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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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reva added 00:06 - Nov 26
I wonder if the international break contributed to this poor performance - it interupts the flow and it usually comes when we need the team at their best. No excuses for one poor game but I wonder if the result would have been different with no break. Onwards and upwards.

therein61 added 06:51 - Nov 26
Bad day at the office in a performance that very few came out of with any credit we need to shake it out of the system and push on we haven't become a bad team overnight.

Phil1969 added 08:06 - Nov 26
Don’t have a problem losing to a better side be it on the night or not. However sometimes there are games one needs to revert to plan B shut up shop make it hard to break you down. Whilst I love to watch our expansive use all the pitch football it does have a sting in the tail.
A point would have been good if we had set up that way, accepting parking the bus after conceding on 4 minutes was out of the window.

NorfolknWay added 08:11 - Nov 26
I make this comment with the caveat that I haven't seen a definitive replay yet, and could well be wrong. But I thought the incident where Phillips missed from right in front was caused by a brilliant piece of goalkeeping from Hladky.

It seemed to me that he dived full length at Wallace's cross, getting the merest of fingertips to it. But this was just enough to divert the flight of the ball ever so slightly so that it arrived a smidge behind where Phillips was anticipating. And with the speed of it, he couldn't react in time.

Again, I concede that replays could demonstrate that this was all a figment of my imagination, and I certainly haven't seen it mentioned anywhere else. But I do think the reactions of our keeper are extraordinary. He is a top class operator.

philpott2 added 08:49 - Nov 26
It's been coming for a while....the lethargy, standing on the ball and passing backwards, the number of times an ITFC player was standing still meant we simply never really got going. A few balls down the right early on were good, and I thought Wes Burns going to have a good game......but with Chaplin in particular not giving him any help they came to little and it all dlowed down from the right. Davis similarly had little help from Broadhead.
I thought Hirst was OK, as was Williams, poor end of the ok scale, but the rest were pretty poor. Chaplin was woeful, as was Wolfenden.
The age old defending issues (nobody jumping, heading, attacking the ball, allowing the ball to come into the box) was frustrating, but this isn't the first time this season that its happened so frequently......its just the first time we've not got away with it, as Hladky didn't have one of his superman games!
Hopefully a wake up call, to coaches and especially the players. I'd like to see one or two others on the bench, Humphreys for one, so something and someone different given a chance to shine and put some pressure on to the usual 16.

Rimsy added 09:18 - Nov 26
Let's be honest, that defeat has been on the cards for a long time, we've really rode our luck recently. Biggest disappointment for me was the none existent pace bringing the ball out of defence. Wolfenden the main culprit and nowhere near as good as he thinks. Get Axel in. Missed Luongo in the middle. West Brom well worth the win.

Dissboyitfc added 09:24 - Nov 26
Kirbmeister some people seek attention on here. and to get it they spout rubbish like KM has been found out, said that last season as well, also stating that around the start of the year that McKenna's could be out of a job of course very wrong on both counts and looked rather silly and created an egg shortage! Also refers to others as delusional happy clappers and hissy fit types. Their thoughts and opinions are facts and others are delusional! Well I think delusional is thinking a promoted team should play well and win every game in what is a much higher standard of football. No point in following( won't say supporting) Ipswich if you can't enjoy what's happening now, it's also going to get better! Week in week out breaking club and league records, no pleasing the self proclaimed super supporters!

That game yesterday was the first match since KM arrived I didn't enjoy a single period or even minute of the game, but the intelligent supporters will keep it in perspective, we are second!

Gazelle added 09:30 - Nov 26
After giving away an early goal yet again I thought we bossed the next half hour. Their second was a bit fortunate when we were caught out after having a shot blocked. After that we seemed to run out of ideas and could have done with having Hutchinson being available.

HopefulBlue69 added 09:30 - Nov 26
In every walk of life people have off days.. shame we had almost 11 off days all at once but it happens in team sports..
Personally I love the exciting way we play the game and reminds we of Kevin Keegan and Newcastle, I bet we'll all "love it" when we beat Norwich..
As has been said before, we lost and that's now in the past.. it's how we approach and deal with the next game that matters..
Maybe some of the players needed a reality check but we're in a position none of us believed possible at the start of the season so let's enjoy it and back the team..
Tbh a top 6 position would still be amazing and probably beyond the expectations of most realistic fans...

londontractorboy57 added 09:50 - Nov 26
We were beaten by a better team.
All the analysis in the world won't change that.

dirtydingusmagee added 09:59 - Nov 26
Chepstowblue totally agree, and it dosnt sit well with any genuine fan, we have had a brilliant start to the season ,following a brilliant season culminating in promotion , yet first time for a long time we have a poor game and the s##t surfaces. Im convinced that if we dropped to 3rd there will be idiots calling for KM to go , really P's me off too . The worms certainly turn quickly. Rats see a drip of water in bottom of the boat and start jumping ship .

dirtydingusmagee added 10:05 - Nov 26
well said Dissy .

Ipswichbusiness added 10:52 - Nov 26
We have had a fantastic start to the season and the manager and players deserve full credit for that.

Unfortunately, we have been conceding two goals per game for a while now and that makes it very difficult to win matches consistently.

Saxonblue74 added 11:19 - Nov 26
It's going to happen now and again, just a bad day at the office. For me, memories of the Lincoln game last season, that was a one off and I'm pretty sure this was too. Not a major blow with other results going in our favour. I'd say Southampton and Leeds will be far more disappointed this morning than us.

grumpyoldman added 11:43 - Nov 26
Again Blueboy1981 knows more about the game than anyone else, 'teams have sussed us out", what the blinkered Blueboy1981 doesn't comprehend is teams suss out the opposition during the game not before. If you continually attack down the right, left or centre in every game the opposition can suss you out prior to a game, if you rely on one striker to score that person can be marked out of the game. As a team we have countless outlets, multiple scorers so are not easy to suss out. WBA are not an easy team to play against having lost only once at home & have a very good defence, trying to read so much into one defeat is pointless. No supporter realistically thought we would have had such a good start to the season, KEEP THE FAITH.

Lukeybluey added 14:12 - Nov 26
Like others have stated, the sarcastic chants of 'we've got the ball' and 'we've had a shot' were a bit uncalled for and doesnt help anything, in fact does the opposite. The team has done wonders thus far so they deservedly should have earned a bit of support from the fans, stuff like that is needless in my opinion, especially at the moment...but as history of being a town fan, a lot like to jump on the backs of the team as soon as there is a sniff of us faltering a little bit...
Anyway, we'll smash Millwall on Wednesday.

IpswichT62OldBoy added 15:15 - Nov 26
Eight points from the last 15 available, either a blip or a trend depending on the next two results.

IpswichT62OldBoy added 15:35 - Nov 26
Form over those 5 games 8 from 15 , just below two points a game.
Four point over the next two would after 7 leave us 12 from 21, better than two a game.

Two points a game over the season was always the dream target.

blueboy1981 added 15:42 - Nov 26
MENSA Test anytime Kirbmeister, that’s assuming you know what such is ?

warktheline added 16:22 - Nov 26
@blueboy, if you posted solid facts and insight with sources to back up your ‘argument’ then you wouldn’t receive such negativity! It’s clearly apparent you’ve got underlying issues with our new owners and manager. It’s constant, lose a game, concede a couple of goals, and you immediately attack with ‘ sussed out, tough times ahead, I told you so!’ It’s total nonsense, as the club continually hits new heights! Of course in your ‘mindset’ the overall picture doesn’t matter!

dirtydingusmagee added 17:14 - Nov 26
Steady on Blueboy , did you mean Costa ?

maninashed added 17:58 - Nov 26
Beaten by two teams on parachute payments. The 'fair play rules' stop us from really competing even if we could afford it.

Is me or do we concede far too many goal by not having anyone on the far post for freekicks and corners.

Cadiar added 16:25 - Nov 27
I wonder how many of us, the real fans that is not the likes of Blueboy would have thought we'd be 2nd in the Championship within 2 years of KM's tenure. I'll remind everyone he was demanding KM be sacked after the Bristol Rovers match. I thought we looked out of sorts & not really at it. However, it's hardly possible to keep up the intensity & standards we have set especially with what we have spent in comparison to virtually all other teams. I do expect some interesting moves in & out in January.
Generally Saturday was very disappointing but we are still in a very strong position so quit the whinging.

yorkieblue62 added 16:55 - Nov 27
As some have said probably time to freshen up team with a few changes, not wholesale. next two games important as then a run of tricky looking fixtures....Norwich excepted !!

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