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West Bromwich Albion 2 v 0 Ipswich Town
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 25th November 2023 Kick-off 17:30
West Bromwich Albion 2-0 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 25th Nov 2023 19:30

Town fell to only their second Championship defeat of the season and first away from home in the league since January as goals at the start of each half from Darnell Furlong and Grady Diangana saw West Brom to victory at the Hawthorns in Blues manager Kieran McKenna’s 100th game in charge of the club. Furlong’s flicked header from a corner gave the Baggies the lead in the fifth minute, then Diangana added the second two minutes after the break with the Blues subsequently never looking like taking anything from the game.

McKenna made two changes from the team which beat Swansea 3-2 at home prior to the international break with Wes Burns and Brandon Williams returning to the XI.

Burns, who came back from his shoulder injury for the final half hour against the Swans, came into his usual right-sided role for Omari Hutchinson, who was absent from the squad due to illness.

Williams, who missed the final three games before the break due to illness, was at right-back with Harry Clarke dropping to the bench.

The Baggies made one change from the team which lost 2-1 at Southampton prior to the break with Alex Mowatt replacing Nathaniel Chalobah, brother of former Town loanee Trevoh, in midfield.

West Brom should have taken the lead via the game’s first chance in the fifth minute. Baggies skipper Jed Wallace sent over a teasing cross from the right which Brandon Thomas-Asante threw himself at inside the side yard area but was just unable to get a touch on before it was turned behind at the far post.

However, the home fans didn’t have to wait much longer for a goal. From the resultant corner taken by Matt Phillips, Darnell Furlong rose high to flick a header across goal and just inside the far post.

While the Baggies celebrated, the Town players, who had gone behind within the first 15 minutes for the sixth match running, took part in an inquest into what had gone wrong.

West Brom had a spring in their step having gone in front and on eight Thomas-Asante struck an effort from not far outside the area which was too close to Vaclav Hladky, who claimed.

However, Town began to get themselves more into the game and in the 18th minute won a corner. Skipper Sam Morsy played it to Jack Taylor, who had made a run to the edge of the box, but the former Peterborough man sent his first-time effort well over.

Two minutes later, after an excellent Williams tackle had stopped Phillips in his tracks, Conor Chaplin sent Burns away on the right with a superb looping pass, the Welshman winning another flag-kick following which Nathan Broadhead overhit a pass as he tried to play in Burns.

Town were starting to threaten more regularly and on 22 Burns blazed over having been found in space on the right of the box. The winger will feel he should have done much better.

There was a scare for the Blues two minutes later after Luke Woolfenden failed to deal with a low Phillips cross from the left. Cameron Burgess did well to get there ahead of Thomas-Asante and sent the ball against the striker and, fortunately for Town, into Hladky’s arms.

On 25, Davis felt he should have been awarded a penalty after his ankles appeared to be clipped on the left of the box as he burst past Kyle Bartley, however, referee Gavin Ward showed no interest and appeared to have made the correct decision.

Phillips got his name in referee Ward’s book in the 39th minute for a late challenge on Town keeper Hladky after the Czech had taken the ball into the right of his area with his feet before pouncing on it.

The Blues had largely been in control but without making much of their possession in the final third, while West Brom had presented a greater threat on the break.

In the 41st minute, Wallace was found in space on the right and sent over a low ball which Woolfenden blocked. Eventually, after Wallace had tried to get it into the box again, Hladky claimed it.

In the final scheduled minute, ahead of one additional minute, Phillips smashed a shot against Williams from just outside the area to the left with the home side continuing to present more of a danger.

Seconds before the whistle, George Hirst closed down home keeper Alex Palmer but couldn’t make anything of the loose ball.

Town will once again be frustrated at conceding an early goal, but gradually began to get themselves into the game and had a couple of opportunities through Taylor and Burns without testing Palmer.

However, the home side had looked more of a threat on the break with the Blues a little casual at times and might have increased their lead prior to the end of the half.

Town were first to threaten after the restart, Morsy clipping a ball into the area which Bartley flicked beyond Hirst and out for a corner.

And from the Town flag-kick, West Brom doubled their lead. After the Blues’ initial ball into the area had been headed out and Morsy’s shot blocked, the Baggies broke quickly, Wallace finding Asanta-Thomas, who fed in Diangana, who slipped the ball past Hladky and into the net off the inside of the post.

Soon after the goal, home keeper Palmer played a poor pass out of his area straight to Burns but the Welshman was unable to get it under control.

West Brom should have gone three in front in the 52nd minute, Wallace sending over a cross from the right, which reached Phillips inches out at the far post. The former QPR man seemed certain to score but somehow sent the ball back the way it came.

As the game reached the hour mark, Williams was yellow-carded for a rather frustrated late tackle on one-time Town target Conor Townsend.

Before the Baggies took the free-kick, the Blues swapped Taylor and the unusually quiet Broadhead for Massimo Luongo and Marcus Harness.

Having established their two-goal lead, the home side were comfortable, dominating the ball and looking more likely to score the game’s third goal.

The Baggies, who were continuing to see out the game confidently, made a triple change in the 72nd minute, John Swift, Jayson Molumby and Jeremy Sarmiento replacing Diangana, Phillips and Okay Yokuslu.

Two minutes later, Morsy was booked for a foul on Sarmiento as the sub broke towards the area on the left. Town subsequently switched Hirst and Burns for Freddie Ladapo and Kayden Jackson.

On 80, the Baggies swapped Thomas-Asante for Josh Maja, then three minutes later Town replaced Chaplin with Dane Scarlett.

In the final scheduled minute, the ball just wouldn’t fall cleanly for a Town player during a goalmouth scramble, then, following a West Brom attack ended by Luongo, illegally according to the home players and support, Scarlett wafted a delicate chip beyond Palmer but also past his far post. That was the last action before referee Ward blew his whistle.

Town can have few complaints about their second league defeat of the season. Their habit of conceding early goals was eventually going to cost them and having again gone behind in the opening stages, they had a couple of opportunities to get themselves back in it which they failed to take, but rarely troubled Baggies keeper Palmer throughout the 90 minutes looking uncharacteristically unthreatening.

Town failed to manage a single shot on target all evening, the first time that's happened since the 1-0 loss at Sheffield Wednesday in January 2022 in McKenna's sixth match in charge.

Albion imposed themselves on the Blues physically and Town were never really able to control the game in their usual manner with the home side seeing the game out with little trouble having established their two-goal lead so soon after the break.

The Baggies, who are up to fifth, will almost certainly give the other teams towards the top of the division similarly difficult games and will fancy themselves to have enough to put themselves among the contenders before May comes around.

The Blues remain second in the table, now three points behind leaders Leicester, who won 2-0 at home to Watford this afternoon, and seven in front of Leeds in third, the Whites having been held to a 1-1 draw at Rotherham last night.

It was a disappointing way to mark McKenna’s 100-match milestone, the Blues’ boss’s 15th defeat overall, his 10th in the league and only his second by more than a single goal in the league - the other was his third match in charge at Bolton - and third overall.

The defeat ends Town’s 12-match league unbeaten and ends the Blues’ newly-established unbeaten away record at 17. Their most recent away league defeat was at Oxford in the fog in January.

Town, beaten for only the sixth time in their last 66 league matches, also failed to score for the first time in 35 matches going back to the 0-0 draw at Bristol Rovers on Valentine’s Day.

The Blues have the chance to bounce back from the loss when they host Millwall, who lost 3-0 at home to Coventry earlier today, on Wednesday.

West Brom: Palmer, Furlong, Townsend, Kipre, Bartley, Wallace (c), Phillips (Molumby 72), Diangana (Swift 72), Thomas-Asante (Maja 80), Mowatt, Yokuslu (Sarmiento 72). Unused: Griffiths, Ajayi, Pieters, Pipa, Fellows.

Town: Hladky, Williams, Woolfenden, Burgess, Davis, Morsy (c), Taylor (Luongo 60), Burns (Jackson 75), Chaplin (Scarlett 83), Broadhead (Harness 60), Hirst (Ladapo 75). Unused: Walton, Clarke, Tuanzebe, Ball. Referee: Gavin Ward (Surrey). Att: 24,001 (Town: 1,989).

Photo: Matchday Images

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DerryfromBury added 20:27 - Nov 25
Out thought and out played in almost every position tonight, against a very very well organised WBA team. The important lessons for the guys is to take on board the comments made by KmK in his post match interview. Magnanimous in defeat, what a guy.

Best not to dwell to much on tonight's game, its over, let move onto Millwall, I'm sure the guys will be back to their best at PR.

delias_cheesy_flaps added 20:29 - Nov 25
There’s no pleasing a fair few so called supporters, obviously they are 100% perfect in their lives and realistic…
I was lucky enough to watch our greatest teams in the mid 70s & 80s as a young lad, and watched a lot of sh@t between then and now….be very thankful for what we have now!

warfarinman69 added 20:34 - Nov 25
Lightning Boy. Apologies I didn't mean to mark you down. Arthritis in my fingers!! I agree with what you said. If back to ourselves on Wednesday, we can put it down to a bad day at the office. No outfield player was worth more than 4 out of 10 today, so different from normal

blueboy1981 added 20:36 - Nov 25
Bert ….. a rise in Norwich Supporter confidence after seeing that tonight - Isn’t that enough to make you feel Sick ? - or are you another that lives in the Delusional World, and keep ‘harping on’ about ‘what we have done’ so far ??
It’ll count for NOTHING from this point onwards, especially with what is coming up …. !!
It was an inexcusable performance tonight, and will need to be 100% better - otherwise a few Squeaky Bums will occur with the Canaries looming large now ….. !!!

blues1 added 20:36 - Nov 25
Timmy h. Regarding the Birmingham game. I suggest you look back at the passing stats for that game.

Suffolkboy added 20:51 - Nov 25
Come on the ‘down beats ‘ , nobody can expect to go through a season unbeaten ,and every team falls below par occasionally,OR are truly beaten by a side better on the day who find you out !
I’ve not read what KM has to say ,but he is always grounded ,realistic , honest and inclined to the generous and focused on the best of happenings .
KM will put this into perspective ,utilise the lessons , lift the lads and aim for all to reproduce their best as we move on !
Now is not the moment to lose heart ! COYB

TimmyH added 20:57 - Nov 25
Here is blues1...correcting certain people all the time - I bet that didn't apply to the first half? and as people say reading into stats doesn't always give a reflection of the game unless it's shots on goal and on target.

SpiritOfJohn added 21:05 - Nov 25
Regarding the 'sussing out': opposition managers may have a good idea about how to counter our attacking play in theory, but not many teams in this league have been able, or have the personnel, to stop us. West Brom were a notable exception tonight. We need to learn any lessons and move on to the next fixture knowing that we are still a half decent team deservedly sitting second in the league - despite what some on here will say.

dirtydingusmagee added 21:11 - Nov 25
Disappointing result and performance, BUT its the first for a long time and it was always going to happen at some point, so no need to go into meltdown . The test now is how the team react, AND how the fans react, the performance today was reminiscent of the bad times just hope the heads dont drop as they did back then . I had a feeling we would lose today and so its proved .We move on, and lift the team COYB .

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 21:15 - Nov 25
I'm afraid we were beaten by a better team tonight. WB will make the play-offs, and I wouldn't like to have to meet them again there. Blueboy is right about one thing - it's what we do from now on that counts. Either this is just a blip in the road, or we've been found out and we will struggle to maintain our momentum of the first half of the season. Let's hope it's the former. We are still in a very good place as things stand just now. COYB!

Skip73 added 21:16 - Nov 25
We were always going to have a dip in form, every team does. Yes, other teams may be sussing us out but i think its more that we are having a bit of a blip. Of course, a win v Millwall on Wednesday and we will all be a bit happier.

warktheline added 21:18 - Nov 25
Blueboy, stop embarrassing yourself! You are continually stuck on ‘90 minutes of football’ and unable to process the whole picture! Dismissing how McKenna has orchestrated where we are today is ridiculous!…and if that’s how you want to relay things, here goes…we are sitting comfortably 2nd! Your nonsensical theory is flawed!

dirtydingusmagee added 21:23 - Nov 25
blueboy has been waiting for this result so he can let it all out lol. If nothing else its made his day . And i find it funny that he says about delusional harping on , Thinking he knows better than KM and harping on about it every time we play , best laugh ive had all week .

RobsonWark added 21:34 - Nov 25
Wolfie;s bleached blond hair looked good on Sky. Helped all those watching to notice, if they hadn't already, that he is not good enough for us.

RobsonWark added 21:40 - Nov 25
Williams was MOTM for me this evening. He gave 100% and was fantastic in defence. Wolfie gave 10%. The funny thing was watching Wolfie telling everyone what to do. when he should worry about his own game.

KiwiTractor added 21:42 - Nov 25
I have no problem losing games to better sides, we have overachieved this season to date and I expect a few more losses.

What I do have a problem with, was the lack of energy, lack of intent, poor pressing - this is the minimum that we have to do to give us a chance. At 2-0 down we still looked lethargic, I'm struggling to understand - were the players just waiting for their team mates to do something?

Front 4 just didn't combine at all today - Chaplin missing again, Broadhead looked tired and our main outlet, Wes Burns slowed the ball down nearly every time he got it. WBA played well, but we made it very easy for them.

Williams the best for me today. Hladky and Morsy solid. Davis did okay, but lost his man for their first goal and was very lucky not to be booked for a dive in the area.

Think Taylor is better off the bench than starting and missed Hutchinson today. Scarlett at least offered some intent when he came on. Jackson just shinned it out and Ladapo's closing down is one-paced .... how about showing the fans you care, by putting in a sprint now and then, let the defenders/keeper know you are there.

KM needs to give these guys a kick up the a$$. Hopefully a wakeup call before Millwall.

RobsonWark added 21:49 - Nov 25
We are fantastic against teams that want to pass the ball like Swansea but poor finishing nearly cost us that game. It's obvious for all to see when teams press us and close us down quickly we are just not good enough on the ball. f teams have sussed this then it will be a difficult season from now on.

RobsonWark added 22:01 - Nov 25
Timmy, Blues1 can talk about stats all night long and fool people that did not watch the Birmingham game, but for those of us who did watch the game, we know how it went.

Europablue added 22:18 - Nov 25
Great weekend for Leicester. Lucky for us that Leeds and Southampton didn't capitalize on our poor performance. I only watched the first half, but West Brom didn't look that great, but they scored on the first corner that we didn't defend well and stopped us doing anything and Burns looked very rusty. It's such a huge handicap to give away an early goal every match. If we had been growing into the game after 20 minutes instead of chasing the game, we could have nicked that as a 1-0 win like we were specializing in before.

KMcBlue added 22:44 - Nov 25
Our relatively inexpensive team thrives when there's energy, movement,co-ordinated pressing and fast clinical counter attacks. This was all missing today. Slow predictable stuff. Never looked like scoring

Bert added 22:48 - Nov 25
Anyone who repeatedly uses exclamation marks to reinforce their point has clearly lost their way in articulating their view. Blueboy take note and give some balance to your views like others try and do.

Lukeybluey added 22:54 - Nov 25
Cant win them all...that being said, we didnt really lay a glove on them, which is a little bit disappointing as we are morr than capable at doing so.
Just a really flat day at the office, standout player I thought was Williams, he has that bite and tenacity which is great to see...plays on the edge.
Onto the next one!

Dissboyitfc added 23:23 - Nov 25
that was really poor today, nothing like ourselves today. We deserved what we got! Had to happen at some point. However let's keep perspective, there are 70 teams below us in the EFL and all of them would prefer to be in our position, which in case some of you have forgotten its second!

For me Williams was our best player, too many weren't at it today. Hopefully some lessons learnt.

On to the next one, we go again!

chepstowblue added 23:25 - Nov 25
To hear the halfwits singing "we've had a shot" "we've got the ball" sat very uneasily with me. For a year we've enjoyed 70% possession, averaged 20 shots per game, scored a bag full of goals, but one poor performance and comprehensive defeat had the entitled b*llends spouting their usual crap. I know that the vast majority of sheep in the away end are incapable of thinking for themselves, preferring to tag along with those of mob mentality. Even by their usual low standards this was pathetic. Nothing positive to come from on the pitch either. A rare off day against an excellent opposition who thankfully decided not to break sweat after their second. We could have taken a real hammering today from players who looked on a different level to us. Interesting to see how we bounce back. But if I were a player having to listen to our moronic following today im not sure that I could be bothered. This current group of players deserve a lot more respect than they were shown today by breathtakingly stupid people who don't deserve a successful team.

Kirbmeister added 23:49 - Nov 25
Bert - Blueboy skipped English classes at school. I’ve blocked him so I don’t have to suffer reading his poor attempts at English after every game, when he is only too keen to have a go at the team he allegedly supports.

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