Ipswich Town 2-1 Swansea City - Half-Time
Saturday, 11th Nov 2023 16:03
Goals from Jack Taylor and Conor Chaplin have given Town a 2-1 half-time lead over Swansea at Portman Road, Jay Fulton having given the Welshmen an early advantage.
Kieran McKenna made four changes from the team which drew 2-2 at Rotherham in midweek with Luke Woolfenden returning at centre-half for Axel Tuanzebe, who dropped to the bench, while Taylor started in central midfield alongside skipper Sam Morsy with Massimo Luongo also among the subs.
Omari Hutchinson and Nathan Broadhead, who missed the game against the Millers due to illness, returned to the starting line-up with Kayden Jackson and Marcus Harness on the bench.
Wes Burns was back in the 20-man squad having suffered a shoulder injury while on Wales duty last month.
Brandon Williams, who missed the Birmingham game due to illness before returning to the bench at Rotherham, was absent from the squad.
For Swansea, Fulton returned to the XI for on-loan Arsenal midfielder Charlie Patino, who was suspended having been red-carded in last week’s 0-0 home draw with Sunderland.
Following a minute’s silence and The Last Post with the match the club’s Remembrance fixture, the game got under way with the Swans seeing most of the ball in the opening minutes.
On five, Harry Clarke gifted the visitors a chance with an overly brave flighted pass across the edge of the box from right to left which only reached Jerry Yates just outside the area, but fortunately the former Blackpool man’s shot was against a defender.
However, Swans fans didn’t have to wait too long for a goal. In the seventh minute, a free-kick from the left was poorly headed to the right of the box by Taylor to Jamal Lowe.
The former Bournemouth man chipped over a cross and Fulton flicked a header to Vaclav Hladky’s right and into the corner of the net for a goal which was far too easy for the Welshmen.
Having again started slowly and as a result having conceded a goal, the Blues began to get going as the game approached the 10-minute mark.
On nine, Conor Chaplin shot over, then three minutes later Hutchinson twisted and turned five yards outside the box to the right before curling a shot which Swans keeper Carl Rushworth claimed confidently.
A minute later, Chaplin was threaded in on goal and found the net but with the linesman’s flag long having been raised.
Swansea had another brief spell on top before the Blues levelled in the 17th minute via a brilliant Jack Taylor strike.
The midfielder was played the ball not far outside the area on the left by Morsy, looked up and smashed an unstoppable goal of the season contender past Rushworth before the keeper was able to react.
Taylor’s second league goal, both in the last two games, and fourth of the season provided the wake-up call the performance required and the Blues quickly went looking for a second.
On 18, Rushworth saved a Cameron Burgess header following a corner, Fulton doing very well to take the loose ball away from George Hirst. Clarke subsequently smashed a shot deep into the Sir Alf Ramsey Stand.
Two minutes later, Taylor brilliantly threaded Chaplin in on goal on the right of the area but the forward opted to pass to Hirst when he should have scored but the striker had failed to continue his run.
Moments later, Hutchinson similarly burst into the box but his shot was saved by Rushworth. The loose ball fell to Chaplin on the edge of the area but the forward also shot deep into the stand behind the goal.
But last season’s top scorer, who had gone four games without scoring, didn’t have too long to ruminate over those chances with his sixth goal of the campaign coming in the 22nd minute.
Following a long throw on the left, Hirst battled with two defenders at the near post and the ball fell to Chaplin, who hooked between Rushworth and his right post to send Portman Road wild.
A rip-roaring first half briefly boiled over in the 26th minute as Chaplin and Liam Cullen clashed off the ball. After players from both teams had settled things down, referee Sunny Gill, taking charge of only his second Championship match, showed the two players yellow cards.
Seven minutes later, Hutchinson sent over a low cross from the right towards Hirst but Harrison Ashby got in ahead of the Town striker.
On 34, Chaplin created an opportunity for Hirst, stooping to head to the striker on the edge of the area but the former Leicester frontman’s shot inched just wide of Rushworth’s right post.
Three minutes later, Town should definitely have scored their third of the afternoon when Hutchinson was played in in the clear on the right of the box. The on-loan Chelsea man look certain to shoot past Rushworth, but instead cut across the edge of the six-yard box too far in front of Hirst and out for a goal-kick.
In the final scheduled minute, Morsy played a clever pass for Hirst into the right of the area but the striker’s shot across Rushworth was well saved by the keeper.
Four minutes into injury time, Town had what looked a decent shout for a penalty when Taylor looked to be tripped as he rode tackles on the right of the area. But as has been the case all season, Blues protests were waved away.
Moments later, referee Gill’s whistle brought what had been a pulsating half to an end.
Having started very slowly, the Blues again found themselves behind early on, but they had already started to find their feet when Taylor smashed in his brilliant strike to level.
After getting back on terms, Town spurned several gilt-edged chances to go in front before Chaplin finally made it 2-1.
From there, the Blues had more opportnities to put the game further from Swansea’s reach but again were unable to take them.
Town went in ahead at the break but with the Swans looking potentially dangerous whenever they were in the final third, the game was far from won.
Town: Hladky, Clarke, Woolfenden, Burgess, Davis, Morsy (c), Taylor, Hutchinson, Chaplin, Broadhead, Hirst. Subs: Walton, Tuanzebe, Luongo, Humphreys, Burns, Harness, Jackson, Scarlett, Ladapo.
Swansea: Rushworth, Fulton, Darling, Grimes (c), Yates, Lowe, Paterson, Tymon, Cullen, Ashby, Humphreys. Subs: Fisher, Cabango, Tjoe-A-On, Naughton, Walsh, Cooper, Parker, Congreve, Wilson. Referee: Sunny Gill (Bracknell).
Photo: Matchday Images
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