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Ipswich Town 2 v 1 Sunderland
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 13th January 2024 Kick-off 17:30
Ipswich Town 2-1 Sunderland - Match Report
Saturday, 13th Jan 2024 19:42

Stand-in skipper Conor Chaplin headed the winner in the 75th minute as Town came from a goal down to beat Sunderland 2-1 at Portman Road. Jack Clarke gave the Black Cats the lead on 26 but Kayden Jackson levelled seven minutes later as the Blues grew into the game and then deservedly claimed the three points via Chaplin’s header 15 minutes from time.

New loan signing Lewis Travis was handed his Town debut as manager Kieran McKenna made seven changes from the team which beat AFC Wimbledon 3-1 in the FA Cup last week and three from the side which drew 0-0 at Stoke in the last Championship fixture on New Year’s Day.

Vaclav Hladky was in goal with Davis at left-back, Harry Clarke right-back and Luke Woolfenden and George Edmundson at the heart of the defence.

Travis was joined in central midfield by Jack Taylor with skipper Sam Morsy suspended and Massimo Luongo absent from the 20-man squad due to what McKenna described as an innocuous ankle injury picked up in training on Thursday.

Chaplin captained in the three with former Sunderland loanee Nathan Broadhead on his left and Wes Burns on the right behind Kayden Jackson. Town’s other January signing, Jeremy Sarmiento, was on the bench.

The Wearsiders made one change from the team which lost 3-0 at home to Newcastle in the FA Cup last week and beat Preston 2-0 on New Year’s Day with Abdoullah Ba replacing Nazariy Rusyn.

Town, who had dropped to third following Southampton’s 4-0 home victory over Sheffield Wednesday earlier in the afternoon, saw most of the ball in opening few minutes but rarely venturing into the opposition territory and causing no danger with Sunderland happy to sit in their half.

And it was the Black Cats who struck the first shot of the game in the fifth minute, Alex Pritchard blazing over from outside the area to the right.

Sunderland went closer a minute later after Harry Clarke lost out to Aji Alese on the visitors’ left from where the ball was cut back to Jobe Bellingham, whose shot was saved by Hladky with the Blues eventually, after some hesitation, getting the ball away.

Town created their first chance in the eighth minute, Burns sending over a dangerous low cross from the right, but just too far in front of the sliding Jackson.

The Blues were having plenty of the ball but still largely deep in their own half with Sunderland allowing them to keep it in those areas.

But on the quarter hour Jackson won the ball as Sunderland sought to bring it out from the edge of their area. Chaplin played it wide to Burns, whose low cross found Taylor, but the former Peterborough midfielder’s shot was blocked.

The loose ball ran to Chaplin, whose effort was crowded out, then from the floor the stand-in skipper had another go before the ball ran back out to Burns. The Welshman’s ball into the box was smashed against a Sunderland player by a teammate but eventually the danger was cleared.

Four minutes later, Davis took a throw-in on the left to Broadhead, who played on to Chaplin in the area, the former Pompey man laying it off first time to Jackson, whose effort looked to scuff wide off a defender but referee Sam Allison gave a goalkick, much to Chaplin’s annoyance.

Harry Clarke was shown the game’s first yellow card in the 24th minute for a foul on Bellingham just over halfway with the Town man aggrieved, with reason as he appeared to have got a touch on the ball.

Following the free-kick, Sunderland forced Hladky into his first serious save of the game, the ball having been played to Jack Clarke on their left from where he hit a low shot which the Czech keeper did well to divert over the bar with his feet.

But in the aftermath of the resultant corner, in the 26th minute, the Wearsiders went in front. Ba dribbled his way in from the right along the edge of the penalty area and laid it off to Clarke, who smashed an unstoppable strike past Hladky.

Two minutes after going behind, the Blues went close to levelling. Harry Clarke was played in on the right of the box and struck a low shot from a tight angle which Anthony Patterson in the Sunderland goal turned just past the post with his fingertips.

And in the 33rd minute, with Portman Road having become a little flat and Sunderland voices most audible, Town did get back on terms.

Woolfenden picked up a long clearance on halfway following a Town attack and gave it to Travis, who played a quick forward pass which caught Pierre Ekwah, diverting it between the two centre-halves and putting Jackson through on goal in the area, and the striker made no mistake to claim his third goal of the season.

Having equalised, Town went looking to get in front and in the 40th minute, after some less than decisive Sunderland defending, Jackson well wide shot on the turn under pressure from a Burns pass from eight yards.

That was the last chance of an entertaining half with the scoreline not an unfair reflection, although the Blues will feel they had controlled more of the game, while both keepers had made one significant save in addition to the goals they had conceded.

Town struck the first shot of the second half less than a minute after the restart, Harry Clarke bringing it inside from the right and feeding Davis, who slammed a powerful effort towards goal. Patterson batted it into the air but the home side were unable to make anything from the loose ball.

The Blues were awarded their first free-kick of the game in the 49th minute when Jack Clarke felled Travis on the edge of the Town box.

Two minutes later, Taylor was booked for a foul on Clarke just outside the Town area, to the left. Pritchard’s free-kick flew well over.

On 54, Edmundson joined him for a foul on Ba, who also had his name added to the book for waving an imaginary card in referee Allison’s direction.

Two minutes later, Jackson ended up on the floor after being caught in the face by a Luke O’Nien elbow. As had been the case with a similar incident in the first half, referee Allison missed it and did nothing despite protests from the striker and Chaplin.

Just ahead of the hour, Burns was booked for a foul on Dan Neil, then, with Town stepping up the tempo, Chaplin hit a powerful strike against O’Nien after a cross from the left had been diverted out to him.

With the noise around Portman Road growing, Sunderland repeatedly struggled to clear their lines and on 63 Harry Clarke played a one-two with Chaplin and broke into the right of the box but Patterson did well to save his shot down to his right.

The Black Cats made their first chance in the 65th minute, Adil Aouchiche replacing Ba, and a minute later the sub was given a golden opportunity to put his side back in front.

Hladky’s pass out of the box was half-blocked by Bellingham and it fell to Jack Clarke, who played it to Aouchiche with the goal gaping but somehow the Frenchman put it wide of the post. Town could count themselves very fortunate.

Town made their first changes on 68, Sarmiento, making his home debut, Dom Ball and Omari Hutchinson replacing Jackson, Travis, who could be pleased with his debut, and Burns.

Hutchinson quickly made an impact, receiving the ball from Chaplin on the right of the area and hitting a shot which deflected out for a corner.

Following the flag-kick, Hutchinson lost out on the right of the box but Sarmiento picked it up and returned the ball to the on-loan Chelsea man, whose shot was saved.

The substitutions had seen the Blues put the visitors under increasing pressure and in the 75th minute, they went in front.

Davis, who had been fouled by Aouchiche, whipped over a free-kick from the left and an unmarked Chaplin powered a header past Patterson from eight yards out towards the near post and into the top corner of the net to send Portman Road into raptures.

Perhaps Sunderland felt the diminutive frontman was little threat in the air but he has shown on a number of occasions throughout his time at Town that he has an unerring ability to win the ball from set pieces despite his lack of height.

Four minutes after the goal, there was a scare for the Blues when Alese sent a low ball across the area from the left but fortunately no one was able to get the final touch.

And in the 81st minute, Town came within a whisker of a third goal. Chaplin flicked a Davis cross from the left beyond the far post with his shoulder and Woolfenden, from a tight angle, smashed it against the woodwork and across goal.

Sunderland were fortunate not to find themselves two behind, then on 83 Trai Hume was perhaps a little lucky not to see his second red card of the season against Town for a wild lunge on Sarmiento on halfway, which left both of them requiring treatment.

Referee Allison decided a yellow card was sufficient and moments later Pritchard was replaced by Rusyn.

On 85, Town were denied what looked the most obvious of penalties. O’Nien completely missed the ball and sent Hutchinson, who was looking to shoot, straight up in the air inside the box. The loose ball fell to Chaplin, whose shot deflected wide off Dan Ballard.

Even O’Nien seemed to be expecting a spot-kick but referee Allison, who had had a less than impressive evening for a Premier League official, either believed there had been no foul or deemed Town to have gained an advantage, although he made no signal to suggest the latter.

Sarmiento was booked for taking his protests too far, before Town swapped Broadhead for Marcus Harness, while the Wearsiders switched Bellingham for Mason Burstow.

With the game now in the fourth of five additional minutes, Axel Tuanzebe replaced Chaplin, who was given a standing ovation as he left the field following an outstanding performance and another vital goal.

Town were looking more likely to score a third than Sunderland a second in the final moments but nevertheless there was still a little nervousness around the ground until Allison blew his whistle for the final time, prompting a huge cheer around Portman Road.

The Blues had been well worth their win having been much the better side in the second half and having had chances to win more comfortably, most notably Woolfenden’s effort off the post.

Town, bedding in an unfamiliar central midfield, had grown into the first half but in the second they were very much better than the visitors, although had to survive one of the misses of the season before Chaplin’s excellent header which proved to be the winner.

The win, the Blues’ first in the league since December 12th at Watford, sees Town move back ahead of Southampton and into second behind Leicester, who they visit a week on Monday, with the Foxes now seven points points ahead following their 3-1 defeat at Coventry earlier today.

Town: Hladky, Clarke, Woolfenden, Edmundson, Davis, Travis (Ball 68), Taylor, Burns (Hutchinson 68), Chaplin (c) (Tuanzebe 94), Broadhead (Harness 89), Jackson (Sarmiento 68). Unused: Walton, Humphreys, Aluko, Ladapo. 

Sunderland: Patterson, Hume, Ballard, O’Nien (c), Alese, Neil, Ekwah, Pritchard (Rusyn 84), Bellingham (Burstow 89), Clarke, Ba (Aouchiche 65). Unused: Bishop, Seelt, Triantis, Matete, Bennette, Hemir. Referee: Sam Allison (Wiltshire). Att: 29,291 (Sunderland: 1,965).

Photo: Matchday Images

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Nomore4 added 19:43 - Jan 13
Great 3 points

itfckenty added 19:44 - Jan 13
Great result,Travis had a great first game, suits our style very well. In all everyone had a decent game with obviously chappers being the main man of the moment! Well done lads, let's go and take Leicester to the sword. COYB

Nomore4 added 19:45 - Jan 13
And some top performances

Miaow added 19:45 - Jan 13
What a win. One of the best of the season so far. And we deserved it.

Travis did well in his first game, and we showed that we have it in us to get a result without Morsy. Jackson kept working away up front and his goal was an excellent finish. Edmundson was a rock in defence and was my man of the match. And it was nice to have Davis back - I’m sure he enjoyed that win seeing as he’s a Newcastle fan.

That really was a great three points to get after going behind, showing good character and perseverance despite being without our regular captain and regular striker (Hirst) - and despite the fact we were arguably playing against 12... Cracking result.

TimmyH added 19:46 - Jan 13
All important win to get back on the 3 point trail and end the winless run!

2nd half performance just about merited the win though could have been different after their glaring miss to make it 2-1. Difficult to call MOTM as there wasn't much to choose from a few.

Well done all and rightly put Southampton back to 3rd...

Bluebrewer added 19:47 - Jan 13
Great stuff. Really liked the look of Travis. Bit of luck with Mackems missing a sitter, but we could very easily have had 2 more. Think we need that.

Bluebacker added 19:48 - Jan 13
That feels like a big result! Love how passionate Chaplin was after his goal, it really feels like he is town through and through. Really pleased for Jackson too and also shout out to Fridge who I thought had an excellent game. The players will take a lot of confidence from this one. Roll on Leicester!

IpswichT62OldBoy added 19:50 - Jan 13
What a great result that is.
We can move on with the season, Travis and Semiento excellent

Broadbent23 added 19:50 - Jan 13
Winning the McKenna way is perfect. CC's goal was the most unexpected goal this year. Our first double this season. We looked quite defensive in the first half before we started to play and gave Sunderland a game. We just have to keep calm and hope new recruits will arrive soon. Difficult to see the impact from JS yet. 3 points in the bag just believe.

Global_Blue added 19:51 - Jan 13
Great result. Lot to say about it. Thought Travis had a good first game, Davis was a little off it at times with his passing (although great assist for Chappers' goal) and Clarke had a mixed game with a good performance but some poor passing at times. But for me I wanted to note Kayden Jackson. I know he's got lots of doubters on here, but I thought he battled really well and pressed hard and I was delighted he got his goal, which he took really well. Not a MotM performance but good and deserves some praise.

Great result and good collective performance given the absences and new players. COYB.

pennblue added 19:55 - Jan 13
Outstanding, all of them. Sentiment was against us after skip out and Hirst injured, but they have turned that sentiment around and set up a mouth watering trip to Leicester with 3,500 town fans who will be fully up for it

EssexTractor added 19:55 - Jan 13
Determination , spirit team performance with Chaplin, Travis Edmundson outstanding
And The joy on McKennas Face at final whistle -
Well done to all

joyousblue added 19:58 - Jan 13
Great comments especially global blue , right at the beginning the usual crowd were slating jackson on here, hes a blue whatever your opinion surely we support him , whats the point of knocking hom down was sooooo happy when he scored lets do this together

Texastom added 19:58 - Jan 13
Massive win! Injuries don’t help, like Norwich.
Still can’t see us getting 2nd. Leeds and Southampton top squads, although Saints will have a bleep as they can’t keep this run going.
We have to sign a top striker in January.
Well done McKenna so far, outstanding.

TimmyH added 19:59 - Jan 13
What's happened to Broadhead of recent games?...very quiet since Hirsty got injured, MOTM a toss up between Burns and Edmundson for me, other than his goal thought Chaplin was fairly quiet particularly 1st half...don't forget just as a player scores a goal doesn't mean you have to rate him highly for his 90 minutes contribution.

delias_cheesy_flaps added 20:01 - Jan 13
We do need more quality, we’ve done so well to date, just keep winning and no worries!

dirtydingusmagee added 20:02 - Jan 13
really good result , we are back on the road again . Very entertaining match imo. Was a bit worried when we went one down but McKenna's boys never give up ,unlike some of our teams before his arrival .It keeps us in 2nd spot and with a big scalp taken leading on to Leicester. Well down lads .

ShropshireBluenago09 added 20:03 - Jan 13
Great battling performance against a decent Sunderland side. Especially with the spine of the team out. Thought Travis was superb considering he’s only just signed.

Suffolkboy added 20:05 - Jan 13
Football played the ITFC way ; no compromise , obvious spirit and belief ! BUT from the text only ,and match stats one has to ask who will consult with and discuss hie performance with this Referee who it appears was anxious to show he knew all , was going to be the only arbiter and set on showing cards ,rather than attempting to run the game without AND punishing the poorest and worst ?
Never mind ,ITFC stuck to principle and evidently might well have scored more !
Well done everyone ; a great contribution to the season and 2024 !

Bert added 20:08 - Jan 13
Magnificent gritty performance second half against a very good opponent and a ref who certainly must do better.

Facefacts added 20:11 - Jan 13
Ref on the O'Nien v Sarmiento - why didn't he give the pen? Diabolical.
And we a clean team get more yellows than O'Nien's team.
Couldn't make it up. WHAT IS THE REF ON. ? Cheating has wrecked football and referees scared to give anything.
But, get in.
Fantastic win.

warktheline added 20:12 - Jan 13
That’s a momentous result! Considering injuries and key players missing, what a tremendous performance and 3 points! A slight dip in form, no more, no less ! Every promotion chasing team has them! The table doesn’t lie, we’ve had less dips then every team, bar Leicester!

Davidwb20 added 20:13 - Jan 13
Brilliant result and well deserved. What really concerned me before the start of the game when the starting 11 was announced. We had posters slating Kayden Jackson! Glad he scored, everyone is entitled to their opinion. However, let’s get behind him he wears the blue and white of ITFC shouldn’t that be enough? Anyway rant over! We’ve got super KMck…. in who we trust.

Billysherlockblue added 20:15 - Jan 13
As the game plays out we all single players doing well and not so well. Its all emotions as we love our club. Yes ive doubted jackson and will hold my hand up. He worked hard could have had 2 or 3 but my opinion is still the same hes not a cf. Only my opinion of course. Well done all today. Better faster 2nd half. At least we always keep trying. I luv whats happening at the moment. Bring on Leicester its a great challenge for us. Coyb

Suffolkboy added 20:19 - Jan 13
No moral or substantial case can be made or justified for attempting to ‘crucify’ any part or person who are the squad of the ITFC we all support .,
Either don’t bother to turn up ,or change !

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