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Ipswich Town 2 v 1 Coventry City
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 2nd December 2023 Kick-off 15:00
Ipswich Town 2-1 Coventry City - Match Report
Saturday, 2nd Dec 2023 17:09

First-half goals from George Hirst and Wes Burns were enough to see second-placed Town to a 2-1 victory over Coventry City, who missed a second-half penalty before a Brandon Williams own goal saw them pull one back deep in injury time. Hirst gave the Blues the lead in the sixth minute, firing home after being brilliantly played through by Nathan Broadhead, then Burns scored a superb outside-of-the-boot effort on 39. Matt Godden smashed his spot-kick against the bar on 73 after Harry Clarke had fouled Tatsuhiro Sakamoto but the visitors netted a late consolation when Williams nodded past his own keeper under pressure from Ellis Simms.

Town made one change from the team which beat Millwall 3-1 on Wednesday with Luke Woolfenden returning for Axel Tuanzebe at the heart of the defence.

Tuanzebe dropped out of the squad with Brandon Williams back on the bench having missed the victory over the Lions with a minor knock.

For the Sky Blues, manager Mark Robins made two changes with Callum O’Hare and Yasin Ayari coming into the team for Godden and Sakamoto, who dropped to the bench having started Tuesday’s 1-0 home victory over Plymouth.

Coventry were first to threaten in the second minute, passing their way through the Blues from their own half until Cameron Burgess outmuscled Haji Wright on the edge of the box.

But Town quickly began to get on top and in the fourth minute, after good work from Broadhead and Hirst, Burns played the ball in from the right to Conor Chaplin, but the forward sent a looping effort onto the roof of the net.

However, a minute later, the Blues went in front. From the halfway line on the left, Broadhead played a superb through ball for Hirst, who ran across his man before stroking confidently past visitors’ keeper Brad Collins.

As the Town players and crowd celebrated the striker’s fifth goal of the season, Burns underwent treatment for what looked to be a knock to his previously injured shoulder having been blocked off by Jake Bidwell, but following the restart was able to carry on.

The Blues continued to control the game and in the 14th minute, Broadhead stood up a cross from the left of the box which fell to Chaplin, but a Coventry defender made an important challenge.

A minute later, Broadhead had a golden opportunity to double Town’s lead having been played in behind the Sky Blues’ defence by skipper Sam Morsy, but screwed his low shot just wide of Collins’s right post.

On 18, Liam Kitching looped a header over from a Josh Eccles corner on the Coventry right.

But it was still mainly Town and on 25 Burns smashed a shot not too far over from the edge of the box to the right after a headed clearance fell to him.

A minute later, after Burns had been fouled by Bidwell, Broadhead nodded Morsy’s free-kick just over the bar.

As the half hour approach, Coventry began to get more into the game and in the 29th minute forced Vaclav Hladky into his first save of the afternoon.

A overhit cross from the right fell to Bidwell just outside the area to the left from where the former Swansea man struck a powerful effort which Hladky did well to save to his left. The ball looped into the air but the Blues worked it away from goal competently.

Sky Blues fans were on their feet in the 36th minute when Wright nodded home from close range from Ayari’s right-wing cross but the linesman rightly had raised his flag.

However, the visitors continued to threaten and following a corner on the left Bidwell struck another shot against a defender, then sent the rebound well over.

On 39, Luongo was booked for a foul on Milan van Ewijk, the Australian international’s fifth yellow card of the season - on the final game that five cautions lead to a suspension - meaning he’ll miss next week’s game away against his old club Middlesbrough.

Any frustrations Town may have had regarding that were quickly forgotten two minutes later when the Blues added to their lead via a stunning Burns strike.

The Wales international brought the ball in from the right before sending a superb outside-of-the-right boot effort curling trivela shot into the top corner of the net with keeper Collins motionless.

Burns’s second strike of the campaign was another to into an already keenly-contested Town goal of the season competition.

As the game moved into three minutes of additional time. A Chaplin shot from a tight angle on the right was forced out to Broadhead, who teed-up Davis, who was bursting into the box, but the former Leeds man blazed deep into the Sir Alf Ramsey Stand.

That was the final action of another impressive half from the Blues, who deserved their lead even if Coventry had had one or two chances to get themselves back into it.

The Blues quickly got into their stride and as against Millwall in midweek, netted an all-important early goal.

Town subsequently had opportunities to add to their lead, with Broadhead missing a very good chance, before the visitors got a foothold in the game and caused the Blues one or two problems with Hladky making a decent save.

However, Burns’s brilliant goal came just when Town needed it to put the Blues in a very strong position at half-time.

Ahead of the restart, Coventry made a triple change, Joel Latibeaudiere, Tatsuhiro Sakamoto and Matt Godden replacing Eccles, Ayari and Jamie Allen.

Town made a slightly scruffy start to the second half without threatening to add to their lead.

At the other end, Godden shot well wide on 53, then five minutes later Bobby Thomas headed similarly beyond the post from a corner from the left. Following the corner, Broadhead underwent treatment before continuing.

Clarke stuck Town’s first effort in the 63rd minute, the full-back’s powerful effort just flaying past Collins’s left post.

Two minutes later, the Blues swapped Broadhead and Burns for Marcus Harness and Omari Hutchinson with both departing players warmly applauded off the field.
As the game moved towards its final 20 minutes, Town were passing the ball around, looking to see the match out. However, on 73, after some sloppy play, they conceded a corner.

And following the corner, Coventry were awarded a penalty when Clarke tripped Sakamoto. It looked the right decision, even if the Coventry sub had taken a little while to go to ground.

Another sub, Godden, took the kick and smashed it against the underside of the bar and away from goal, much to the delight of the Blues’ support. Soon afterwards, Coventry switched Wright for Ellis Simms and O’Hare for Jay Dasilva.

The missed penalty seemed to reinvigorate the previously quiet fans and team, and on 76 Luongo struck a powerful effort which Collins palmed wide of goal.

Two minutes later, Town swapped Clarke and Chaplin for Williams and Jack Taylor, then in the 79th minute Sakamoto was yellow-carded for a late challenge on Burgess.

The Blues made their final change in the 85th minute, Kayden Jackson taking over from the again impressive Hirst.

Simms headed wide for Coventry on 88, then with Town again having been sloppy in their own final third, Latibeaudiere shot well over.

As the game moved into its penultimate minute, Williams was booked for a foul on Dasilva, his fifth booking, meaning the Manchester United loanee will also miss next week’s match on Teesside.

In the sixth minute of injury time, Coventry pulled a goal back from what was virtually the final kick of the game. A cross looped in from the right and Williams appeared to nod past Hladky under pressure from Simms, the full-back indicating that he thought he was fouled by the striker.

The loanee may well have had a case but there was no time for the Sky Blues to give Town any late nerves with referee Andrew Kitchen blowing his whistle moments after the restart.

As against Millwall on Wednesday, the game was all but won in the first half. However, the Blues were sloppy at times during the second half and the last 17 minutes might have been tougher had Godden not missed Coventry’s penalty. In the end, their goal came too late to make a difference to the game.

The Blues have now won 17 of their last 18 home matches in the league and have 45 points, which would have been enough to avoid relegation last season. Their new home league goals record for a calendar year is now up to 68.

The big negatives from the game for Town were both Luongo and Williams picking up yellow cards which will see them miss next week’s game at Middlesbrough, particularly with players needing to pick up 10 bookings rather than five to receive bans from the next fixture.

Town remain second, still a point behind leaders Leicester and seven in front of Leeds in third ahead of their visit to the Riverside next Saturday. Blackburn's defeat at Sheffield Wednesday means the Blues are 17 points ahead of the Lancastrians in seventh.

Town: Hladky, Clarke (Williams 78), Woolfenden, Burgess, Davis, Morsy (c), Luongo, Burns (Hutchinson 65), Chaplin (Taylor 78), Broadhead (Harness 65), Hirst. Unused: Walton, Ball, Jackson, Scarlett, Ladapo.

Coventry: Collins, Thomas, Allen (Godden 46), O’Hare (DaSilva 73), Wright (Simms 74), Sheaf (c), Kitching, Bidwell, Ayari (Sakamoto 46), Van Ewijk, Eccles (Latibeaudiere 46). Unused: Moore, Wilson, Binks, Kelly, Moore. Referee: Andrew Kitchen (Durham). Att: 29,378 (Coventry: 1,970).

Photo: Matchday Images

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Miaow added 17:11 - Dec 2
Yet another win! And that was some goal from Burns. Being in line with the shot and watching it bend in was a bit special. Just really annoying not to keep a clean sheet... A good start to a very testing month. We are having a remarkable season once again.

johnwarksshorts added 17:12 - Dec 2
Another 3 points. Fantastic goal by Burns probably goal of season contender. Shame to concede right at the end. Why Sub Clarke so late and risk yellow card for Williams?

Ipswichbusiness added 17:20 - Dec 2
Another win, another three points, we are in an excellent position.

But it seems to be a recurring theme: an excellent first half followed by a mediocre second

kiwiblue added 17:21 - Dec 2
2 bookings today means we miss Massimo and Williams next game and need to rest Morsy against Watford to mean he will be available against the budgies

oldegold added 17:21 - Dec 2
Good win against a team we generally struggle against but we seem to switch off and concede silly goals...goal difference could be a difference. Really need to focus for whole of the match...

blueboy1981 added 17:22 - Dec 2
Goal of the Season it had to be - Messi would have been proud of that himself !
The points keep stacking up - Well Done All.
Now lets work on Clean Sheets, it may become necessary as time progresses.

Lightningboy added 17:25 - Dec 2
Like Wednesday night great 1st half but sloppy 2nd...bit too laidback moving the ball out at times (particulary Woolfenden) but hey that's just a small criticism.

What an amazing 2 years under McKenna.

Broadbent23 added 17:38 - Dec 2
The boys go marching on. Keep up this festive entertainment.

IpswichT62OldBoy added 17:55 - Dec 2
Good result, I have a feeling it is going to be our season, because on another day that would have ended 2 2, we would be shattered, It has happened before

muccletonjoe added 17:56 - Dec 2
I really don't think it was a sloppy second half, they changed their forward line and caused us problems. No team dominates week in , week out for 90 minutes. It just doesn't happen. It was a hard earned 3 points. At this time on a Saturday, that is all that counts. Full weeks rest now before a very difficult game next week.

therein61 added 17:57 - Dec 2
Good 6 points in a week response after the off day at W.B.A keep the points rolling in you boys we are doing so well this season and our squad depth will help with reference to the bookings we are picking up which is a concern, but hey ho on we go!

warktheline added 18:02 - Dec 2
West Brom sussed us out! Tough times ahead! Um I don’t think so….two straight wins! Catch us if you can, there’s plenty below us in the league that are truly doubting if they can! For sure, My top 6 finish prediction is guaranteed….look at the points difference between us and Sunderland, it’s mind boggling stuff!

Broganonthewing added 18:14 - Dec 2
Two superb goals was really the difference, the second goal came just at the time Coventry were getting on top. A brilliant save from our keeper and a missed penalty has to be taken into consideration. Having said that, a million times better than we had sadly endured pre McKenna!

Broganonthewing added 18:16 - Dec 2
Luongo brilliant today, he covered every blade of grass

Bazza8564 added 18:30 - Dec 2
Coventry are a better side than their league position indicates, so this was a super result. Shame not to get a clean sheet but 3 points are ours either way.
Personally I thought Broadhead looked back to his best today, Massimo was excellent too.
As people have already said, 6 points after that WBA performance is a great bounce back

TractorfactorSteve added 18:37 - Dec 2
For me the only opinion that counts is the manager's. It's well worth a listen for the overall performance and the two goals we scored and the one they didn't.

TimmyH added 18:39 - Dec 2
Another good win based on the first half performance - the wide men Burns, Davis and Hirst the stand outs and should have been more than 2-0 but I'm not sure what's been put in the tea at half time? as per the Millwall game really - quite lackadaisical thereafter. Whether it's a case of self preservation thinking the games won or the opposition stepping it up (which I don't think is the case) but it could have been a very nervy last 10 minutes if the penalty went in.

All the same still got the 3 points so well done all...slack halves in the next game and we won't win it. (just my opinion)

Davidwb20 added 18:42 - Dec 2
Another excellent first half following on from Wednesday’s first half. Burn’s goal sublime and really pleased for Hirst his work rate over this and past games deserved that one. If we can tighten up our defensive frailties who knows what we can achieve. Perhaps the promised land! Lastly but definitely not least we’ve got super Kieran McKenna!

churchmans added 18:42 - Dec 2
So glad that penalty didn't go in!
Burns was brilliant and we will need axel in the run up more than some people realise

TimmyH added 18:46 - Dec 2
Sorry left before Coventry scored so got the 2-0 bit wrong ...but it doesn't surprise me. At walktheline, don't usually disagree with you but the 'sussed out' comment is open to opinion, Coventry pressed more 2nd half and we certainly didn't look's more concerning away from home when performances are certainly not as good of late, these need to improve.

Overall a cracking start to the season!

ThaiBlue added 18:50 - Dec 2
3 good points again good 1st half.thought some of our last touches were poor today and lucky with there penalty miss.6pts in a week very nice.

ImAbeliever added 18:55 - Dec 2
I believe, that Burns goal was unforgettable. Brandon, don’t worry about it mate.

ImAbeliever added 18:57 - Dec 2
Thai blue, get what you mean but I didn’t see that as a penalty.

Europablue added 19:02 - Dec 2
I missed the first half and only saw the second. It looked like Coventry were really on us and pressurising us the whole time without posing much of a threat. The penalty was soft, but probably the right decision, but their looked like they just shoved Williams into the ball. Both of our goals were great, it was just a sham that we didn't get the clean sheet.

ArnieM added 19:04 - Dec 2
Anyone think we try to dig on the game and try to “contain it” in the second half when we’ve gone a couple of goals to the good? Second half was very uncomfortable today I felt, and we can thank our lucky star Coventry cocked up their penalty.

We were so good in spells in that first half yet seem right off the intensity in the second half, part of me understand why we might be subconsciously taking the foot off the gas, but we almost invited our own pressure ……… or did Coventry just try plan B …. Or a mixture of both perhaps?

Great 3points and an awesome home record but I’m sure KMc will be disappointed with that soft goal yet again. It kinda flattened us in terms of the win euphoria a bit didn’t it.

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