was forced into action for the first time. Walker-Peters picked up a loose Town pass on the right, brought the ball forward and played in Adams on the right of the box from where the Scotland striker hit a shot but the Town keeper reacted superbly to bat it behind.

The Czech required treatment before the corner - which Town defended confidently - but was able to carry on.

Taylor was yellow-carded for a foul on Edozie on 52, although the former Peterborough man seemed a little unfortunate as the incident appeared to be an inadvertent tangle of legs even if the Saints forward was tripped.

Adams scuffed a shot wide from distance in the 55th minute, moments before the Saints made a triple change, Edozie, Fraser and Aribo making way for Stuart Armstrong, Kamaldeen Sulemana and Jan Bednarek, prior to the Blues swapping Taylor for Luongo.

The Blues again went close to a second goal in the 57th minute when a counter-attack saw a Burns cross from the right headed out to Chaplin, whose volley was destined for the corner of the net until Bazunu brilliantly got across to palm it wide.

As the game reached the hour mark, Harwood-Bellis was booked for a foul on Chaplin, before Luongo shot over from distance.

On 65, a rare moment of miscommunication from Town at the back allowed the Saints the ball in the final third and Will Smallbone struck a shot which Luongo slid in to block.

From the resultant corner, the ball ran loose in the area but Town were eventually able to force the second of Adam Armstrong’s two efforts behind and there were no similar concerns from the subsequent flag-kick.

Chaplin shot to Bazunu from the edge of the box in the 68th minute, then three minutes later Town swapped Williams and Hirst for Dominic Ball and Dane Scarlett, who was making his Blues debut.

The home side were seeing more of the ball but with the Blues defending their penalty box ferociously when the need came, while looking a threat on the break.

On 75, Smallbone crossed low from the right and Hladky claimed ahead of Adams but took a kick from the Southampton striker and required treatment before continuing. Carlos Alcaraz replaced Smallbone for the Saints and almost immediately after the game restarted Adams was booked for a foul on Clarke.

Ryan Manning, who almost joined Town as an academy schoolboy, unleashed a powerful strike from distance in the 78th minute which looked to be moving in the air as Hladky batted it away to his right.

Town made their final two changes a minute later with Broadhead and Marcus Harness taking over from Hutchinson and Chaplin.

In the 83rd minute, Harness did well to find Broadhead, who in turn sought to play in Burns, who was clearly blocked off, and Scarlett, who was dispossessed.

The Blues were back in control of the game and taking the game to the home side once again with Burns being found in space on the right on a number of occasions.

There was a scare for Town in the 87th minute when Sulemana got behind Ball on the right and appeared to be tripped by the Blues’ sub when through on goal. However, a linesman’s flag allayed any concerns the travelling fans at the other end might have had.

In the final scheduled minute, Harness was found in space on the left. The former Portsmouth man rode a Bednarek tackle but was taken wide and was unable to find Scarlett, who spent last season with Pompey, the Saints’ big rivals, with his subsequent pass.

The fourth official’s board indicated seven additional minutes in which Alcarez looped a header well over and Town were otherwise unthreatened as they comfortably saw out their sixth win in seven matches since their return to the Championship, including all four away matches.

Another brilliant away display from the Blues against a side who were two divisions above them last season.

In truth, Town should have scored more goals with Chaplin twice going close, the disallowed first-half goal and a number of other opportunities.

The Blues kept Saints chances to a minimum throughout with Hladky making two impressive second-half stops when they were required and the backline defending balls into the box superbly, as they did at Hillsborough on Saturday.

The win, Town’s second ever victory at St Mary’s, which extends their club record unbeaten league away record to 13, sees the Blues back up to second in the table, a point behind leaders Preston as the extraordinary start to the season continues.

Blackburn Rovers, who are 10th, visit Portman Road on Saturday and few would bet against Town maintaining their form against the Lancastrians.

Southampton: Bazunu, Walker-Peters, Harwood-Bellis, Charles, Manning, Smallbone (Alcaraz 76), Aribo (Bednarek 56), Fraser (Sulemana 56), Edozie (S Armstrong 56), Adams, A Armstrong (c) (Mara 85). Unused: McCarthy, Bree, Amo-Ameyaw.

Town: Hladky, Clarke, Woolfenden, Burgess, Burns, Morsy (c), Taylor (Luongo 57), Williams (Ball 68), Chaplin (Harness 81), Hutchinson (Broadhead 81), Hirst (Scarlett 68). Unused: Slicker, Humphreys, Evans, Ladapo. Referee: Josh Smith (Peterborough). Att: 27,265.

Photo: Matchday Images

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itfckenty added 21:59 - Sep 19
Well fought hard win. The lads played really well and we definitely deserved the win there. COYB

Bluearmy_81 added 21:59 - Sep 19
I fcukin love this club. So happy right now. Thank you!

Gforce added 22:01 - Sep 19
Great goal,great celebration, great performance, great result .Five points clear of the scum.....The perfect Tuesday night !! Well done all and the travelling blue army once again.

Van_Blue added 22:02 - Sep 19
Brilliant Brilliant result. Was worried about this game as I thought there would/should be a reaction from the Saints after their last 2 games. But Town dealt pretty well with everything they had. Brave goalkeeping again from Hladky.

bobble added 22:02 - Sep 19
yabadaba doooo

RobsonWark added 22:03 - Sep 19
Great performance against what was essentially a Premiership club. Hard to choose a MOTM between Omari Hutchinson and Hladky.

Bert added 22:05 - Sep 19
Organised, resilient, intelligent and more tonight. Hutchinson MoM. Fans brilliant. Wow.

Ipswichbusiness added 22:05 - Sep 19
KMc was brave to make so many changes to a winning team, but his judgement was vindicated this evening; a win, three more points and a clean sheet.

martin587 added 22:06 - Sep 19
Fantastic result.Even better support.Well done lads everyone a HERO

pazzy added 22:06 - Sep 19
well worth the win well done boys all over the pitch

RobsonWark added 22:08 - Sep 19
A couple of great efforts by Conor Chaplin, but Wes Burns' shooting still doesn't get any better.

matthewwylds added 22:09 - Sep 19
Unbelievable hard place to go on a Tuesday how far has this club come unbelievable

dirtydingusmagee added 22:14 - Sep 19
SUPERB SUPER BLUES ! What a start to the new season in Championship ! Another great team effort. Must say Hladky is doing a sound job and has pulled off some great stops.A great 3 points , Well done Kieran and the lads. WHOO WHOO COYB

cordonblue added 22:16 - Sep 19
It is getting really hard not to dream already..... but whatever happens from here it is important to enjoy every moment, the run since February has been close to perfection and if the next 6 months are half as good it will be play offs as a minimum!


TimmyH added 22:17 - Sep 19
Great win! (fortunately my pre-game fears did not come to fruition) - a calm measured/organised display from ourselves against a rather disappointing Southampton with lots of possession without little else.

Great game from Hutchinson a real talent there in the for the other changes only niggle is I thought Taylor looked unimpressive and Burns still needs to get his shooting boots on other than that proud of what McK is achieving with the players!

Well done all!

SpiritOfJohn added 22:18 - Sep 19
Another fantastic result and the remarkable away record continues. Great to see 3 full league debuts smoothly integrated into the starting eleven tonight, and we keep calm and carry on picking up another 3 points.

Suffolkboy added 22:20 - Sep 19
Unbelievably good start to this season ,much to do with the hard work put in on the training ground everyday and in pre- season . Stamina and confidence all round really paying dividends ,and great coaching has led to intense discipline throughout .
Well done ITFC — what a fantastic reward to be supporting again such a super team !

Len_Brennan added 22:21 - Sep 19
I normally avoid commenting, win, lose or draw, on match day, but I just have to commend the team & management tonight. We are a side that scores goals & have based a lot of our recent success on the ability to outscore, or just blow away, the opposition. We have now gone to 2 difficult grounds & seen out 2 great 0-1 victories in consecutive games, with huge credit going to our defence.
I had concerns about our centre half pairing at this level, but they answered a lot of questions tonight. Similarly, a few weeks ago, I was worried that Omari Hutchinson was a bit of a show pony, who would do something spectacular one minute, then do something silly in a dangerous area of the pitch the next; but all credit to him, the manager & coaching staff. He worked his socks off, tracked back, tackled & had Southampton terrified whenever he ran at them. The goal was the icing on the cake, but he would be a MOTM contender even without it. He's not the finished article yet, and needs to get his head up more when putting the ball in the box, but he was excellent again & only going to get better while here.

Europablue added 22:22 - Sep 19
We really managed that game very well tonight. 1-0 is always one fluke away or a lapse of concentration from a draw. We weren't capable of seeing games like that out against the to sides even in League one a year ago. We do look solid, but at the same time Southampton players lack confidence and always want one more touch. They are a decent side and will go on a good run now they don't have to play us every week!

cressi added 22:22 - Sep 19
A good gritty performance with a few decent moments especially Hutchinson. Taylor a long way from replacing Massimo gave the ball away cheaply on various occasions.

FlyingReuser added 22:26 - Sep 19
What a fantastic evening!
Well drilled, great organisation and the team working soo hard for each other is seeing off the championship opposition one by one. KMC’s attention to detail cannot go unmentioned, he knows what he’s doing! Best coach in years. Special mention to Hutchinson to play so well and score on his first professional debut. Up the town

EssexTractor added 22:31 - Sep 19
Tuned in to watch the whole match on Sky Red Button…and aside from opening few minutes we dominated the match , created many scoring chances, saw the talent that Hutchinson possesses which will simply increase under the coaching of McKenna.and although Omari was the danger man , truthfully the man of the match was Kieran McKenna for his brave team selection , good substitutions and clear evidence of his tactical and coaching wisdom .

algarvefan added 22:32 - Sep 19
Big shout out to the lads who fought like really wanted it tonight.

Hladky. When Walton got injured I was fearful and many voiced their concerns. The lad has hardly put a foot wrong all season thus far!!

jas0999 added 22:38 - Sep 19
I think I’m dreaming. Did we just win at Southampton? Surely not.

Fat_Boy_Tim added 22:40 - Sep 19
You know that first 20 minutes against Sunderland? Taylor went through that today, the second half of the first half, he was good but he looked tired after the break. To be honest Hutchinson was also quiet for half an hour but he's played/trained with Prem players before and caught up with the pace. Taylor will get in the team for an extended period of games at some point this season and come good. Burgess again a colossus, Wes gave them nightmares, Morsey was off the chart, Williams was up against the best non-Leeds player we've played in 5 years and we kept a clean sheet, Hladky was solid and showed Baffoonoo (Bonne is one of our own!) how to play out from the back, Chappers nearly chipped another keeper (one of those is going in this year) and I could go on, great performance tonight and we kept a few players fit for Saturday where we have to be favourites to make it 21 points from a possible 24. C O Y B !

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